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Dramatic and historic win in Bishop's Cup final 

BishopsCupUEATrinity450One of the closest Bishop’s Cup finals for many years was fought out in Norwich yesterday in front of a crowd of around 80 people and saw underdogs Holy Trinity snatch a dramatic and historic late win from favourites and cup holders UEA Rovers. Keith Morris reports.

The Norfolk Christian Football League's Bishop Maurice Wood Cup final took place at the Norfolk FA Football Development Centre at Bowthorpe near Norwich on Saturday May 10.
UEA Rovers, who reached the semi-finals of the National Christian Cup earlier in the season, were fancied against Holy Trinity, who were bolstered by several players back from university.
Trinity started strongly and soon had UEA on the back foot. On 25 minutes Trinity took the lead after a powerful header by Edward Allen from a corner.
Trinity kept pressing and hit the bar five minutes later and then forced a penalty given by referee Rob Whalen on 32 minutes after a foul on the edge of the box. The penalty, from Tim Henery, was brilliantly saved low down to his left by UEA keeper Charlie Savage to keep his side in the game.
The second half was a more tense, even affair, and it was not until 70 minutes that UEA managed to draw level when Jonny Lim got to a low cross and poked the ball home.
BishopsCup14UEATrinity450Just two minutes later, a determined Trinity took the lead again when a breakaway left substitute Niall Baker with just the keeper to beat, which he did comfortably.
UEA were getting desperate by now and just five minutes from time they were rewarded when a corner was volleyed into the net by Harry Smith.
The first half of extra time remained goalless and time was running out in the second period when, following good work by Raphael Gure on the left of the box, Jamie Platten scored the winning goal from close in.
UEA threw everything at Trinity who held on for a well-deserved and historic 3-2 victory.
One of the league’s founder members from 1978, Holy Trinity have won the league itself six times but never in 35 years have they won the prestigious Bishop’s Cup.
The cup was appropriately presented to Holy Trinity by league founder member Derek Cate who was also presented with the Sam Hollinger Long Service Trophy. Derek played in the first-ever recorded inter-church football match in Norwich on Boxing Day 1967 between Surrey Chapel and South Park Chapel. This game started off the process towards the formation of a league proper in 1978. Derek is still on the league’s council of reference.

Shield14Kings450In the afternoon, a crowd of around 40 saw King’s Palace and King’s United go head-to-head in the Wroxham Road Shield final, also at the FDC in Bowthorpe.
Towering 6ft 9in defender Matt Buxton headed Palace into the lead on 15 minutes from a corner. United equalised with a penalty given by referee Mark Ayliffe on the stroke of half time and converted by Phil Spence.
Palace took control after 60 minutes following a huge Buxton throw, headed in by pint-sized striker Al Coulson. The game was wrapped up on 65 minutes when a great through ball by Henry Aspin was side-footed home by Markus Rau to give Palace a 3-1 win.
Palace were presented with the Shield and the league’s Fellowship Trophy, by Norwich-based Care for Children CEO, Robert Glover, a former trainee with Norwich City and player for Portsmouth FC.
League vice chairman, Jim Green, said: “The whole day at the FDC was a wonderful day with a real sense of occasion. The Bishop’s Cup final was the best and closest final that I can remember in recent years. Well done to players and supporters alike who contributed to a memorable day.”

Published: 11/05/2014