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Surprises galore at Norfolk Christian cup finals

2013: The three Norfolk Christian Football League Youth cup finals produced a couple of surprises at Thorpe High School 3G Astroturf pitches on Saturday morning (May 4). Keith Morris reports.

 
NCFL13U12a450First up was the Under 12 final between Heartsease Youth and ENYP, who had recently secured the U12 league title, with Heartsease claiming the runners-up spot.
 
Aiming for revenge, the Heartsease team were on the back foot from the start under pressure from ENYP. But Heartsease opened the scoring with a goal from Kallum Black to go in 1-0 at half-time. Into the second half and with ENYP still doing a lot of attacking, Heartsease managed to double their lead through Harry Lewis and Kallum added a second, direct from a corner kick, to seal a 3-0 win for his side.
 
Heartsease manager Nick Lewis said it was a well-contested match and they played well on the break to secure a first win over their local rivals. ENYP manager, Danny Doran-Smith said: “Well done to Heartsease on their cup win. We were pleased to win the league title in only our second season and it is a really positive experience for all of our lads.”
 

 
NCFL13U14a450The Under 14 cup final was contested by Cringleford Ospreys and St John’s Year 8 side.
 
Favourites Cringleford were put under pressure from a spirited St John’s team in a skilful contest. But the Cringleford front pairing were looking very sharp and from a quick break up-field and a great turn on the edge of the box, Leo Taylor opened the scoring in style. It was quickly followed by a second, equally skilful goal from strike partner Theo Signy.
 
Leo added a third and Cringleford looked like they were cruising to victory but a fight-back from St John’s started just before half time with a free kick followed by a long-range effort from Will Sutton finding the back of the net to narrow the gap.
 
The second half was end-to-end stuff with both teams giving it their all. St John’s were not able to add to their total and Cringleford ran out worthy winners 3-1.
 


 
NCFL13U16b450The Under 16 final between league winners Holy Trinity going for the double and Bowthorpe St Michael’s proved to be a keenly-fought and passionate contest, well controlled by referee Rob Whalen.
 
Favourites Trinity were matched at every turn by Bowthorpe who were well up for the game and opened the scoring through John Lloyd from 15 yards out in the tenth minute. Despite much Trinity pressure, Bowthorpe doubled their lead before half-time with George Mason taking advantage of a mistake by the Trinity keeper Chey Veal.
 
Bowthorpe keeper Taylor Davis had already pulled off several great saves in a man-of-the-match performance and the second half saw more of the same. Trinity piled on the pressure, but it was on the edge of their box that the game took a decisive turn in the tenth minute.
 
Bowthorpe striker Lewis Swatman put in a high challenge for the ball to concede a free kick and receive a blue card and five minutes on the sidelines. However, that was not the end of the matter as Trinity keeper Chey Veal took matters into his own hands and was sent off for violent conduct.
 
Lewis Swatman returned to the pitch with ten minutes to go and sealed the 3-0 win with a 15-yard volley.
 
League chairman, Mike Culwick, summed up an action-packed day of great weather and sizeable crowds: “It was a great turn out, especially for the Under 12 final featuring two local rivals,” he said.
 
“All the games were extremely sporting and well contested. We are now looking forward to the adult finals day at Dereham Town next Saturday, May 11, and then the youth five-a-side tournament at Heartsease Towers on May 18.

Pictures by Robert Varley.