Irish and French football came to Asfordby Hill as Mowbray Rangers FC hosted their 12th annual international festival.
After many months of hard work and preparation, Rangers welcomed teams from their twin clubs Etoile and Monaghan United, as well as clubs closer to home.
Saturday morning started early for Mowbray volunteers, getting the final bits and pieces in place before the festival started.
Loughborough club Football First, Etoile, Monaghan and Mowbray fielded teams in both under 12s and under 13s age categories.
Royce Rangers, from Oakham, Ibstock Lions, Houghton Rangers, Asfordby FC and Melton Foxes were the other competitors.
The traditional parade of teams followed by national anthems of France, Eire and England preceded the weekend’s football action which was officiated by referees and assistants from Leicestershire and Rutland FA throughout the weekend.
The club wish to thank M. Cornes, S. Baker, H. Sabberton, D. Hartbertson, I. Danson, J. Barkworth, K. Reed, R. Warner, N. Marriott, L. Creese, K. Sinclair, I. Shaikh and A. Brierley-Lewis.
While all went to plan, the one thing organisers couldn’t control was the rain and the temperature, but the quality of football remained high with great sportsmanship.
The under 13s played in two close-fought groups of four, while the U12s played in a round-robin league, with all teams in with a shout of topping their respective groups at the end of day one.
Asfordby FC hosted a special event on Saturday evening before the action resumed on Sunday morning.
At the end of the group games, play-off games then decided final positions in the under 13s category.
Mowbray Rangers defeated Houghton Rangers in the 7th/8th-place match, Royce beat Monaghan to fifth place, Asfordby took third place after beating Ibstock Lions, while Football First took on Etoile in the final.
The teams were led out by mascots from Mowbray Rangers’ U7s, U8s, U9s and U10 teams, and the match was refereed by S. Baker.
Both sides played some excellent football in an intense final, but Football First matched Etoile in all areas, were technically the better side, and duly won the title.
Mowbray Rangers topped the under 12s group from runners-up Football First and third-placed Melton Foxes, with Monaghan in fourth and Etoile fifth.
The fair play trophies went to Etoile (U12s) and Royce Rangers (U13s), while the Player of the Festival trophy was shared by Tyler Hill and Boyd Wilkinson (U12s), while the Under 13s winner was Darnay Henningham, of Ibstock.
Team trophies were handed to all participating teams, with individual runners-up and winners’ trophies going to the players.
Rangers club chairman Phil Baker thanked all sponsors, Mowbray Rangers committee, hosting parents, volunteers who assisted in the control tent, gates/car park, clubhouse kitchen and barbecue, as well as coaches and managers of all teams, players’ parents, FA officials and the players.
Sponsors: Aspbury Planning, B and H Midland, BE Event Hire, Beauty Haven, ESF Festival of Football, Furr Away Dog Grooming, Gents Grooming, Graham Spencer Massage, Harboro Hotel, Kaydee Sportsware, Leisurebench, Melton Castle Carpets, Melton Sports, QD Stores, Richard Tait Builders, Samworth Brothers, The Crown, Asfordby, Tenders UK, TJ Hall, and Vinny’s of Asfordby.
Mowbray Rangers would like to thank all involved in making the annual festival a huge success and for supporting their adopted charity, the air ambulance.