Sedgefield beat 2013 champions Manchester in a hotly contested Boys’ U17 final at the 2015 ASA National Age Group Championships in Manchester.
The game was hanging in the balance from the first whistle to the last but Sedgefield – who won the U15 Championships last season – hung on to claim an 8-7 win to lift the title for the third time in their history and the first time since 2006.
After being named tournament MVP, Sedgefield captain John Pratt admitted the team had pulled together well at the Finals weekend, having also come through a tight semi-final against Exeter the previous day.
“It was a very close final but as a team we did well to stick together,” said Pratt.
“The younger ones rose up to the challenge and the ones that won the U15 title last year really showed what they can do.
“All the four teams in these semi-finals could have won it – it was really tight in both our semi and final and we’ve played very well to come through both.”
Manchester’s Andrew Mattison has been the North West side’s goal threat throughout this year’s tournament and he came out swinging, scoring two goals within a minute of each other.
Pratt threw one back to get his team’s first goal, but Ben Ray of Manchester pushed the lead further to finish the first quarter 3-1.
Sedgefield brought the score level in the second quarter with goals from Pratt and Isaac Wass leaving it all to play for in the third and fourth quarters.
Mattison claimed his hat-trick in the third quarter for Manchester, but the lead was short lived. Pratt equalised for Sedgefield with his hat-trick penalty goal, followed by goals from Jake Plant and a second for Isaac Wass.
Connor Keeble pushed Sedgefield’s lead in the final quarter and Pratt continued his streak by putting in a fourth goal, making the score 8-4 with four minutes to play.
Manchester fought hard and scored a further three goals in the last two and a half minutes of the game, but, while their home crowd were roaring them home, they couldn’t fashion a last gasp equaliser.
Exeter hold off Invicta to claim U17 bronze
The U17 Boys Bronze medal match was also intense, though Exeter kept their lead against Invicta throughout in a 13-11 win.
Tom Hutchins of Exeter scored a hat-trick in the first quarter, giving his team a clear advantage from the start. Maclaren Crawford managed to put one past the Exeter keeper at the midway point, but the quarter finished 3-1.
Crawford showed he was in top form by hitting a hat-trick in the second quarter, and then again in the final quarter to bring his total match tally to seven goals.
Exeter’s Bradley Watts also put in a hat-trick in the final quarter to help counter the London side’s charge and ensure his team left with a medal.
- Click here to download simplified match sheets from the U17 Boys’ Finals.
Boys U17 Finals
|U17 Boys Semi Finals|
|Invicta||8 – 12||City of Manchester||FT|
|Exeter||9 – 11||Sedgefield||FT|
|U17 Boys Bronze Medal Match|
|Invicta||11 – 13||Exeter||FT|
|U17 Boys Final|
|City of Manchester||7 – 8||Sedgefield||FT|