U16s, Division 4 Champions!

U16’s match report, two for the price of one!

With two games remaining the u16’s needed 3 points to guarantee their place as division 4 champions.

And so it came down to an away tie to Leeds Hyde Park on Thursday to face a team who bottled facing us at Manley Park, and their last game of what’s been a magnificent season with unexpected results, twists and turns aplenty, also away, at Sherburn White Rose.

It’s impossible to write about either fixture without giving away the overall result so straight to the point - OWLS u16’s are division 4 champions!

Todays game saw us lose for the first time since September, succumbing 7-3 to a very organised, tidy, and skilful Sherburn, who definitely deserved their second place finish.

It’s a real shame that Leeds Hyde Park again bottled playing the fixture on Thursday evening, handing OWLS the three points needed to secure the title.

Moving in to today's fixture against Sherburn and OWLS were effectively “on the beach”, struggling to really afford Sherburn the challenge that they deserved. Had this of been the title decider Sherburn were expecting at the start of the day, I’m sure that things would have been a lot tighter, but as it was Sherburn always looked comfortable in what was still an exciting game between the leagues top two teams. Credit where it’s due to Sherburn too- they never let their heads go down despite knowing that 2nd place was the best they could achieve and showed us that they are very worthy opponents, playing some sublime football. A lovely gesture at the end too as they invited us to share hotdogs as it was their last home game of the season and shared in our celebrations, congratulating us on the title.

So it was that the league was decided not on a walkover been awarded, but on a group of lads who bounced back from adversity after finishing rock bottom of the league last season, losing their first two games of this season, and showing the maturity, skill, and determination to decide amongst themselves that “enough is enough”, and forge ahead with some superb displays of skill, effort, and determination, enough to pull them through even when things weren’t going so well.

It’s been a fabulous division this season which has seen some amazing games played to the highest level of competition.

Todays MOM was keeper James but the kudos for the season as a whole should go to every single player. As always, we’ve tried to give everyone equal game time, which becomes more and more difficult as the lads mature, become more competitive, and the emphasis shifts from “having fun” to “winning” as they transition from being kids to a fantastic set of individual young men who all have something to contribute towards the team.

Well done to you all. It’s been a great season and you thoroughly deserve this title UTO

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