The Under 14s became the undisputed county champions on Tuesday night at Longbenton Sports Ground defeating Walker Technology College to win the County Cup for the second successive year.
Unlike last year, where they made easier work of the opposition, this year their opponents had reached the last 8 of the ESFA National Schools cup, so this game was always going to be a challenge. That did not stop this resilient team from upsetting the form guide to triumph. Within 3 minutes, Ponteland struck the first blow with a piece of individual brilliance from Jake W. Hie received the ball in his own half and left the full back and retreating centre half in his trail to calmly slot the ball past the in rushing keeper to make it 1-0. This gave Ponteland the confidence they needed and allowed them to stay organized and deal with the high level of possession from Walker, who created very few chances. Each time they lost possession Wood, Mason and Heseltine looked dangerous and created a few half chances. Walker’s dominance prevailed and a well worked piece of skill allowed the Walker winger to cross the ball which was stabbed home neatly with 10 minutes of the first half left. Nerves set in a little but from some solid defending and blocks from the defense kept the score at half time 1-1.
The second half began very similarly to the first, with Wood causing problems down the left and Mason getting in behind down the right but without any clear cut chances. Walker however scored their second 6 minutes into the half. Two crosses were cleared but the third cross from the right was prodded home past the helpless Gray to make it 2-1 to Walker. Ponteland could have been forgiven if they could not have got back into the game but once again showed excellent resilience to comeback. The impressive Wood caused further problems down the left and once he got into the box, was fouled and the referee pointed to the spot. Captain Heppell, saw his penalty, low to the keepers right, saved but this could not be held and he calmly slotted in the rebound halfway through the half. Walker bounced back again, introducing their subs but this opened the game up for Ponteland. A change in position unleashed Wood again and he raced past the full back down the left, drawing the goalkeeper and defender across to unselfishly find Mason, who made no mistake from 6 yards to make it 3-2. An outstanding comeback. Dixon and Harmieson continued to stifle their attacks in midfield and the defense were compact in what was a very long 8 minutes. However, Walker failed to find the breakthrough and although they dominated possession, Ponteland were ruthless and deserved their win after another impressive campaign. The final whistle blew and the celebrations began as the team won their second successive County Cup.
Mr Dunn, Head of PE said "A very proud moment for everyone involved and a huge thank you to all the parents who supported the team!"