Six teams gathered at a blustery Wormwood Scrubs park in west London for the 12th annual London Titans Birthday Tournament. Joining Titans XXL and Titans 2Brewers were Soho FC, Cardiff Dragons, a combined London Romans–Leicester Wildecats team, back to defend their 2016 tournament win, and Hybrid FC, an assortment of players from London and beyond.
The group stages followed a league format, with Titans 2Brewers winning all five of their group games without conceding a single goal. Leicester Romans and Titans XXL also qualified for the semi-finals, with Hybrid FC sealing the final spot by taking seven points from their five games. Soho FC, who lost all five of their group games without scoring, ripped up the form book in the plate final to beat Cardiff Dragons 2-0 – but Cardiff must be congratulated for coming all the way from London on the morning of the competition.
Leicester Romans and Titans 2Brewers confirmed their dominance by dispatching Titans XXL and Hybrid FC respectively and meeting in the final. Despite the result going the other way earlier in the day, the cup was scooped by two well-taken goals from the combination side: the first, a sharp near-post shot, was followed by a thunderous running header at the back post. Leicester Romans retain the trophy!
As is customary, the social afterwards continued deep into the night at the tournament’s sponsor venue, Club XXL – at which point details become hazy and subject to a gagging order…