The results are in for the U18 Cup and Plate Finals

Winners at the U18 Cup and Plate competition 2014

Team Bath Buccaneers and Reading Boys, along with Old Loughtonians and Team Bath Buccaneers Girls, were all victorious at the U18 Cup & Plate Finals this weekend.

Reading were very dominant in their first game with a 5-1 win over Neston, as two early shots from the top of circle ensured an early lead going into the second half, where they carried on in fine form.

The Boys' first Cup semi-final was a close affair with Belper starting strong with numerous chances, but City of Peterborough drew first blood with a goal from Louis Bowden. Belper were able to equalise just after half time from a penalty corner, but City of Peterborough replied to regain the lead and make it 2-1. The game nearly went to penalty strokes with Belper having another penalty corner in the last minute, but a narrow miss allowed City of Peterborough to walk away with the win.

The second semi-final got off to a quick start, with Team Bath Buccaneers scoring two within the first 15 minutes. Ben Rhydding threatened the circle several times but had no clear-cut chances. Team Bath Buccaneers put the game to bed with two more goals in the last 10 minutes to make it to the final.

The Cup final looked over in the first half with Team Bath Buccaneers coming out hard and fast and putting in two quick goals. Their third came from a penalty stroke, and from that moment the game had already been decided. The Plate final was equally decisive, as Reading followed on from their previous 5-1 win with a definitive 7-1 victory against Yately

In the last game of the day it was an equally matched affair with each side having great chances, and it took until the 13th minute for Neston South Wirral to break the deadlock and score first, though Yateley equalised on the stroke of half time to make it 1-1. It didn’t take long for Neston SW to go back on top with a penalty corner, and they gained what proved to be an unassailable lead with five minutes to go.

The first of the Girls Plate semi-finals got off to a slow start, ending goalless at half time. Lichfield drew first blood eight minutes into the second half from Emily Peers, and the game looked to be over, but Team Bath Buccaneers scored with less than five minutes to go to send the game into the first penalty stroke competition of the weekend.

In the second semi-final, all the action happened in the second half with Wimbledon scoring first from a penalty stroke. Spalding responded quickly with two goals in five minutes, but couldn’t hold the lead for long as Wimbledon replied two minutes later to equalise, sending the game into another penalty stroke competition.

After the first barrage of penalties the scored remained 3-3. Moving on to the sudden penalties saw both keepers staying on their toes and making some fantastic saves. Wimbledon’s Cassie Hughes slotted hers away to put the pressure back on Spalding, but after narrowly missing the post the game ended with Wimbledon through to the final against Team Bath Buccaneers.

In a very evenly matched final Team Bath Buccaneers scored first, with Wimbledon equalising within 10 minutes. The game looked it would go to wire when a penalty stroke was awarded to the Buccaneers, which was slotted away by Susie Barnes. Wimbledon kept attacking, pushing for the equaliser in the dying seconds of the final, but Team Bath Buccaneers’ goalkeeper made numerous saves to keep Wimbledon at bay and ensured that they took the Plate.

In the Girls Cup competition the first semi-finals saw Old Loughtonians starting well and getting a comfortable 2-0 lead with both goals happening in the first 15 minutes and both from penalty corners. Isca continued to attack to try and level the score, to the point they took their goalkeeper off to give them an extra player on pitch, but to no avail as Old Loughtonians held their lead.

In the second Cup semi-final Beeston out-paced the Harleston Magpies to get two quick goals. Harleston managed to create chances, but couldn’t convert them and the final score finished 4-2 to Beeston.

The Cup final was decided after Old Loughtonians scored from a penalty corner (fired home by Hannah Bloy) in the 17th minute, ultimately sealing their win in the first half. Although Beeston kept attacking and had numerous penalty corners in the final minutes, it wasn’t enough to snatch themselves away from the claws of defeat.

Finally, the 3rd/4th Cup playoff saw ISCA take an early lead in game where both teams played extremely well. Harleston Magpies equalised with less than five minutes to go and were pushing for the winner, but once again the game had to go to penalty strokes to decide places. It was all equal at 3-3 after the first barrage of five to take it sudden death. Both teams slotted their first set of strokes, but once Harleston’s goalkeeper Phoebe Charnley made a great save and gave them the advantage, team captain Sarah Brook made full use of it, slotting the ball past Isca’s goalkeeper into the bottom left corner to take 3rd place.