Sunderland shines as Business Fives kicks off

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Sunderland Business Fives
ZF Group Champions

The Sunderland Business Fives event of got under way in glorious winter sunshine at the Goals Sunderland venue in the city as teams from across the city aimed to reach the final of the national business five-a-side tournament.

There was high scoring games aplenty as the Sunderland Business Fives teams averaged over 5 goals a game a they hit the back of the net 75 times and the high standard was matched by the unseasonal high temperatures.

Teams are playing to win the Business Fives charity donation for their respective charities with ZF Group earning the badge of top fundraisers on the day by combining to raise £385 for the Great North Air Ambulance with MICC Group also raising £80 for the Williams Syndrome Foundation.

As proud members of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, Erin Knight from the chamber was on hand to present the prizes alongside Sunderland legend, Darren Williams. On the pitch MICC Group narrowly missed out on qualifying for the semi finals after an agonised last minute victory from Nice Network who claimed 3rd spot in the groups.  ZF Group made their way to the semi finals and they were joined by Nice Network, Port of Sunderland County Durham Housing Group.

True to league form it was County Durham Housing Group, playing for Prostate Cancer UK and ZF Group who booked their spots in the final after wins of 4-1 and 7-3 in their respective semi finals.  ZF Group had three players competing for the top goal scorer accolade going into the final with Tony Wiliams, Gary McAndrew and Ryan Barrow all regularly finding the back of the net.  A Man of the match winning performance from Ryan Barrow wasn’t enough for him to stop team mate Gary McAndrew pick up the golden boot for the Sunderland Business Fives tournament, who pipped his team mates to the post. 

Both ZF Group and County Durham Housing Group already safely secured their passage to the national final in Edinburgh from the Sunderland Business Fives where they will be joined by 30 other companies from throughout the UK with the final places up for grabs at the Tees Valley event next week.  There was a third spot up for grabs from the Sunderland Business Fives event as well with the winners of the Europa League section also sealing qualification.

It was Nice Network who battled it out with Port of Sunderland for the final place at Edinburgh.  Nice Network, playing for Life Kitchen, started brightly but ran out of steam as the Port of Sunderland team eventually ran out 2-0 winners despite an impressive display by the Nice Network shot stopper.  The Port will go on to play for Maxilo Facial Surgery in Newcastle at the national final.

The action stops off in Tees Valley for the last of 9 qualifying events before teams make their way to Edinburgh on 22nd March for the national Business Fives Champions will be crowned.

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