YOUTH FOOTBALL: Barrowby Gladiators put Centurions to the sword to claim third title
GYFL U13 Cup Final
Barrowby Gladiators 5
Ancaster Centurions 0
Barrowby Gladiators went into their final game of the season looking to secure an historic treble, having already been crowned League champions and Champions League winners the previous week.
Up against Ancaster Centurions in the league cup final would prove to be a special occasion for both sides as they walked out the tunnel of an atmospheric Grantham Town stadium. Both clubs had taken along terrific support and all players were cheered on as the team line-ups were announced over the tannoy system, making an even more exciting occasion for all parties.
It was Gladiators who got the game underway and quickly found their rhythm, keeping the ball extremely well, stringing series of passes together and switching the ball from left to right across field. The occasion required cool heads accompanied with determination and Barrowby exemplified this by to playing the ball out from the back and through midfield.
Gladiators went close to going in front when Kettle played a diagonal ball, carving open the Ancaster defence only for Wade to see his shot well saved and put behind for a corner.
Alves swung in the resulting flag kick which was perfect for skipper Bramley to outj-ump the defender and powerfully head past the keeper to put Barrowby in front.
Gladiators maintained their passing style of play and it was not long before Polzin showed good vision to play in Jackson down the right. The Barrowby winger showed his strength to beat his player and get his shot away, forcing a fine save from the keeper, however the rebound fell nicely to Wade who made it 2-0.
With Gladiators growing in confidence, further chances were created through Lockton and Gibson, but it was Kettle who picked the ball up in midfield, playing a neat one-two with fellow midfielder Polzin, skipping past three players to again play a one-two with Wade on the edge of the box. Kettle placed his shot past the keeper to make it 3-0 at the break.
The second half saw introductions for Peberdy, Smith, Coombes and Croft, however, it was Ancaster who seemed to have regrouped during the interval and started to bring the game to life.
Gladiators had to stay switched on and maintain concentration as Ancaster started to carve out a few chances of their own. The Barrowby defence maintained its cool and dealt with the threat as they have done all season – conceding just 16 goals in 25 games.
Eventually Gladiators managed to restore their hold on the game and Kettle burst through the Ancaster defence to play a wide ball to Gibson. He played it back across the box but the cross was cut out by an arm from the defence, resulting in a penalty. Wade calmly stepped up and slotted home Barrowby’s fourth.
As the game neared the end, Gladiators secured a fifth with a fine run down the wing from Jackson, linking well in a fine team effort with Lockton, Polzin and Gibson, who took his shot superbly to get on the scoresheet and finish a brilliant team move.
The Barrowby boys celebrated a magnificent cup win to cap a wonderful season, with the addition of more silverware.
Barrowby’s manager Mick Bramley said: “This season has been such a pleasure to watch the lads training and develop together with the passion they show on the pitch come Sunday matches.
“They are such a united squad, friends on and off the field, which adds to the unity. Well done boys, you truly deserve your achievements this year.”