Places in Manchester semis confirmed in final regional heats
We started with hundreds of pubs from across the country registering to play in this season’s Pub Cup – and now just 16 are left in the race to Wembley.
Regional heats at Scotland’s National Performance Centre at Oriam in Edinburgh and Cardiff City’s House of Sport concluded the opening stage, following previous heats at Manchester City and Crystal Palace.
In Scotland, it was the men taking centre stage, with 16 sides in the mix in two seven-a-side tournaments.
The Inn Elderslie were strongly fancied after making it all the way to the final at St James’ Park in 2019.
But they were undone in the semi-finals at the hands of Edinburgh’s Polworth Tavern.
They had gone unbeaten in the group stages, as had The Sun Inn, from Cumbria, so it was no real surprise that those two met in the day’s first final.
But it was the English side that crossed the border to triumph, going through with a 2-0 victory on penalties.
Licensee and team coach Mel Scott was thrilled to be heading to the next stage.
We can’t wait to get to Manchester. We are a sports led pub with three football teams and this means a lot to everyone. It’s been a great event.
It was another Anglo-Scottish affair in the afternoon. But this time it was victory for the pub from north of the border.
Aberdeen’s The Butcher’s Arms had to defeat local rivals The Leathan in the semis before going on to impress against Harrogate’s Empress in the final.
And so to Cardiff, where four more semi-final places were up for grabs, including the final two in our women’s competition.
After coming close to the latter stages last year, The Three Horseshoes from Tonyrefail, Porth, went one better this time. They beat Taibach Rugby Club – who proved they could adapt to a different type of ball – in a closely contested final.
Martin Barron who runs the Three Horseshoes and started the women’s team three years ago said:
It’s great to see the way the girls are progressing and to win this is absolutely amazing. We use my pub as the base because it’s not just about playing but the social side too
The Three Horseshoes will be joined in the semis by our current champions. The Lichfield Ladies squad who triumphed at Wembley representing The Golden Hind in last season’s Pub Cup are now playing for Birmingham’s Old Horns, after general manager Tony O’Kereke made the move.
And it proved to be new pub, same result, with the ladies progressing serenely to the next stage.
The men headed to Cardiff the following day for two tightly contested tournaments.
In the morning, the first game saw Leamington Spa’s The Hope Tavern nick a last minute winner against local side The Windsor from Penarth.
And it would prove to be the final game of the day as well. The Windsor needed a last minute winner and a penalty shootout to make it to face the Hope Tavern in the showpiece game.
But that was where their luck ran out, with the Leamington side recording a 2-0 victory.
In the afternoon The Park Hotel from Telford proved to be too strong for the opposition, scoring 20 goals in five games and sending out a signal of intent ahead of the semi-finals.
- The regional heat winners will now head to Manchester City for the semi-finals on Sunday 24th July. Here eight men’s and eight women’s teams will play in an 11-a-side tournament for the right to play in the Pub Cup Final at Wembley in November. Check our Twitter feed at BTSportBars for updates on the day