PSUK Invitational Tournament, Smethwick - 14th January 2012

This triangular tournament between PSUK, British Fire Brigade and local National League outfit Warley promised to be one of high quality, with several current British Olympic Team members expected to turn out for Warley and the fire brigade sides.

Match 1 saw PSUK vs Warley, and completely against normal form for PSUK, they took an early lead with captain Steve DAVIDSON (GMP) leading from the front with a brace of goals.  As the match went on, Warley managed to keep up with an on-song PSUK side using experience of playing in the narrow pool but PSUK never looked like losing the lead.  With Rodger McPherson (Met) as safe as ever between the posts for two quarters of the match, PSUK welcomed back Andy Pearson (GMP) from injury for the other two quarters of the game and he put in a fine performance, making several key saves late on.

The match ended 17-12 in favour of PSUK, however there never felt like there was more than a goal difference between the teams, with Warley providing strong and good spirited opposition in a very entertaining match.

Match 2 saw the British Fire Brigade easily overcome a tired Warley 23 -14, leaving Match 3 as the decider.

PSUK got off to a fine start taking the first quarter 3-1 and still leading at half time, thanks to excellent goal keeping from McPherson and Pearson and good creative play up front, however in quarter 3 current GB player Tom Curwen from the fire brigade was the difference between the sides, scoring at will from all over the pitch taking PSUK into the last quarter 13-10 down and with play running against them. 

In the final quarter the fire brigade really should have run away with the match, however Curwen, star of the match up to that point, managed to squander at least 5 simple opportunities through a combination of show boating and excellent keeping from Pearson, whilst at the other end PSUK claimed two unlikey goals to bring them back into contention.

With 60 seconds of the game remaining, it seemed that another goal from the fire brigade was likely, however it was PSUK who continued to press, hitting the wood work twice including a shot in the dying seconds.

The fire brigade held on for a 13-12 victory, however the match and the tournament was definitely the best PSUK have played for some years with their ageing side.

Online voting via Teamer.net for PSUK's player of the tournament was close run, with Pearson just edging Alex Spratt (Hants), who played relentlessly and with passion, by just one vote.