Hampton Blue Under 13s, formerly Powerleague Green, won the Junior Alliance League Cup for the second year running yesterday (April 26).
They took the honours 3-0 in a high-noon shoot-out with Gunthorpe Harriers Navy at Chestnut Avenue but it was certainly not as easy as the final scoreline suggests.
They came up against a strong, resilient Gunthorpe side who made them work hard for victory.
Hampton had more possession in the first half but they failed to penetrate a resolute defensive set-up and and it was 0-0 at half-time.
The Blues started the second half with a changed formation, pushing hitman Sam Jordan up front. And the change paid off after five minutes as Jordan hit the breakthrough goal following a couple of important headers by industrious winger Dan Clarke and captain Jay Whyatt.
Soon after it was 2-0 as Zac Findley cleverly slotted the ball past the outcoming keeper.
Gunthorpe were wounded but refused to lie down and became even more dangerous with some fine passing, line runs and crosses. But Hampton defended well and Gunthorpe were thwarted by the speed of Atif Khan and the strength of Sol MacFarlane, George Warrington, Owen Clark, Olutayo Akinsanya and Shaun Spalding.
And it took a brilliant save by James Hogg to stop Gunthorpe from reloading and getting back in the game.
Jay Whyatt ran his socks off for the cause and was well supported by Reg Ingledew, Liam Catton and Brad Gilbert who all played their part.
Blues’ overall strength finally killed off the Gunthorpe challenge when Brad Gilbert gently hit a through ball towards goal and a chasing defender could only help the ball over the line to make it 3-0.
Callum Ford of Gunthorpe Harriers was voted man-of-the-match.
In the Under 14 League Cup final, Division One champions Deeping Blue completed the double.
They ran out 2-0 winners against Glinton & Northborough Amber with goals by Alexander Moroz and man-of-the-match Nathan Pickering.
And Wisbech St Mary could also finish the season with a league and cup double.
They won the Under 14 Hereward Cup yesterday in the third Junior Alliance League cup final played at Chestnut Avenue and they can also become Division Three champions by winning their final league match next Sunday (May 3) against title challengers Thorpe Wood Blue.
In yesterday’s final they beat Kings Cliffe 2-0 thanks to goals by George Napier and Shane Punton. William Buck of Kings Cliffe was the man-of-the-match award winner.
On Saturday the two Under 10 cup finals were held at Whittlesey.
Yaxley Blue beat Netherton 3-2 in the League Cup final while Glinton and Northborough Amber beat Deeping Claret 3-0 in the Hereward Cup final.
The two man-of-the-match award winners were William Kirby (Yaxley Blue) and Steven Bliss (Glinton & Northborough Amber).
In the Under 9 League Cup final Oundle Red beat Deeping Claret 2-1. Man-of-the-match award winner was Oundle’s Jacob Bonett.