Our annual 5-a-side football tournament, the Zam Challenge, made a return on June 29 - on the one-day break from matches in the World Cup. Once again, Burford School kindly hosted the event.
In the end, it was simple enough. In a Zam Challenge final contested purely by former students of Burford School, the New Alumni cruised to a comfortable 3–0 victory over their predecessors, the Original Alumni. While Haydn Parker’s team will have their team name engraved on the Zam Challenge shield, Adam Nobbs’ Originals must make do with second place — for the second year running.
On June 29, six teams competed for the shield, a field expanded from the four sides which played in 2017. The Burford School sports hall played host to a total of nine matches — six in a group stage, and three playoffs to determine final placings — which were even more intense than the games played last year. In all, 46 goals were scored in just 72 minutes of play.
The Cecily’s Fund team, recruited and captained again by Simon Isherwood, finished in third place overall thanks to a very tense 4–3 win over Burford’s Year 12 in the second playoff. Scott Latham, a constant threat for Cecily’s Fund, was declared Man of the Tournament and the team found the back of the net 12 times, putting them joint top scorers with the tournament winners.
For their part, Burford Staff will be disappointed with their attempt to retain the shield. A 4–1 loss to Cecily’s Fund severely dented their chances, but they eventually secured fifth place with a 3–0 triumph over Wenn Townsend F.C. The chartered accountants, who have sponsored the 2017 and 2018 tournaments, were a welcome presence with their own squad this year.
Cecily's Fund is very grateful to everyone at Burford School for helping make the Zam Challenge happen; to our referee Roger; to Bill Williams for arranging the matches; and to everyone who played, spectacted, or donated at the event. So far £345 has been donated via our JustGiving page. For every £50 raised Cecily's Fund can help a child remain in school for a year, so your donations make a huge difference.