By Matt Hardy
Tension and drama.
They are just two words that can be used to describe knockout sport and as the Super League phase of The FA National Futsal League season enters its closing stages, both are now showing their heads.
Baku United clung on to a valuable point in a feisty evening encounter at Michael Skubala’s Loughborough. A 5-5 draw was the final result of a fierce fight which keeps the Southern Division side in pole position for the top spot in Group D.
The East Midlands squad are still in contention, but with both teams still to play one game, their progress will depend on the performance of CYDC Leeds, who have yet to take a point from their play-off campaign.
Reigning champions Helvecia became the first team to qualify from the all new Super League format. A 6-2 victory over Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, maintained their 100 per cent record in Group B and guaranteed Ronaldo Negrao’s team safe passage to the Grand Finals at the end of May.
Damon Shaw’s Middlesbrough are within touching distance of joining them, after an 8-4 victory over Midlands champions Team Bath at Thornaby Pavilion on Sunday.
The win left Boro four points clear of London United, with the two sides set to meet in London next Sunday when a point for Shaw’s warriors would all but decide the battle for qualification from Group C.
Oxford Lions picked up their first Super League points on Saturday, as last year’s beaten Grand Finalists defeated Northern champions Sheffield 4-2, to blow the battle for Group A wide open.
Oxford travel to FC Baltic this coming weekend knowing that victory could take them joint top of the group. However, a win for the London side would see them qualify with one game to spare after a perfect start has heaped the pressure on their rivals.
By Matt Hardy