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Sunday saw the first Charter Standard Adult Female Festival in Northamptonshire for three years, held at Old Grammarians sports club in Wellingborough.
Five teams took part in the tournament; Abington Athletic, AFC Trinity, Earls Barton, Raunds Town and Rothwell Town. This was the first opportunity for many of the teams to have a full 11-a-side pre-season tournament. The sun was out for the occasion which was an added bonus and the day was run in the ethos of the Northamptonshire FA Charter Standard with all teams displaying good sportsmanship and fair play.
The tournament took place on two pitches with every team playing each other over four 25-minute games. Raunds and Trinity had battled out the end of the season last season with Raunds just edging it to gain promotion to the East Midlands League, so it was a shock start when Raunds lost their first game to a full strength Abington team who scored a solitary goal for victory. Trinity meanwhile got off to a great start winning 1-0 against Rothwell.
Rothwell then scored seven goals in their next two games, putting three past Abington and four past Earls Barton, who up until that point had struggled to find the net. Raunds won their next two games, including a defeat over Rothwell whose goal surge had threatened to take the lead at one point. Despite Abington's great start, they suffered two defeats and a draw, ending their hopes of a top two finish. Earls Barton, with many new players, started to find the net late on and earned a draw against Abington in the final game but the winners were to be decided in the final clash between Raunds and Trinity with Raunds needing to beat Trinity by two clear goals to win.
The game was hotly contested with chances at each end and some good saves, particularly from the Raunds keeper ensuring they stayed in the game. After 25 tense minutes, it ended goalless and with that, Trinity came away victorious, having not lost a single game.
The tournament was followed by a presentation during which both Abington Athletic and AFC Trinity received their recently earned Charter Standard Club Awards. The award for Fair Play was well received by Earls Barton who fully endorsed the Charter Standard ethos. Each team received a new Umbro match ball before Trinity were awarded the Winner's shield.
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