Last-gasp Tigers victorious, Wessex also winners

Futures Cup Logos 2016

Futures Cup Boys U18

Saxon Tigers 3 (2)
Will Hopkins 3 (FG)
Alex Emsden 31 (FG)
Zach Wallace 70 (FG)

Mercia Lynx 2 (1)
Jack Rhodes 18 (FG)
Gareth Griffiths 39 (FG)

Saxon Tigers grabbed a narrow 3-2 win over Mercia Lynx in a dramatic match at the Futures Cup. The teams traded goals in an entertaining clash which looked like it would end in a 2-2 draw. However, with seconds left on the clock the ball broke to Zach Wallace who slapped home sparking wild celebrations amongst the Tigers’ players.

The teams treated the spectators to a high quality spectacle with a lot of attacking flair on display. Will Hopkins broke the deadlock in the third minute. The initial shot was saved by Will Hall but Hopkins snapped up the rebound to give the Tigers the lead. The advantage lasted 15 minutes before Jack Rhodes cancelled out the goal making it 1-1. Just before the break Alex Emsden put the Tigers back into the ascendancy.

The Tigers pushed hard for a third goal to try and kill the game off early in the second half. Jake Owen ripped in a fierce penalty corner but was denied by a stunning save from Will Hall, who also recovered to keep out the rebound and then clear the danger. Buoyed by their defensive heroics, the Lynx drew level in the 39th minute. Gareth Griffiths squeezed a shot up and over the goalkeeper to make it 2-2.

Tigers ramped up the pressure but Mercia were still able to create plenty of chances of their own. Hall did well to deny Zach Wallace whilst at the other end Matt Mitcham was called upon to snuff out a promising Mercia Lynx attack with some sterling defensive work. Hall saw off another Tigers’ penalty corner and it looked like it  was going to end all square until Valentine’s late intervention broke the Lynx hearts.     

Wessex Leopards 5 (3)
Henry Baugniet 9 (PS)
Tomek Bruml 10 (FG)
Michael Nicholson 13, 47 (FG, FG)
William Radnedge 69 (FG)

Celtic Jaguars 0 (0)

Three goals in four first half minutes set Wessex Leopards on the way to a comfortable 5-0 win against the Celtic Jaguars in the Boys U18 Futures Cup.

Wessex broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the ninth minute thanks to Henry Baugniet. A minute later the lead was doubled thanks to a strong run from Tomek Bruml who drove across the circle and fired home. Michael Nicholson grabbed his first on 13 minutes, meaning the Leopards went into the break in control.       

In the second half Nicholson applied the finish after a slick move from the Wessex Leopards carved open the defence, his second of the match.

The Jaguars mounted some strong attacks as they attempted to get back into the contest, however with seconds left on the clock; William Radnedge opened his account for the tournament making it 5-0 at the end.

All the fixtures, results and scorers from the Futures Cup can be found here.