April 12th

STORMING START HELPS ACLE REACH THE FINAL

In the first of the Sunday County Cup Finals, Harleston Town Under 19’s went down 2-0 to Thetford side Labas at the FDC. Despite a superb first half display the youngsters failed to convert four decent chances and were made to pay by their more experienced opponents who scored twice in the second haldf to lift the trophy. Despite the result, it was a great effort from the Harleston lads.

Acle Rangers reached the final of the League Cup after early goals from Adam Faulkes and Mathew Cross saw them storm into an early two goal lead against Farmhouse. Player manager Julian Bussell and Darren Ward then added second half goals to ensure that Rangers reached the final for the second time in three seasons. In the final, to be played on May 10th at the FDC, they will face Poringland Wanderers who came from behind to beat Aslacton 2-1. In a tense first period affected by a strong breeze, there were few clear cut openings for either side, but the visitors went in front when a free kick from James Smith eluded Lee Edwards in the home goal. Poringland responded well though and improved as the half went on. They grabbed the equaliser ten minutes before the break when Dan Cook headed home a corner. The second half began in similar fashion to the first with the strong breeze playing its part in the game, but midway through the second period, another Tom Pitchell corner was met by a superb leap from Matt Cook who powered a header home. That was the end of the scoring although Aslacton had an effort whistle just past the post in the dying minutes. The game was as tight as the scoreline suggests but it means that Poringland reach the final for the first time in eleven years.

In the Premier Division, Riverside Rovers moved to within touching distance of the title after coming from behind to beat The PoW 2-1. Barry Franklin had given the visitors the lead and Rovers were reduced to ten men, but they fought back to take all three points thanks to goals from Jordan Rocastle and Aaron Kay. Victory in their final game next week against Poringland will see them take the title. In the divisions other game late goals by Ben Graver and Wayne Nelson helped Sprowston Rovers to record a 2-0 victory at Spixworth Sunday.

Bungay Town missed the chance to take the 1A title when they suffered their first defeat of the season, going down 4-3 at Windmill Wanderers. The game was won in the first half as they home side took a 4-1 lead before the break thanks to two Tony Palmer strikes and further goals from Gary Walsh and Arran James. Bungay scored two late second half goals but must now win one of their remaining five games to make sure of the title. At the other end of the table Vale Longo recorded a 2-1 (Kevin Brown, Daryl Chapman) home win over Mad Moose. In 1B, champions Schoolhouse completed their league season scoring six (Chris Hall 2, Connor Delaney 2, Rhys Logan, Joshua Bull) without reply as they won at St Faiths.

In 2A, Dilham Cross Keys kept up the pressure on leaders Costessey West End by putting six past Norman Wanderers A. Dilham are now a point behind the pacesetters with both sides having one game left to play. Not only did he score his first senior goal, Andrew Fitchett went on to score a hat trick as Newsman Celtic completed their season with a 4-0 win at Constable Crusaders, Robbie Powell was also on target, whilst The Cottage were 6-1 (Chris Collins 3, Jake McKee 2,  Mark Cage) winners over Fat Cat & Canary. In 2B, Hethersett Athletic finished the season with a victory as they condemned Briston Wanderers to relegation following a 2-0 win. After a goalless first period goals by Blair Luther-Veitch and Nick Benfield gave the home side the points. Salhouse Rovers look in good form in the run up to their Intermediate Cup Final after beating Rileys FC 6-2, whilst SDC Utd finished the season with Clive Riches scoring the only goal in a narrow 1-0 win over Locksley Athletic.

There were two goals from Ashley Macleod in Dynamo’s 2-1 win over Mischief FC, a result that ensured they finished the season in third spot. This became possible as Brooke Res were beaten 3-2 at Winfarthing and will now finish in fourth. Tasburgh Utd had a 6-0 (Terry Green 2, Max Adams, William Morris, Steve Snelling, Tom Kinge) win at Freethorpe FC. In the only game played in 3B, Red Lion ran out 4-2 winners against Hethersett Athletic Res. The league would like to thank Hethersett for being able to source and provide a pitch at very short notice.

The Final round of group matches in the Under 19 cup took place and subsequent results have provided us with a Hellesdon Youth v North Walsham Youth final. Hellesdon reached the final, making it three wins from three as they beat Hethersett Athletic Youth 2-1, whilst Long Stratton finished in second spot of Group A after winning 3-0 (Jack Herbert, Tam Demunga, Kieran Smith) at Blofield Utd. In Group B North Walsham entertained Marlborough knowing that nothing less than victory over their guests would get them a place in the final. An amazing game ensued as Ryan Beeson 4, Charlie Holmes and Grant Johnson all scored in a 6-5 victory. North Walsham will now face Hellesdon inn the final next Sunday (19th) at Sloughbottom, ko 10.30. In the other group game two Mussa Kamara goals helped Thorpe Village to a 2-2 draw against Sprowston Athletic for whom Lewis Meecham and Alfie Bale were on target.