PORTSMOUTH BEACH SOCCER dedicated last weekend’s win in the Isle of Wight Super Cup to injured player Steve Black.
Black broke his leg at the quarter-final stage of the competition and had to be taken to hospital.
However, his team-mates rallied to go on and win the event and became only the second non-Isle of Wight team to win the annual title in Ryde.
Portsmouth finished third in the group stages, having won four and lost two – against Sandown Sociedad and WKR Santos – both of whom went on to play Pompey again in the knockout stages.
The Blues faced Red Star Spartans in the quarter-finals at Appley Beach, where they finished comfortable 8-4 winners.
However, their elation was overshadowed by Black’s serious injury.
The England beach soccer international was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital following a strong challenge from an opponent.
He has since had an operation to pin a broken tibia and fibula, and has had a plate put in.
Captain Dean Blake, who was voted the competition’s most valuable player, claimed a hat-trick in the last-eight encounter, which set up a rematch against Sandown in the semis,
Mark Corbett claimed a brace and Jay Wood, Jamie Bray and Perry Northeast all found the net for the Blues as they easily saw off Sandown 5-2.
Pompey then met island outfit WKR Santos in the final – and once again they triumphed in a 13-goal thriller.
Jamie O’Rourke netted four of the goals in the 8-5 victory. Meanwhile, another tournament brace from Corbett and further goals from Alex Breingan and Peter Wood ensured the title came Portsmouth’s way.
Having scored four goals in the final, O’Rourke was understandably pleased but could not help thinking about his friend.
The 38-year-old said: ‘I was really pleased but all I was thinking about all day was how Steve was.
‘But he was pleased for us and we won it for him really.
‘It was tougher mentally to get going but we used the energy in a positive way rather than as a negative.
‘The sport is meant to be skilful more than physical. It was a heavy challenge and none of us could understand how it happened.
‘A big thanks from the team goes to our physio Nina Parkin who was there for all the players, but more importantly there for Steve to give him the very best, first-response treatment through his injury.’
O’Rourke, who is also a coach at the club, believes the competition was tough despite training hard for the tournament.
He said: ‘I am really proud, we have put in a lot of hard work and have been training since April.
‘It was tough in the group stages as I thought three wins would have been enough.
‘We had to win our last game against the Bees who are considered one of the best sides in the competition.
‘It was mainly island teams in the competition, we were the only mainland team.’
Pompey are now looking forward to travelling to Poole on Saturday, July 19, as they try to put another winning team together for the Dorset Beach Soccer Cup.