Marhaba Teams Summary
2nd / 3rd July 2022

In 2022, we went bigger and better with Marhaba by not only holding the Rackets Festival but also, for the first time, the Team Festival which consisted of netball and football over one weekend at the home of SJ – Aldenham School.

The Teams Festival this year was a weekend full of high drama, competition, banter and talent with 8 netball teams and 5 football teams battling it out to be crowned Marhaba Champions.

Day 1 began with the netball round robins. Games consisted of four 7 minute quarters with the game of the morning being between the Shooting Stars and Tiger Cubs – a nail biting back and forth tussle ending in a 17-all draw. The netball round robins for Day 1 concluded with the Shooting Stars, Tigers and Tiger Cubs fighting for the top 3 spots in the standings and the Birmingham Blinder, Kookaburras and Top Nets all in with a chance of grabbing the fourth spot and a place in the semi-finals. 

After a scrumptious Lebanese lunch, the attention turned to football. All 5 teams played each other 7-a-side in the first of two round robins. Tournament favourites – It’s About To Get Messi – suffered a blow early on Day 1 with the withdrawal of a key player due to Covid followed by two tournament ending injuries for two further players. This left them with 7 fit players and no substitutes for the duration of the tournament. Day 1 ended with Goal Diggers at the top of the table having won two and drawn two games with Chicks with Kicks and Mary’s Little Lambs sat in second and third place respectively also we two wins apiece. 

Day 2 got underway with the continuation of the netball round robins and a mouth watering clash between mother and daughter teams – Tigers vs Tiger Cubs. A hard fought game ended in victory for the Tigers however, the spectators were the true winners having been able to witness high quality netball, daughters marking mothers and vice versa and great sisterhood on display. As expected, the Shooting Stars, Tiger Cubs and Tigers took the top 3 spots in the standings. The Birmingham Blinders played an absolute blinder against the Top Nets to seal fourth place and set up a semi-final with the Shooting Stars. The second semi-final would be a repeat of the mother daughter clash – Tigers vs Tiger Cubs. 

Lunch on day 2 was a mouth-watering BBQ after which the second football round robins took place. Goal Diggers maintained their 100% record with no defeats in the group stages and this saw them progress seamlessly to the final. It’s About To Get Messi came roaring back with back to back wins, the latter of which was a high quality encounter against Mary’s Little Lambs ending in a narrow controversial 1-0 win. This meant that It’s About To Get Messi progressed to the finals on goal difference against a young Lambs team who should be immensely proud of their efforts in the tournament. 

A nail-biting football final between Goal Diggers and It’s About To Get Messi ended in a 0-0 draw and was settled on penalties with Messi winning 2-1 to spark wild celebrations! 

It was then back to the netball where the Shooting Stars defeated Birmingham Blinders and we were treated to another great Tigers/Tiger Cubs game ending in a win for the Tigers 21-18. In the end the Shooting Stars triumphed in the final to take the cup.

We would like to say a massive thank you to all participants, spectators, volunteers, sponsors, donors and coordinators for making it an unforgettable weekend.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. Please click here to see the list of honours from the Festival 

Here are a few initial pictures from the weekend:

We are extremely amazed that we managed to pull off two weekends of sport just one month apart having delivered the Marhaba Rackets Festival just five weeks before which you can read about here

Together, the two events produced an unforgettable summer of sport!