U18 Boys National Indoor Finals – Phoenix Leisure Village, Dawley, Telford
Harleston Magpies Report
Surbiton 6 – 1 Magpies
Magpies opened their defence of their national title with a tough looking game against Surbiton. Surbiton quickly took control of the game opening up a 4-0 lead, which could have been more but for some superb saves by Will Graver. The second half was much tighter as Magpies pressed better and started to exert pressure in the attacking half. However, Surbiton extended their lead before Sam Paterson grabbed a deserved goal. Unfortunately, Magpies conceded another goal to see Surbiton close out the game as 6-1 winners.
Ashmoor 2 – 3 Magpies
Knowing 3-points were vital from their second game, Magpies started well outsmarting the Ashmoor press and forcing a number of good opportunities. Eventually, the deadlock was broken by Archie Winter as Magpies took the lead. Unfortunately, Ashmoor grabbed an equaliser just before half-time to see the score level at 1-1. With vociferous support now cheering them on, Ashmoor took a surprise lead in the second half. Magpies didn’t panic, stuck to their game plan and were rewarded when Archie scored his second of the game. Magpies were now in control of the match and a flowing team move resulted in Vincent Leruth scoring the third. The final couple of minutes were frenetic but Magpies held their nerve to secure a 3-2 victory.
Timperley 2 – 5 Magpies
Taking a lot of confidence from the victory the previous evening, Magpies started strongly against Timperley and raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time courtesy of a goal from captain Myles King and a brace for Jack Hobbs. The game was effectively over shortly into the second half with another goal from Myles and one for Sam. With an opportunity to rest legs the final few minutes were a little scrappy as Magpies used their bench, allowing Timperley to grab a couple of consolation goals. However, Magpies closed the game out as Timperley lost their discipline spending most of the final few minutes with at least one of their players in the sin bin.
Lichfield 1 – 5 Magpies
The final game would see the winner advance to the semi-final. With confidence high Magpies were the quicker team to settle and, as in their previous game, raced into a 3-0 lead with 2 goals from Myles and one from Sol Barker. Lichfield threatened briefly at the start of the second half but the goal they scored galvanised Magpies with Matt Bensly and Sam scoring twice more to seal a comfortable 5-1 win.
Canterbury 4 – 2 Magpies
Having improved as the tournament progressed Magpies, whilst underdogs, new they had every chance to progress to the final. Both sides set-up well and the first few minutes were very even. Magpies went closest to scoring but the final touch just eluded them. Half-time 0-0. The second half saw Canterbury slowly take control and with a good short-corner routine they moved out to a 4-0 lead. Magpies, though, were always in it and goals from Archie and Sam narrowed the gap and ensured Magpies were on the front foot for the final few minutes. However, Canterbury defended very well and closed out the game as 4-2 winners.
Magpies should be very proud of themselves for their effort and commitment across the weekend. Starting slowly but improving game on game they thoroughly deserved their semi-final spot and only narrowly lost out on making the final in which Surbiton beat Canterbury. The tactical input from coach Richard Larkin, who was superb all weekend, was invaluable and the boys executed the game plan excellently in every match. This was a big squad effort and everyone played their part, which made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
A big thanks to all the supporters that made the trip to Telford and for your support and encouragement across the whole weekend.
Squad – Will Graver (GK), Myles King (C), Sam Paterson, Jonty Herschel-Shorland, Sol Barker, Ben Kilburn, Matt Bensly, Kieran Peters, Archie Winter, Jack Hobbs, Jolyon Summers, Vincent Leruth.
Coach – Richard Larkin
Manager – Stuart Peters