Bulkhaul crowned England national champions in Leeds
England National Champions crowned as Bulkhaul drive off with the donation
Business Fives summer season in England climaxed in Leeds with the top 25 teams in the country taking part in the England national final. The final was sponsored by Sunderland Champions, Direct Business Solutions as companies had qualified from events throughout England to assemble in Leeds on finals day.
In total, the teams played 80 matches and hit the back of the net 213 times in a goal-fest which included the 1,000th goal of the Business Fives summer events in England.
Over 200 companies joined forces over the summer to raise over £24,202 for charities across the nation with a prize pot of £4,312 being split between the chosen charities of eventual winners Bulkhaul, runners up Cranswick and Europa League section winners United Gas & Power.
Ambassadors Jonathan Greening and Richard Creswell were on hand to entertain the players with a post match debrief and shared stories from their playing careers. They handed out the trophies to the successful teams and off the pitch the race to be top fundraisers was won by sponsors Direct Business Solutions who raised £1,150 for the Graham Wylie Foundation and the Nicole and Jessica Rich Foundation.
Simon Moslemi, Director at Direct Business Solutions said, “We are thrilled to continue our support of the events having taken part in events in Newcastle last winter and Sunderland this summer it’s been a great way for us to reward staff and give back to the local community. We deal with companies across the UK helping them save money on their business utilities and it’s great to see so many businesses coming together to create a huge positive impact. We are really proud of both the Foundations we are supporting and the tournament as whole, we hope this encourages other businesses to participate and donate.”
On the pitch, fixtures came thick and fast for the companies with the opening group stages dictating whether the teams competed in the Champions League section or the Europa League section where a further round robin group phase decided the positions for the quarter finals of both the respective competitions.
Having reached the Champions League quarter finals unbeaten Bulkhaul came up against Clipper Group, an encounter they won comfortably as they continued to find their form. Their semi-final opponents Durham Lifting had knocked out Bulk Tainer in the quarters, as all three Tees Valley qualifiers found themselves matched up in quick succession, before losing 3-0 to the Bulkhaul team who were scoring freely.
Fellow finalists Cranswick came through their quarter final tie against South Yorkshire Housing Association before overcoming Manchester Champions, Bidfood on penalties after the Manchester team had knockout Birmingham Champions Executive Resource Group.
The England national final was a high quality affair with Simon Sharma from Bulkhaul being singled out by Jonathan and Richard as the man of the match, creating the spark that drove his side to a 3-0 victory although the clean sheet from the Bulkhaul shop stopper was a significant contributor to securing the win by keeping out Cranswick and the tournaments top goal scorer, Lucien Telisca.
Bulkhaul secured the donation of £2,000 for the MFC Foundation while Cranswick brought back £1,312 for Peters World Autism Support Hull.
In the Europa League section, the quarter finals were played between sponsors Direct Business Solutions, Net Premacy, United Gas & Power, Willmott Dixon, Alan Wood & Partners, Capita, OpenMoney and mgb Straight.
Alan Wood & Partners secured a place in the final courtesy of wins over mgb Straight and Willmott Dixon. For United Gas & Power they had to get passed Net Premacy and Capita to have a shot at the charity prize money.
Ahead of the final both UGP and Alan Wood & Partners decided to split the £1,000 donation as both Down’s Syndrome Bradford and the WWF Emergency Rainforest Appeal benefitted from their efforts over the summer. UGP held their nerve in the final to win 2-0 thanks to goals from Adam Ahmed who was selected by ambassadors Jonathan Greening and Richard Creswell as the man of the match.
The Business Fives action continues over the winter with events in Stoke, Bradford and Nottingham before Christmas and a full winter schedule across February and March which is available to view on the Business Fives website.