Futures Cup Day Four

Sunday saw the culmination of the 2010 Futures Cup with four teams named Champions on a day of heart-stopping late excitement.

Man Group plc logoSupported by Man, a world-leading alternative investment manager, the Futures Cup is designed to replicate the professional environment of an international hockey tournament.  It represents the culmination of months of development, training, competition and selection for young players and officials as part of England Hockey’s long term development strategy, the Single System.

The Saxon Tigers U16 girls secured the 2010 Futures Cup title with a 4-1 victory over the Wessex Leopards girls.  In the process they took their ‘goals for’ tally to 13 in three games, conceding just two in the process.  Sevenoaks’ Lily Elliot opened the scoring in the fifth minute from the penalty spot and teammate Sophie Newton, who plays for Surbiton, soon followed up with goals two and three from penalty corners.  Teddington’s Ellen Paterson pulled one back before halftime but Southgate’s Megan Crowson made it 4-1 with a goal from open play six minutes from time to confirm the Tigers U16 girls as 2010 Futures Cup champions.  There was an exciting finish in the match that determined second place as the Mercia Lynx U16 girls scored a late equaliser to share the points and seal second, snatching it from the grasp of their opponents, the Pennine Pumas.  Sheffield’s Emma Mackie had put the Pumas ahead from a penalty corner on 57 minutes but with just three minutes remaining Pelicans’ Francesca Ruffell scored for the Lynx, also from a corner, to make it 1-1.

U16 Girls Tournament Final Placings:
1. Saxon Tigers
2. Mercia Lynx
3. Wessex Leopards
4. Pennine Pumas

Saxon Tigers U16 girls team photo celebrating winning the 2010 Futures Cup

The Saxon Tigers were also victorious In the U16 boys’ tournament as the boys in yellow topped the table with nine points from a possible nine, finishing with an even better record than their female counterparts, scoring 15 and conceding just once.  Behind the Tigers it was almost impossible to separate the sides as the Wessex Leopards, Mercia Lynx and Pennine Pumas all finished level on three points, separated by goal difference - and in the case of the Wessex Leopards and the Mercia Lynx, on goals scored.  In the early match between the Wessex Leopards U16 boys and the Mercia Lynx boys, two goals in as many second half minutes from Leek’s Elliot White turned around a 2-1 deficit to help the Lynx to a 3-2 victory.  Earlier, Rugby & East Warwickshire’s James Simpson had opened the scoring for the Lynx only to see Winchester’s Ryan Younger cancel out his strike and Taunton Vale’s Matthew Richards put the Leopards ahead from a penalty stroke in the 56th minute.  But White’s two goals, in the 58th and 60th minutes propelled Mercia Lynx to victory and third in the table, behind the Leopards by just one goal.  For the Tigers, who subsequently took to the pitch knowing they were already assured of top spot, a 6-0 win over the Pennine Pumas was the icing on the cake.  A double from Surbiton’s James Gall meant he finished the tournament as the U16 boys’ top scorer on four.   Oliver Bull (Bishop’s Stortford) had doubled the Tigers’ half time lead after Gall’s first and three goals in six second half minutes from Luca Petrozzi (Bromley & Beckenham), Will Blyth (Harleston Magpies) and Will Furlong (Hailsham) took the Saxon Tigers out of touch before Gall wrapped things up with a 63rd minute penalty corner.

U16 Boys Tournament Final Placings:
1. Saxon Tigers
2. Wessex Leopards
3. Mercia Lynx
4. Pennine Pumas

Saxon Tigers U16 boys team photo celebrating winning the 2010 Futures Cup

In the both the girls’ and boys’ U18 tournaments there was drama aplenty as the sides battled it out in the final classification matches.  Three of the four games were decided by last minute winners while in the U18 girls’ third/fourth place playoff, a 1-1 draw sent the match to penalty strokes.  After a goalless first half in the match between the Mercia Lynx and Pennine Pumas, Katy Bacon (Wakefield Bradford) put the Pumas U18 girls ahead four minutes after the re-start but with seven minutes remaining Buckingham’s Lauren Thomas equalised for Mercia Lynx to send the match to penalty strokes.  In a tight contest, it was the Pumas who prevailed, winning the penalty stroke competition 4-3 and with it, securing third place. Even more dramatically, in the U18 girls’ final, the Wessex Leopards (pictured) won the 2010 Futures Cup as they came from 2-0 down, successfully converting three penalty corners to triumph 3-2.  That the third goal came in the 70th minute from Havant’s Rebecca Vanberkel was a bitter pill for the Saxon Tigers to swallow after Old Loughtonians’ Emily Defroand had put them into an early lead after just six minutes.  Surbiton’s Jasmine James doubled the Tigers’ lead from a 14th minute penalty corner but just over five minutes before halftime Olivia Chilton (Teddington) sparked the comeback with a penalty corner conversion of her own.  Chichester’s Charlotte Cox levelled for the Leopards on 46 minutes but with neither side able to net again the U18 girls’ final looked to be heading to penalties, just as it had in 2008.  That was until Vanberkel slotted home in the very last minute to complete a remarkable comeback for the Wessex Leopards.

U18 Girls Tournament Final Placings:
1. Wessex Leopards
2. Saxon Tigers
3. Pennine Pumas
4. Mercia Lynx

Wessex Leopards U18 girls team photo celebrating winning the 2010 Futures Cup

And there were two last minute winners in the boys’ classification matches as the Wessex Leopards beat the Pennine Pumas to seal third place and the Mercia Lynx boys won a seven goal thriller to clinch the U18 boys’ Futures Cup title.  In the third place playoff, the Pennine Pumas had rallied well from going 2-0 down by halftime to draw level with ten minutes remaining. Goals from Sam French (Ben Rhydding) and Martyn Lear (Deeside Ramblers) had cancelled out Josh Hood’s (Exeter University) opener and Luke Emmett’s second for the Leopards.  But a goal in the final minute from Cheltenham’s Ali Parker stole back victory for the Wessex Leopards.  In an action packed U18 boys final, the Mercia Lynx and Saxon Tigers shared seven goals with two players netting braces and the Lynx boys winning with a goal from Liam Ansell in the last minute. A double from Telford’s David Goodfield and one from Cannock’s Christian Beck, sandwiching Luke Taylor’s (East Grinstead) 21st minute goal for the Tigers, put the Lynx 3-1 up at half time.  But Taylor’s second and a quick follow up from Ashford’s James Spain levelled things with just 39 minutes played and that was how it stayed until Wycombe’s Ansell converted a last minute penalty corner to make it 4-3 to the Mercia Lynx boys, sealing the Lynx’ first U18 boys Futures Cup title.

U18 Boys Tournament Final Placings:
1. Mercia Lynx
2. Saxon Tigers
3. Wessex Leopards
4. Pennine Pumas

Mercia Lynx U18 boys team photo celebrating winning the 2010 Futures Cup

See the final tables, top scorers list and a round up of all the week's results at www.englandhockey.co.uk/futurescup

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