Golden Double for Mercia Lynx at Futures Cup

Mercia Lynx U15 Girls celebrate FC 2018
Mercia Lynx clinched a sensational Futures Cup 2018 double as they claimed both the Boys’ and Girls’ U15 titles in dramatic fashion.

Mercia Lynx - U15B Champions FC 2018

The boys eventually emerged as 5-3 victors over Pennine Pumas but it was far from plain sailing.

Last year’s fourth-placed finishers looked to have the title sealed at half-time as they raced into a three goal lead thanks to Alex Murdoch, Tobias Chan and an Ed Marshall corner on the stroke of half-time.

Archie Gallimore then added a fourth in the 36th minute with a field goal that looked to have secured the win, but Pumas hit back just seconds later through Archie Vaughan to give themselves hope.

They grew into the game thereafter and found a second at the end of the third quarter through Michael Greenwood, before Pumas’ Player of the Tournament Tom Moorhouse set up a grandstand final six minutes with a fine finish from a corner.

But Lynx held firm and sealed the win in the 58th minute as Gallimore took advantage of Pumas having a kicking back to slot home his second of the game from a corner.

Mercia Lynx - U15G Champions FC 2018

The goalkeepers were to prove the heroes for Lynx U15 Girls’ team though as retained the title they won last year on a shootout after the game finished 0-0 in regulation time.

In a tight and attritional affair, Abigail Miller pulled off two fine saves in the second half as Pumas pushed hard, seeking to avenge last year’s final loss to Lynx.

Tessa Shahbo then came to the fore in the shootout, not conceding a single goal, while Tasmin Cookman was coolness personified as she scored the crucial second for Lynx.

The fight for the U15 Boys’ bronze medal also saw a cracking game played out, with Wessex Leopards coming out on top of an eight goal thriller as they also won 5-3 against Saxon Tigers.

Giles Hocking, Rory Buckeridge, Alex Beckett, Rory Penrose and Bobby Cound found the target for Leopards, while Callum Brown-Lea, Stewart Cuff and Harvey Edwards scored for Tigers but to no avail.

Tigers got their revenge in the U15 Girls’ bronze medal game though as they put five of their own past last year’s bronze medallists Wessex Leopards.

Captain Maddie Axford once again led from the front with two fine goals, while Florence Miller also scored twice and Eloise Richards bagged her third goal of the tournament, with only Amy Beckett scoring in response for Leopards.

Caledonian Cougars secured both fifth places in the U15 draw, with Ava Smith (2) and Ellie Rutherford on target as the girls beat Celtic Cougars 3-1 – with only Katie Gwyther able to respond – while captain Euan Menzies’ goal was enough to secure a 1-0 win for the boys over the same opponents.

U15 Boys’ Final Standings

1) Mercia Lynx
2) Pennine Pumas
3) Wessex Leopards
4) Saxon Tigers
5) Caledonian Cougars
6) Celtic Jaguars

U15 Girls’ Final Standings

1) Mercia Lynx
2) Pennine Pumas
3) Saxon Tigers
4) Wessex Leopards
5) Caledonian Cougars
6) Celtic Jaguars