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Lynx edge out Cougars and Pumas see off Jaguars

Futures Cup Logos 2016

U18 Boys Futures Cup

Mercia Lynx 1 (1)
Gareth Griffiths 25 (FG)

Caledonian Cougars 0 (0)

Mercia Lynx came out on top in a close battle with Caledonian Cougars thanks to a first half strike from Gareth Griffiths, his second goal of the competition.

With both sides looking to register their first win after both tasting last-ditch defeats to the Saxon Tigers it was always going to be a close fought match and so it proved to be.

Chances came at either end but final product was hard to come by with the massed ranks of defences doing their job.

Ten minutes before the break the deadlock was broken. A penalty corner was played out of the circle but Lynx were able to recycle the ball and work it back in, where Griffiths was on hand to slot home.

With both sides desperate to avoid having to compete in the 5th -6th playoff the game became stretched as the time wore on with both goalkeepers being called upon as the clock ticked down. Despite a barrage from the Cougars in the dying seconds it was Mercia who had the final chance, a penalty corner with under a minute left. They could not convert but it did not matter as the clock ran out and the win was secured.

Celtic Jaguars 2 (0)
Ollie Wheeler 47, 49 (FG, FG)

Pennine Pumas 4 (2)
Thomas Evans 12 (PC)
Dan West 25 (PS)
Tom Burton 44, 70 (PC, PC)

With the Pennine Pumas needing to win by five clear goals in order to have a chance to progress to the finals this one was always going to be a pulsating encounter and it did not disappoint. Having raced into a 3-0 lead it looked like the Pumas were going to make the cut, however a Stubborn Celtic Jaguars display and a second half brace from Ollie Wheeler put paid to those hopes.

Both sides looked strong on the counter but some strong defending kept the scores blank for the first ten minutes. Jaguars struck the woodwork but then at the other end Thomas Evans slotted home a penalty corner to make it 1-0. They went 2-0 up via a Dan West penalty stroke before the break.

Tom Burton slotted in a penalty corner nine minutes after the restart and the crowd started to sense that the 5-0 score could be on.

However Wheeler had other ideas and on 47 minutes he found the net and then reduced the arrears to 3-2 just two minutes later.

The pressure picked up a notch with both sides searching for another goal. The second half yielded one green card and four yellows as the occasion started to get the better of the teams. Burton put the game out of reach of the jaguars with a fourth goal on 70 minutes but despite a thrilling game, both these sides missed out on the final.

All the results, scorers and fixtures are here.

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