The Final was a “Battle of the Naval Schools” with HMS SULTAN playing rival establishment HMS COLLINGWOOD.
It started in frantic manner with neither side able to keep the ball in a closely contested middle. But as the half progressed and the players settled down chances began to be created, the first fell to COLLINGWOOD from a corner when Curtis Aitken’s effort was blocked on the line by a fine save form SULTAN’s keeper. COLLINGWOOD’s Justin Dolly was then put through but a last-ditch tackle from the SULTAN’s centre back stopped him from getting a clean strike on goal. A second chance fell to Justine but through on goal he shot well over the bar. As the half progressed the pendulum swung SULTAN’s way and a cross found Dan Hindmarch in the 6-yard box, but his shot was saved by Jess James and the loose ball was turned behind for a corner by Paul Howe. SULTAN then swung in a few excellent corners and it was only some scrambled defence that prevent SULTAN scoring. On the stroke of half time SULTAN’s Dan Hindmarch beat the offside trap raced through on goal, COLLINGWOOD’s keeper, Jess James, came hurtling off his line and clattered Hindmarch hard just outside the box; the referee reached into his back pocket and produced the red card and COLLINGWOOD were down to 10 men. The resulting free kick went aimlessly over the bar and the referee blew for half time.
Half Time HMS SULTAN 0 – 0 HMS COLLINGWOOD
COLLINGWOOD regrouped at half time and came out inspired at the start of the second half. Lewis Plackett, with a man of the match performance, replaced Aaron Abbott and was soon in action taunting SULTAN’s defence with some excellent skills and ball retention. COLLINGWOOD had all the best play belying the fact they were down to 10 men and SULTAN were unable to create any chances when they did get the ball back. After missing a couple of early chances COLLINGWOOD’s James “Ginger” Jackson latched on to a defence splitting through ball from Justin Dolly and lobbed the ball over the SULTAN keeper, 1-0 to COLLINGWOOD. Sound us of the rolling subs by COLLINGWOOD saw Jackson replaced by Scott Dooley to give some fresh legs up front for the 10 men. Although being a man down, COLLINGWOOD continued to dominate the play and take the game to SULTAN. After winning another battle in the middle of the pitch, Jack “Yellow Card” Pearson clipped a ball forward and there was Scott Dooley clear in front of goal and he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper, 2-0 COLLINGWOOD. Lewis Plackett was now running the show in midfield and COLLINGWOOD were in cruise control. COOLINGWWOD’s game management was excellent and although SULTAN were now creating chances COLLINGWOOD defence stood firm, marshalled by the skipper “Happy” Monday held strong. In the last 10 minutes SULTAN were taking more and more risks pushing their keeper in to the box and COLLINGWOOD were looking very dangerous on the break and should have scored a 3rd with an empty gaol beckoning.
Final score SULTAN 0 v 2 COLLINGWOOD.