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Northampton claim second place in Youth league 2017

Author: jon, 24/10/17

U16 2017

The last game of the season. The match for first place...we needed to win by 5...

Traveling to Cheltenham for an 8pm kick-off Sunday night Northampton needed to win by 5 Goals to claim top spot in the final game of the league. The season had taken 6 months to get to the final game. Which had moved from July due to a regional clash. Northampton had beaten Warley, Solihull, Hansworth Grammar School OB, Boldmere and Warwick both Home and away to leave them needing to overturn a 13-9 home defeat against Cheltenham in the return leg and Final game of the season. With a fit almost full squad the players warmed to the task. With Chris Leeke making numerous defensive tackles against the Cheltenham attacker (Charlie) and easily winning the battle between them stopping the Cheltenham top scorer in his tracks - which was no mean feat as Charlie is 6’3” and averages over 6 goals a game – so to not score was an amazing job. Doubling the pit left James Bushell the task of saving one on ones with weaker players which he did time and again. Only being beaten by accurate lobs and post deflections.  3-2 the score in the first quarter. Some dubious refereeing and officiating saw Iestyn Hughes sent from the pool for his third exclusion in only the second period - however coaches and spectators only had 2 recorded against him - this massively impacted our ability to settle the team and control the progress of the ball to the goal. The team rallied finished the third quarter 9-11 a lead until the fourth period where Cheltenham pulled level on 12-12 with 1m39sec to play. The Cheltenham coach finding his voice to bellow incoherent directions to his team contrasted to the Northampton coach Kevin Spencer who managed to retain his cool letting the team play the game they have been training for. The final goal scored by Charlie Lane saw the lead pass to Northampton with just 41 seconds remaining- the remainder of the game a cat and mouse with Northampton keeping possession for as long as possible while Cheltenham scurried round trying to steal it.- to no avail. Final score 12-13 to Northampton. The first defeat for Cheltenham in this league for 2 years! But the first of many we hope.

NSB boys: Charlie Lane (2), Sam Judge, Iestyn Hughes(3), James Bushell, James Connolly,

Externals: Jess Roberts, Chris Leeke, Euan Eyres(1), James Evans(3),Will O’Sullivan(4)

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