Begbies Traynor Host Annual Football Tournament for Comic Relief • Preston Guild City
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Preston Guild City

football team posing

by Ayman Fazeli for Begbies Traynor and Real Business Rescue.

Lancashire's financial powerhouses went head-to-head in the annual five-a-side tournament hosted by Winckley Square's Begbies Traynor – all in the name of Comic Relief.

Joining Begbies for the tournament this year at Tulketh's 'Play Football' centre were Santander, RBS, Moore & Smalley, Pierce, NR Barton and Scott & Wilkinson. With fundraising being the ultimate goal, there was plenty of 'financial fair play' from these accountants and bankers.

Almost £500 was raised as the companies from Preston and surrounding areas played six matches in a league format which culminated in the top two facing off in the final.

Begbies themselves had flattered to deceive in recent years but were determined not to pick up the 'wooden spoon' once again despite a daunting start to the tournament against last year's champions, RBS. However, in true Deal Or No Deal style, Begbies managed to 'beat the banker' with a 3-1 victory and continued in good form throughout the afternoon, narrowly missing out on a place in the final by virtue of goal difference.

Pierce Accountants from Blackburn brought an 8-man squad and looked like potential winners but eventually finished mid-table whilst tournament debutants Scott & Wilkinson, from Lancaster, made a great impression and also finished in a respectable position.

Tournament regulars Moore & Smalley, runners-up last year, were once again tough to beat but inconsistent results saw them tied in mid-table with Pierce. Last place went to RBS who saw the tables turned from 2014's tournament triumph.

With Begbies finishing third, that left pre-tournament favourites Santander and dark horses NR Barton occupying the top two positions and vying for the trophy. Santander had blown away all before them with six wins from six whilst NR Barton had squeezed into the final at Begbies' expense so the bankers looked to have the edge over the accountants.

However, neither team could be separated in a tight and tense final which ended 2-2 and had to be decided through the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Ultimately, it was the accountants from NR Barton who got their numbers right and triumphed 4-2 on penalties with the winning spot-kick coolly dispatched by Paul Murphy.

In the awards ceremony held at the Black Bull pub in Fulwood, David Grimshaw from champions NR Barton was awarded with the Player of the Tournament trophy whilst Stephen Haggerty from runners-up Santander picked up the Top Goalscorer award.

Begbies Traynor would like to thank all who took part, helping to raise a large donation for Comic Relief once again.