ON Saturday, June 1 we hosted the annual veterans' football tournament between Crediton (represented by "Adams Athletic"), Dokkum and Fulda, the link common to the three towns being St Boniface.  

The tournament has been going for over 20 years, and this year we were kindly sponsored by Crediton Town Council, Boniface Link and Adams Home Hardware (the team was set up by David Adams some 50 years ago). Crediton United FC let us use their fine facilities.

The tournament this year was hard-fought as always, but much closer than usual. You cannot afford to lose your first game, but we unfortunately did, against Dokkum (from the north of the Netherlands).

We conceded two rather sloppy goals before getting into our stride. In the second half we were kept at bay by some superb saves from their keeper.

Any other day we would have won, or at least squeezed out a draw - Michael Bond scored a late penalty but the outcome was 2-1 to Dokkum, slightly fortunate winners, but winners nonetheless.

Fulda (from Hesse in central Germany) and Dokkum then fought out a goalless draw; I think it fair to say that the Germans were slightly weaker than usual, but again the Dutch goalie kept them in the game.

This meant that while we went into the final game with no chance of winning the tournament, the Germans could by beating us by two clear goals.  

It was clear from the off that, for a change, we were technically better than Fulda, especially in midfield. We went 1-0 up after a few minutes through an own goal, and Jake Ranger soon rifled in a second.  

We were awarded another penalty midway through the second half, confidently converted by Michael Bond, to run out 3-0 winners, thus handing the trophy to the Dutch, the holders from last time.  

Steve Huxtable, Deputy Mayor of Crediton, presented the trophy straight after the final whistle.

Our opponents were gracious enough to concede that we probably played the better football overall - pity we took a few minutes to get going in our first game, because we've only won it a couple of times!

I can't close without thanking Ed Courtney for agreeing to referee all three games with just three hours’ notice.  He'd not refereed for over 10 years, and he did an excellent job. 

We then had a convivial barbecue and finished the evening by watching the Champions League final from Wembley; so all in all a good day all round.

One of the spin-offs from the "Bonicup" tournament is that a number of youngsters have travelled to the continent to take part in their own competitions, which must be a good thing.

Bob Edwards