The Junior Hoops U7 Saints showed a bright future awaits them after a promising afternoon playing a year up in the delayed Rossendale U8 Summer League Finals Day on Sunday 13th October.
Drawn in a strong group alongside the Rosegrove Sharks, Pendle Forest and Burnley Town the Saints didn’t let the elements put them off as they performed with heart and style.
Up against Rosegrove in game one, the quick fire start that has become the hallmark of the Saints recent performances was on show again as the team scored four quick goals with two apiece from Teddy and Oakley. The Saints weren’t to have it all their own way though as the Sharks battled back with two goals to set up a tense final few minutes. Smart saves from Huey along with some clever reading of the game from Oscar set the boys up for game two against Pendle.
Again the Saints flew out of the traps but just couldn’t make the breakthrough. Teddy twice hit the post after powerful runs down the left and Seb was denied by a smart save from the Pendle No. 1. With the game becoming stretched both teams went for the win but it was Pendle that were to come out on top in the last minute of the game with a long range strike skidding off the pitch and nestling in the bottom corner.
That result set up the final group game with Burnley Town and saw the Saints turn in their best performance of the afternoon. Leighton’s predatory instincts gave the Saints the lead with a cool one on one finish. Oakley showed skill and composure to stretch the lead before Teddy was set up by Alfie for the Saints third goal. The midfield general won the ball in the centre of the park with a commanding challenge before playing Teddy through on goal. Oakley rounded the game off with a beast of a finish as the Saints qualified for the Champions League finals stages with an accomplished display.
A battling display in the semi final against Rossendale Valley Tigers saw the Saints draw heart for what is to come in the next couple of years. The Tigers were a strong team and took the lead early on. The Saints didn’t let their heads go down though. Seb played with composure both in midfield and at the back and was at the heart of the team’s comeback setting Teddy up for the equaliser. Try as they may to get a winner however, the Tigers game know how and ability to switch play at pace was a constant threat to the Saints. With time running out the boys pushed forward with Leighton and Seb both coming close to a second goal. It wasn’t to be however as Rossendale scored late on to set up a final with Pendle and send the Saints into the third and forth play off against Rossendale Valley Wasps.
A close game saw goals from the Saints substitutes Teddy and Oakley to cement a third place finish and a proud afternoon for the boys.
C’mon the Hoops!