The 2016/17 Overstrand Sport Festival (formerly known as The Mayoral Cup) soccer preliminary took place in Stanford on the weekend of 11-12 February 2017. This phase of the competition drew clubs from the various Local Football Associations (LFA’s) in the area, i.e. Kleinmond, Zwelihle, Gansbaai and Stanford. The fixtures were further spiced up by the inclusion of a group of Legend teams from the same LFA’s.
Not even the mercury pushing a sweltering 38oC on Saturday, 11 February could dampen the high spirits of the three partaking teams competing in the Group A round-robin leg of the tournament. In the first match between Sweepers FC (Zwelihle) and Kleinmond Eleven Bumpers FC, Sweepers for the better part of the game led by 3-1 before drawing at 3-3; said by an informed source to be due to poor decision making by players at critical phases. Sweepers carried this haphazard form of play into their second match against energetic rookies, Peace Makers (Gansbaai) - after leading the game by 2 -1, to eventually concede to a disappointing 3-2 loss.
The last encounter in the group saw Peace Makers advancing through to the next round after holding Kleinmond Eleven Bumpers to a 3-2 win.
Thankfully by Sunday 12 February, spectators were treated to a more riveting display of soccer when the four teams in Group B took to the field to play a straight knockout system. In the first match, the Stanford-based tournament hosts and seasoned campaigner, the Young Tigers were set against Power City (Pearly Beach) who upon making their debut appearance in the tournament seemed to be overwhelmed by the occasion. Coming back from a 1-0 lead at half time, it looked like victory was in hand soon into the second half when the experienced Young Tigers netted a second goal. However, this goal sparked a surge of energy in Power City who then delivered two goals in quick succession to level the score – a celebration that was short-lived when Young Tigers scored the third and winning goal in the dying minutes of the game; resulting in a 3-2 clincher that booked their place in the semi-finals.
In the second game, new campaigners Sandbaai Eleven FC (Zwelihle) – mostly comprised of under 19 players - found the going tough when they played against Overberg FC (Gansbaai). Overberg won by 4-0 to advance to the semis. In the much anticipated semi-final clash later in the day, it was the exuberant Young Tigers who triumphed over Overberg by 2-1. This momentous win firmly cemented their spot in the history of the competition as being the first team from Stanford to qualify for the finals; previously they came close but were knocked out in the semis.
The Legends category, played to a round-robin format, saw competing teams drawing their fair share of admiring female spectators – adding fun and flare to the day’s proceedings. In this group, Kleinmond Legends beat Zwelihle Legends by 1-0 and further went on to beat Stanford Legends by the same goal margin (1-0) to book their place in the final show down. Zwelihle and Stanford Legends will play another match on Saturday 18 February in Stanford to determine who will take on Kleinmond Legends in the finals.