LLANTWIT MAJOR 2
PORTHKERRY PANTHERS 3
THESE two great local rivals clashed in the Vale Junior Soccer League's U16s Cup final.
This year's league champions, Llantwit Major, dominated the early exchanges and took the lead following a cross/shot from Gabriel Oram.
Last year's league champions, Panthers, suffered an early blow when Ross Adams was forced off with a head injury which required seven stitches. Replacement Vas got his first taste of a Jenner Park final.
Given little time on the ball, Panthers relied on Kieran Allen’s delivery from set pieces and long throws as their only weapon, although neither 'keeper was forced into any serious action in the first half. Thomas Jones, James Jones and James Scott stood strong in defence.
After some choice half-time words, Panthers showed much greater determination in the second half and competed for every ball. Frazer James and Lloyd James started to run the midfield and gaps began to open up for the front two. The always reliable Scott was pushed into midfield and Harry Lambert pushed up front. When Scottie won a crucial tackle to feed Vas, the latter's 20-yard screamer was pushed onto the crossbar by the 'keeper before falling to Lambert for the equaliser.
Indeed, Lambert was causing problems with his energy up top and, when he won a throw in deep in the Llantwit half, a long Allen throw found Kieren Miller, who turned and volleyed home at the back post.
However, Llantwit were not about to roll over and, with a just a minute left, they broke through for an equaliser to force the game into extra-time
Panthers continued to dominate the extra 30 minutes and, with tired legs, continued to pour forward. With minutes remaining, James showed electrifying pace before his fierce shot was turned away for a corner. The resulting kick found its way to Allen whose inch-perfect cross deceived everyone and found its way into the net.
Panthers brought on Jordan, while Kyle Henderson was forced off with cramp, and his replacement, Mikey Margetts, made a great sliding tackle as his first contribution. Neal Campell took the pressure off with a number of surging runs before skipper Miller lifted the cup with a tribute to Ross Adams.