Youngsters take two cup finals

Cambridge Daredevils after winning their final.

Junior football wrapped up for Cambridge over the weekend with five teams appearing in Waikato knockout finals. Playing at Hamilton’s Glenview Park, two of the Cambridge teams won their respective finals. Cambridge Victory won the 9th-grade boys’ final with a penalty shoot-out after they and Northern United could not be separated, finishing goalless after extra time. In the shoot-out, Toby Malligan saved the 9th penalty for Cambridge and then Mylo Maloney slotted the 10th penalty for a 2-1 win to Victory and their first win over a strong Northern side.

The boys’ 12th grade final saw Cambridge Daredevils beat Hillcrest United Falcons 2-1. The Daredevils led most of the game going up 2-0 thanks to goals from Luke Philip and Andrew Morkel before the Falcons scored late in normal time to set up a nervous last few minutes for the coach and supporters.

The 10th grade boys’ final between Cambridge Valencia and Northern United Barcelona ended in 1 9-0 win for Barcelona. The Valencia boys deserved to make the final and never gave up but didn’t quite have the cohesiveness that the Barcelona team have developed after a few more years together.

The boys 11th grade final saw Cambridge Barcelona go down 3-2 to Northern United Juventus for a rare loss over the last two seasons. The Barcelona team are playing up a grade this year and it has been a good season for Cambridge’s two top teams in the 11th grade, with Barcelona finishing 1st and the Clarets 2nd in the championship round. Barcelona were down to a very early goal in the final and fought back well from eventually being 3-0 down to get back to 3-2 but ran out of time to find an equaliser in normal time.

In the girls U-10 final, the Cambridge Ferns went down to a solitary goal to Northern United Firebirds. Meanwhile, Cambridge women completed their season in the Waikato A League with a 2-1 loss at Matamata Swifts. Scorer for Cambridge was Maddy Burnett while the Hill Homes Player of the Day was Chrissy Goodin. Neither Rachel Hill nor Astrid Howarth were able to score in the final game, meaning they shared the club’s women’s Golden Boot with 23 goals each for the season.

Cambridge’s men’s Golden Boot went to Andrew Taylor who scored 25 goals in 2018, two more than nearest rival Peter Buesnel. The club will hold its Junior prizegiving awards on Monday, September 24 and its senior prizegiving awards on Saturday, September 29.

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