There were three nail-biting matches in the RAF Careers Youth Cup Finals at the Milton Keynes National Stadium yesterday, with all three games having to be decided on penalty shoot-outs. In the Under-18 final St George's, Weybridge, winners in 1998, came from behind to draw 1-1 and then they took the penalty barrage 5-3 to repeat the victory they had over Millfield in last year's Under 16 final.
After a goalless first half, Simon Mantell put Millfield ahead midway through the second half with St George's having to wait until just four minutes from time for the equaliser through Patrick Kelly.
Kent College Canterbury, coach by David Bunyan, the former Welsh national coach, won their penalty shoot-out against Beeston 4-2 after a 3-3 draw to take their first ever National title in a game which produced the most entertaining hockey of the day.
Beeston, the only club side to reach the finals, dominated the game for long periods with their captain David Griffiths in control of the midfield. Kent College, with Rob Pryce scoring twice, had to come from behind three times to level the scores.
The day's proceedings had started with an enthusiastic Under-14 final between Gresham School from Norfolk and Millfield which ended at 2-2, with Gresham winning the penalty shoot out 3-1.
It was just not Millfield's day. After Dan Reeves had given them an early lead, the Norfolk side took control, scoring twice inside four minutes to go into the interval leading 2-1 with goals from Tom Sands and James Sampson.
In a second half of one-way traffic towards the Gresham' goal, only a string of outstanding saves from Greg Clark kept his side in the game before a late equaliser from Reeves ensured the shoot-out.
RAF CAREERS YOUTH CUP FINALS (Milton Keynes): Under-14s: Gresham School 2 Millfield 2 (Gresham won 3-1 after penalty shoot-out). Under-16s: Beeston 3 Kent College 3 (Kent College won 4-2 aps). Under-18s: St George's College 1 Millfield School 1 (St George's won 5-3 aps).Reuse content