On Saturday, 28th October, the Kent FA 60 + Walking Football Cup was held at the YMCA in Maidstone, with ten teams from across the county competing.
The teams were split into two groups, and played each team in their group to determine who would progress onto the knockout stages of the tournament.
- Group A: Ramsgate, Tonbridge Angels, Margate, Woodnesborough (the defending champions) and Sheppey Warriors
- Group B: Maidstone United, New Romney, Tonbridge Totterers, Whitstable and Woodchurch
After the group stage, the top two teams from each group progressed to the semi-final, with the winner of each group playing the runner-up of the other group. Ramsgate (8 points) and Maidstone United (10 points) topped their respective groups, emerging as two of the favourites going into the knockout stage of the tournament. The reigning champions, Woodnesborough, were knocked out of the group, with Margate and Tonbridge Totterers progressing to the semi-finals.
With just four teams left in the competition, Ramsgate came up against Tonbridge Totterers, and Maidstone United faced off against Margate. Ramsgate narrowly won on penalties after a 1-1 draw against Tonbridge Totterers, which meant Ramsgate progressed into the final. Maidstone United looked strong in their semi-final with a narrow 2-0 victory against Margate.
This set up a final fixture between two unbeaten sides, Ramsgate, versus the team with the best record leading to the final, Maidstone United. In the final, Maidstone applied pressure from the start of the game, with several shots being put wide of the Ramsgate goal. Ramsgate went down to 5 players after a player was sent off for stopping a goalscoring opportunity. It seemed like it would only be a matter of time before Maidstone United scored. Ramsgate defended bravely and managed to keep the score at 0-0 to take the final to penalties. The first 4 penalties from each team were scored before the Ramsgate goalkeeper saved one; the Ramsgate goalkeeper scored the decisive penalty to win the competition.
Harry Burgess, Football Development Officer (Adult), said: “I am very proud of how the tournament went. The day was played in great spirits and to a high standard. Walking Football is a rapidly growing area of the game, and it is great to host more provisions for this demographic who prove that age is not a barrier to involvement in the sport. I would encourage anyone interested in this sport to give it a go. It can have great physical, social, and mental benefits to those who play. Thank you to all the teams that took part and the St John’s ambulance volunteers who were in attendance. Congratulations to Ramsgate for their victory in the 60+ Kent FA Walking Football Tournament.”
To find out more about Walking Football in Kent, contact the team at Development@KentFA.com