Under 16 Jets Cup Winners 2015-16

 

On Saturday 21st May 2016, the Under 16 Invitational Cup Final was held at Plymyards playing fields on Bridle Road in Eastham. The two teams contesting the game were Eastham Rangers Jets and the opposition was Hope Farm Juniors. The league meetings between the two teams had ended in wins for both teams, and so the contest would be an interesting and close encounter, with the result being impossible to predict. Before the kick off, there was a line up and a respect hand shake between both teams and the officials.

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The game kicked off as scheduled at 10:00 AM, and after a lightening start the opening goal was scored by Eastham Rangers after some great defensive work and a quick counter attack on the stroke of 6 minutes. After another 20 minutes the heavens opened and the rain came down in sheets, drenching the players and spectators alike and leaving the ground difficult to play on. As the game ebbed and flowed, Eastham Rangers could have scored another 3 or 4 goals but their finishing was hampered by the weather. Around 5 minutes before the half time whistle blew, Eastham Rangers made a defensive error and didn’t clear the ball adequately which resulted in Hope Farm scoring an equalising goal.

 

The second half kicked off as the sun came through the clouds, brightening the spirits of both the players and the spectators. The half time team talks by the managers must have worked well as both teams exploded into action from the whistle, resulting in an extremely competitive opening 10 minutes. The pressure from Eastham Rangers began to tell, and led to them scoring a well taken goal, putting them 2 – 1 up. The game again flowed from end to end, with both sides having chances to score, but there were no more goals for another 15 minutes due to some great defending from both teams. Then suddenly the referee gave Hope Farm a penalty after an Eastham Rangers defender was judged to have brought down the forward in the box, but nobody else agreed with the official. The scores were then levelled at 2 – 2.

 

With only around 12 minutes left to play, with a couple of substitutions, (one forced due to injury), and a little re-organising, Eastham Rangers pressed on and managed to score another goal making the score 3 – 2. Hope Farm continued to pile on the pressure and very nearly equalised yet again but were met with some resolute defending from Eastham Rangers, who were defending from the front, with the forwards doing a great job closing down the Hope Farm defenders and not allowing them time to pick the pass to their midfield or forwards. Eastham Rangers next goal came from one of these forwards picking the pocket of one of the Hope Farm defenders. The fifth and final goal for Eastham Rangers came from a free kick from the right hand side, that was floated deep in to the penalty box towards the far post, which the Hope Farm goalkeeper jumped for the ball and it somehow slipped through  his grasp and just squeezed inside the post. A couple of minutes later the final whistle blew, ending what was a very competitive and sporting game, with a well deserved victory for Eastham Rangers.

 

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Following the game, there was a presentation ceremony from the league which was held outside the changing rooms, next to the car park. Hope Farm were presented with their Runners up Medals…….

 

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And then Eastham Rangers were presented with the Winners Medals, and the Winners trophy…….

 

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The team then thought that the best way of celebrating  was to copy an American Football team tradition and to absolutely soak the coach!!!!!

 

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The day ended on a high note despite the unexpected bad weather. The game was a great advertisement for junior football, especially at the older age group, and a number of passers by stopped to watch the game and stated how much they enjoyed the competition. The victory for Eastham Rangers was a well deserved one, made possible by their hard work in training and their efforts and team building throughout the whole season, and the improvements they have made as individuals and together as a team. The coach is extremely proud of the whole team and the way they played and conducted themselves. Well done the Jets. Smile

 

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