38 teams started the Kicking Cancer’s Butt 7 tournament with hopes of winning either the competitive or recreational title. By the time the curtain came down on the 81st game of the day, it was Armee Rouge and Ottawa United who had claimed the competitive and recreational titles.
In the first six years of the tournament, no team had ever managed to win it for a second time. 3 former champions took the field in the competitive section hoping to become the first to reclaim the crown: Armee Rouge, Ivory Toast and the defending champion Killer Bees. The Misfits were also hoping to defend their recreational title they had won in the inaugural recreational tournament a year ago. All of them made it through the round robin undefeated, but as the knockout stages progressed and tired legs kicked in, one by one they began to fall. Amazingly all remained undefeated in regular play, but only Armee Rouge would get their hands on the trophy with the other three going out in the cruelest of fashion: falling foul of the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
First to go were Ivory Toast who won one shoot out against Kindergarten Klopp and looked to have earned a stay of execution with a last second equaliser against Pink Pandas. However they couldn’t see out a second shoot out and Pink Pandas advanced to the semi finals only to fall to the undefeated Armee Rouge. The Killer Bees made it one round further, having racked up 4 wins by an average margin of 3 goals, but ran into a high scoring Is It In Yet? who had already hammered home 22 goals in their first 5 games. An exciting semi final came down to PKs, and Is It In Yet? reached their first Kicking Cancer’s Butt final by dispatching the defending champions. However like Pink Pandas in the previous round, they couldn’t take down a second former champion, and Armee Rouge cruised to the title and a second Kicking Cancer’s Butt trophy.
Over in the recreational section, Ottawa United was literally the last team to join the tournament, being added from the wait-list less than 24 hours before the start of the tournament after a team had to withdraw. However, they made the most of their opportunity, tying with The Misfits at the top of their section and reaching the final with a semi final win over Gang Green, The Misfits overcame Orange Cheetos in the semi to set up a final rematch with Ottawa United with whom they had drawn 4-4 in a classic first round match-up. The final was an equally impressive game, with Misfits racing to a 2 goal lead before being hauled back by Ottawa United. Just as they had left it late to enter the tournament, Ottawa United left it late in the final, scoring with literally the last kick of the ball to earn a 3-3 tie and send the match to penalty kicks. Still deadlocked after the first three rounds of PKs, it took sudden death to separate the teams and give Ottawa United the title.
The on field action was fantastic, but the charitable efforts of the teams were even greater, raising (at time of writing) $12,845 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation to help fund essential cancer research and treatment in our city. A huge thank you to everyone, but a special shout out to I’ll Have Another, Dave Wall’s Indies/Gang Green/Cafeteria crew (and in particular to Dave himself), Ninjas, Capital Punishment, Peter Cech Yourself, Jan’s Kickers and the grASS Kickers, all of whom donated in excess of $400 for their team’s participation.