The thrills and spills of the Champion’s League Final paled into insignificance this Bank Holiday weekend as Manchester’s digital and creative agencies did battle at the Powerleague in Ardwick for the annual Creative Cup. The charity 5-a-side tournament, which helps raise money for St Ann’s Hospice, had a slimmer roster of teams than previous years due to Saturday night’s footie fiesta and some unforgiving weather, but that didn’t stop the Photolink team turning up to be counted and improving on last year’s quarter final exit.
With Managing Director Jayne Riley’s words ringing clearly in their ears (“I’ll pay the entry, boys – just make sure you win!”) and rain refreshing parts that would normally be hidden given the climate, Photolink’s motley crew of designers, account handlers and retouchers passed through the group stages like men possessed (or men desperate to get back in the warmth perhaps) and entered the quarter finals with an air of bravado that would make even Pep’s men blush.
Sadly it wasn’t to last, with The Gate Films proving Photolink’s nemesis in a bruising semi-final; winning an excruciatingly tight penalty shoot-out after a lengthy sudden-death. While it’s always a shame to go out like that, it did save some fragile legs and lungs from a hammering at the hands of eventual winners Made By Shape; a team that had already set off alarm bells during registration with their unnerving resemblance to one half of the England Under-21 squad. Take a look for yourself here if you don’t believe us and check out more of the action courtesy of photographer Paul Gardner’s Flickr page