Saints to the four

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Toby Ritzema’s stunning long-range strike pulled his side level after Joe Kilshaw’s brace had put ‘The Rest’ in front midway through the second half.

Max Friend held his nerve in the shoot-out – despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Harry Baines – netting the winning penalty to ensure St Peter completed the junior clean sweep.

The annual fixture, which brought the curtain down on the 2017-18 local football season, pits the junior league champions against a Combination select junior side.

The title-winners started the brightest, with Ben Le Rougetel’s powerful effort flying just over. The hosts were certainly the dominant side early on and took the lead when Luke Rumbold headed in a looping corner from right under the crossbar.

Both teams began the second half with a high tempo, looking to play quick, attacking football, and just before the hour mark the scores were level as substitute Ethan Ludlow capitalised on a lapse in concentration and slotted the ball into the path of Kilshaw to fire home.

‘The Rest’ nearly went ahead when Brad Le Mercier’s header was eventually scrambled away off the line. They had the momentum with them and did go 2-1 in front soon after thanks to a perfectly-struck free-kick from St Paul’s striker Kilshaw.

St Peter have got used to winning trophies in recent years though and were not about to let this one slip away. Ritzema’s superb 30-yard strike gave the goalkeeper little chance, hitting the underside of the crossbar on its way in.

With penalties looming Le Mercier thought he had won it for ‘The Rest’ late on, but saw his effort ruled out for offside.

St Peter goalkeeper Josh Jehan made two excellent saves in the shoot-out, paving the way for Friend to step up and squeeze the ball home for the win despite Baines getting a hand to it.

‘We’ve won all four trophies that we’ve entered this year which is a fantastic testament to the players,’ reflected St Peter coach Ian Solomon.

‘We’re history-makers, it’s a good club to be involved with and the boys all buy into it. I’ve been with the under-18s for the last four of five years now, we’ve seen the development of the younger ones coming through and that’s what we encourage.’

St Peter: Josh Jehan, Olavo Soares, Luke Rumbold, Max Friend, James Carr, Tommy Boarer, Jack Hardisty, Ben Le Rougetel, Ryan Marcinko, Sol Solomon, Hugo Pereira.

Subs: Kasper Smilik, Jacques Anquetil, Jan Bentley, Toby Ritzema, Elliot Stephens, Matt Donaldson.

‘The Rest’: Harry Baines, Charlie Breese, Brad Le Mercier, Dan de Sousa, Jack Greenwood, Owen Anderton, Josh Coutanche, Andy Roxburgh, Joe Kilshaw, Max Rivers, Jack Bara.

Subs: Steve Alder, Calum Huckerby, Tom Webster, Jake Syvret, Ethan Ludlow.

St Peter U18 2

Rumbold 20, Ritzema 78

The Rest 2

Kilshaw 57, 65

HT: 1-0 (St Peter win 4-3 on pens)

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