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Winners crowned at Norfolk Christian youth finals 

NCFLYouthCupU12x450Three Norfolk Christian Youth League cup finals produced plenty of goals and close-fought games at Thorpe High School 3G Astroturf pitches on Saturday morning (May 3). Keith Morris reports.

First up was the Under 12 final between league winners Brooke Adventurers, who secured the title in the final week of the season, and runners-up Heartsease Youth who were looking to claim some silverware to end o great season.
Harry Lewis broke the deadlock in the tenth minute to put Heartsease ahead and a penalty for a foul just inside the box gave Dylan Betts the chance to put Heartsease 2-0 up. Kian Smith scored a third just before half time with a cracking shot into the top corner.
Continuing strongly in the second half, Brandon Reynolds and Joshua Phillips completed the scoring for a comprehensive 5-0 win for Heartsease.
Heartsease manager Nick Lewis paid tribute to opponents Brooke, saying: “I want to give Brooke credit as we had several close ding-dong battles with them during the league season.”
The Under 14 final was contested by league winners Bowthorpe St Michael, who also secured the title in their final game, from their cup final opponents and runners-up ENYP.
A tight, well-contested, skilful game was opened up after five minutes by a mistake from the Bowthorpe keeper who let a shot from Coren Norman creep past him.
Bowthorpe came back strongly but could not get on the scoresheet and a disciplined ENYP went further ahead after 17 minutes when Jai Girling scored a second. However hard they tried, Bowthorpe could not break down a determined ENYP who saw the game out for a 2-0 win.      
Last final of the day was the Under 16 one between league runners-up Holy Trinity (Red), who lost out on the league title by goal difference only to Cringleford Kestrels, and Lighthouse from Sheringham.
A cagey opening ended with Lighthouse taking the lead after a long through ball and a controlled low shot from Lewis Smith on ten minutes.
Holy Trinity responded strongly with an equalizer after another breakaway ended with a goal for Trinity from Danny Baker five minutes later.
Stalemate ensued well into the second half when Danny Baker scored his second for Trinity to nudge them ahead. Three minutes later, Ryan Ellis added a third to secure the cup for his side 3-1.
Referees Rob Whalen and Chris Allen both had good games with no trouble from on the pitch or the sidelines.
League chairman, Mike Culwick, who presented the trophies, said: “All the finals were played in an excellent spirit. The boys were magnificent, the managers were great and the parents were wonderful in their support of all the players involved.
“In the Christian league were find that parents are always well behaved, really appreciate what the league stands for and the ethos of fair play and playing in a good spirit.
“We have 35 teams and over 500 players taking part every Saturday and very few incidents. The three older leagues were closely fought this year and all went down to the last games of the season. The Under 10 league is not yet finished.
“We are always keen to hear from new churches who want to get involved, even if it is several churches getting together. Our Under 10 league doubled in size this season which is very encouraging. We find that a lot of parents and their children coming up from under 10s want to continue playing Saturday football and not switch to Sundays. All new teams need to have a church connection or sponsor involved in their management in some way.
“We want churches to recognize that this is really mission work in their parishes and communities. That is what we are all about and our aim is to connect churches with their communities through football.”
For more information visit www.norfolkcfl.co.uk

NFCL Adult Cup Final - Saturday May 10

Please come and show your support for the teams in the NCFL Bishop Maurice Woods cup finals.

10:30am KO Bishop's Cup Final: Holy Trinity v UEA or St John's
1:30pm KO Shield Final: Kings palace v Kings United

The matches are taking place at the FDC in Bowthorpe. There is a £2 entry fee on the day. 
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