Whitchurch Panthers pounce to secure the championship title in real style
WHITCHURCH Panthers Under-11s finished up as champions of Division D in their first campaign after winning every match this season.
They wrapped it all up in style courtesy of a 10-3 victory against Downend Colts over two competitive games, the first of which saw a Bradley Skidmore hat-trick and Kieran Lefeuvre strike, with assists by Laurence Hellings and Karam Alkhateib and some great one-on-one saves from keeper Kian Strange, in a 4-2 opening-game success.
The first half of game two was evenly matched, but the rampant Panthers eventually ran out 6-1 winners thanks to five Sammy Whittingham goals and a great Haidyn Bradwell effort.
Archie Atkins, Oliver Loveridge and Moses Baumann all provided assists while some terrific defensive work from Kian Luke and Lucas Sellars helped ensure the Whitchurch rearguard remained firmly intact.
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Meanwhile, in the A Division, Mangotsfield United Under-11s romped to an 8-1 aggregate victory away against Ashton Boys. Bailey Sloper and Ryan Evans both scored impressive hat-tricks in the opening game to help see flying Field to a 6-1 win. Aaron Jones was the architect behind much of the good work as he controlled the midfield, while Malachy Langford and Luke Bailey both set up Mangos' goals.
The second game was a tighter affair, but the Mangos went ahead as Callum Date fired home a penalty after Kieran Joseph, putting in a stunning midfield display, was fouled in the area. They struck again when Aaron Hudd netted from close range, while top defending by Kieran Murray and Joel Cassar, and a superb penalty save from keeper Aidan Connolly, kept out spirited Ashton as Field claimed the contest 2-0.
Mangotsfield United Under-10s continued their bright start to the year with a deserved 7-1 Division A victory over a determined Whitchurch Sports team.
Mangos were solid throughout the first game, led by the impressive Ellis Parker between the sticks and the lively presence of Tommy Backwell upfront, who capped a great performance with a well-taken brace in a 5-0 win.
Will Ashton weighed in with a memorable hat-trick, the pick of his goals a well-taken free-kick into the top right corner.
Harry Jefferies, Tom Garland and Sonnny Tucker all weighed in with impressive performances, while Max Wiltshire's dogged tackling and fine distribution earned him man-of-the-match.
Dan Northcott enjoyed a fine day for Mangos as his well-taken brace earned him the star man award in the second game, Jacob Glover making a string of impressive saves to keep 'Church's scoring down to a solitary strike as Field claimed the honours 2-1.
Meanwhile, two great games ended with Stoke Lane Under-10s taking all three points from a cracking Division C encounter with Deerswood. Lane won the first game 1-0 through a Charlie Sagar strike following good work by Cameron Tuckett and Lewis Evans.
And they came out all guns blazing in the second game too as man-of-the-match Nick Clements put them 1-0 up early on and moments later Oakley Dawes' quick free-kick fooled everyone and crashed into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Dawes then sent through Jonanthan Mead to finish with a fine run and strike before Clements grabbed his second to make it 4-0.
Deerswood came fighting back bravely in the final ten minutes to score three goals and reduce the second-game arrears to 4-3 and 5-3 overall.
Thornbury Town Under-9s increased their lead at the Division C summit with a 4-1 away victory over Whitchurch Sports Juniors. Town produced good passing and link-up play but couldn't force the early breakthrough in the opening encounter, despite eager running from Ben King and Nathan Cockle.
Man-of-the-match Charlie Moss was outstanding for Thornbury and opened the scoring in the second half with an unstoppable free-kick from the edge of the box, before Tomas Gaynor followed it up with a quick second goal for his team.
Thorns had to survive a missed Whitchurch penalty before completing a 2-0 win.
The second game was a tight one too, but star performer George Baker made the difference for Thornbury in the first half with some individual trickery in the box to find space and deftly slot in two goals.
Whitchurch pulled one back at the start of the second half and a tense tussle ebbed and flowed after that. But decisive handling by James Walker, coupled with commitment and courage from Peter Gregory and Joe Pearman, enabled Thornbury to close out the game 2-1.
In the same division, third-placed Warmley Rangers Under-9s stretched their unbeaten run to four games with a hard-fought 5-4 victory away against Bradley Stoke United.
Warmley won the first match 3-2 with two well-taken goals from their star man Dillon Monks and a tidy James Northall finish following a goalmouth scramble. The second game was an end-to-end affair which finished 2-2 after a lengthy injury-time period saw Rangers hang on to their aggregate lead with some valiant defending, while Tom Williams and Lewis George grabbed the Warmley goals.
Joe Lock was outstanding in the Rangers midfield with a man-of-the-match display.