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A sunny Saturday morning greeted the players and fans who were eagerly anticipating the Year 7 final against local rivals Maltby. Wickersley sports facilities were buzzing on finals day as all year group netballers and footballers competed to get their hands on the silverware on offer.
Wickersley had done so well to get to the final after big wins recently against Wingfield and Aston.
As the clocks hit 9am the squad turned up, smart in their uniform and stayed calm in the changing room, focusing themselves for the task ahead. The boys had their heads on it and there was a bumper crowd ready to support them on.
Wickersley started strongly with Mason McQuillin causing problems down the left wing. Wickersley looked up for it but chances were at a premium and despite long range efforts from both captain Cohen Lee and his midfield partner Robbie Lynam, they couldn’t test the keeper. Jonah Boucher was looking lively down the right and he forced the first good save from the Maltby keeper as he parried a close range effort.
Wickersley looked dangerous and they needed to make the pressure pay. Cohen Lee was trying to unlock the door and drive his team forward and it was his long range through ball that found the pacey forward, Chrissy Clement, who dashed on to the pass to nick it round the keeper. Jubilation for the hard-working striker who opened the scoring.
Maltby came back into the game and they had a good spell after the opening goal. A chance fell to their left winger who found space in the box, he drove a low shot towards the bottom corner, but Harley Wardle with unbelievable reactions got down quick with a strong left hand to parry it out. What a save!
Maltby came again and struck another great shot high toward the same corner, Wardle again sprung to his left and made another amazing stop. The keeper was keeping Wickersley in the lead.
Tristan Woodward came off the bench to replace Boosh on the right. Woodward instantly looked sharp and he showed fantastic footwork. He burst in behind the full back and smashed it home into the bottom left corner. A huge goal for Woodward.
Wardle rolled it out to left back Dufty who is always calm in possession, he found Ellis Jones who impressively beat two men down the left and he found Woodward in the box, who beat his man and fired into the same corner again. Another superb finish by the tricky winger. What a team goal. All the way from the goalkeeper to the net.
Wickersley looked good now and were deserving their lead. Finley Hobson was having a superb game at right back. Oliver Mountain was, as always bossing the back line. He mopped up a dangerous attack as their winger got into the box. But nobody gets past the man Mountian Oli, he made a big challenge and kept them out. Robbie Lynam was owning the midfield with with captain Cohen. Lynam was ratting around winning the ball back. His attitude and effort was driving the boys on with some big challenges and neat play.
Half time – 3-0
Wickersley were up for it at half time. They knew Maltby could get back into the game if they scored the next goal and we had to start the second half on the front foot.
They did just that, only five seconds into the second period and Woodward who was now cruising on confidence beat three men and found the bottom corner again. A Cup Final hattrick for Woodward. What an achievement for the lightning quick forward. A proud moment for him, he had come on and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.
Wickersley then got a penalty after hand ball.
Captain Cohen who had been trying hard to ping one from distance took responsibility and rifled it home convincingly. Fantastic from the leader.
Charlie Brittain had come on up front and the big man was proving awkward to deal with for the Maltby defence. He showed great composure to turn in the box and poke home. A deserved goal for the rangey striker.
Boosh was back on the field on the left wing with TC, Tom Carr on the right wing and the diminutive pacey wingers were now running the Maltby back line ragged. Boosh was on fire and he ran into the box to fire under the keeper to get himself on the score sheet. A back flip to celebrate as well!
The whole team were now in buoyant form. They were keeping the ball well and playing for each other. Magic Mac and Woodward were now in midfield and this allowed Wickersley to continue pushing forwards.
A Boosh corner was wonderfully hammered home by Magic Mac who got himself in on the act.
Mac was now in the mood and he fancied another, he beat his man on the edge of the box and curled home a thumping effort into the top bins from twenty yards. Goal of the game from the little magician. His seconded in the final.
Lynam had returned to the pitch and was the perfect anchor to allow the forwards to do their stuff. Hobson, Ellis, Mountain and Dufters were solid as a rock all game. They never gave the opposition a sniff of a chance.
Jonah Boosh was tearing down the left wing. Twisting and turning himself into the box again, to grab his second of the game.
Boosh was not done, he was set free again by Mac after good hold up play from Brittain. And the mini winger completed his hattrick. What an awesome performance to get three in a cup final. Brilliant work Boosh.
Wickersley were not done there as Mac and Brittain set up TC, he showed great skill to get himself a shooting opportunity and wow did he finish. TC bent it into the top corner. A fantastic finish from the hard working speedy wide man. His superb work ethic and attitude deservedly getting him a goal.
The whistle blew on a memorable final. Wickersley are the 2019 Rotherham Champions. The best performance of the season at the best possible time. A 12-0 win was above all expectations. Passion, team work, determination and high class ability shone through. This team are a total credit to the school and themselves. They are a wonderful bunch of young lads who play in the right attitude and in the right way.
Every single one of them were outstanding today, from Wardle at the back who made two big saves at an important time in the game. To Hobson, Mountain, Dufty and Jones who controlled the game with assurance and calmness. Captain Cohen, Magic Mac were creative and lead the team superbly. Boosh, TC and Clem were pacey and dangerous all game. Brittain caused so many problems in the second half.
Man of the match was a joint award.
Tristan Woodward came on an changed the game. His quick feet, raw pace and cool finishing grabbed him a cup final hattrick. He was a constant threat and stepped up in the biggest game of the season.
And Robbie Lynam, what a superstar this young man is. He does the dirty work that allows the forwards to go and do their stuff. He won the ball back so many times, breaking up their attacks, calmness in possession and some big tackles. Man of the match in a final is not easy when others are scoring the goals around you but it shows how important he is to this team.
Well done Wickersley Year 7s, you are the champions!!! Breaking the record for most goals in a Rotherham Year 7 final.
Thank you to all the family, friends and fans that supported the team in the right way. Today will live long in the memory!