Each week we are digging through the Goalball UK archives to look back at some of our favourite memories from the sport from years gone by.
This week, we’re reminiscing on our inaugural Home Nations tournament back in 2018 at York St John University. Teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland battled it out for the pride of their nation and the bragging rights!
The opening game on Saturday afternoon, between England and Wales, was end to end action and set the tone for all the games to follow. David Lloyd had the accolade of scoring the first goal of the tournament for Wales, but England were the eventual winners.
Next up, Northern Ireland made their competitive debut against Scotland. Anyone watching wouldn’t have known though as they played exceptionally well, only narrowly losing by one goal.
Scotland were then immediately back on court to face their ‘Auld Enemy’ – England. It was yet another great game with England triumphing.
The remaining games of the day resulted in both Northern Ireland and Scotland winning against Wales, whilst England beat Northern Ireland to maintain their 100% record.
Play resumed on Sunday morning after a Saturday night social when ‘Alternative Awards’ were presented – the categories included ‘Considering I’m sighted I’m not bad at this crazy VI sport’; ‘I got out of bed the earliest this morning’ and ‘Don’t tell anyone, but really I’m English’.
Northern Ireland continued to play fantastically and, although they were unable to record a win, Wales were by no means outplayed in any of their games. Scotland, rather than tiring, got stronger as the tournament progressed, winning all three of their games and putting the pressure on England.
In the final game, they cheered on their ‘Celtic cousins’ knowing that a win or draw for Northern Ireland against England would result in them being crowned Home Nations champions – but despite taking an early lead, it wasn’t to be, and England won.
The final table therefore had England and Scotland tied on 15 points but 1st place went to England because of their superior goal difference. So, Scotland were second whilst Northern Ireland finished third and Wales fourth.