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The 09/10 Inter College Cup finally got under-way last week, just in time to save us from the stress of exams.
The cup is always eagerly anticipated by each college’s A and B teams, and has by no means proved to be an exclusive competition. Unlike the league which rewards the most consistent team over a year’s worth of football, the cup is favoured for its unpredictability.
Although the first round was played last week, the tournament actually kicked off at the end of Spring term, with Cartmel A’s facing Graduate college in a preliminary round. The winners of the encounter earned themselves a 1st round draw with A league champions Fylde.
Cartmel ran out 4-1 winners and so lined up to face Fylde. Cartmel were certainly not fearful of the encounter; they are after all the only team this season to take any points from the league winners, earning a 2-2 draw last term. Fylde were eager to make up for tarnishing a near perfect winning record though, and despite a squad stretched to its last by injury, they sought to shatter Cartmel’s cup hopes.
It looked as though Fylde had taken an early lead after a barrage of crosses and corners put Cartmel under pressure. Mike Scott’s header looked all but over the line before a desperate Cartmel defender hacked it away and his team mates wheeled away in celebration, only to find that play had carried on.
It was still 0-0 and Cartmel had one or two opportunities of their own as they relied on counter attacking football. They looked effective down both flanks and were only left wanting in the final third where Fylde’s defence were assured in stopping their advances.
After a busy first half from both sides, and just before the half time whistle was blown, the deadlock was broken. A superb interchange of passing led to Andy Bartlett forcing his way forward. Neil Davies played an intelligent one-two with the centre-half who crossed with poise and precision from the left. All that was left was for the well placed Davies to direct his header goal ward. The keeper had no chance and Fylde had a well earned lead.
Cartmel came back strongly after the break and fashioned a goal of their own. The equaliser shook Fylde into action more than it roused Cartmel to search for a winner, and Fylde went on to make a true statement of intent. They ran out 3-1 winners with another goal from Davies and a close range header from leading scorer Carl Blenkinsop.
Fylde Captain, Chris Barnett, spoke to SCAN and said he believed the win served as a warning to other competitors. He said: “I know we have a team of quality players that are more than capable of winning this competition.”
Elsewhere, the 1st Round results panned out as expected. The only shock came in the game between Furness A’s and Pendle B’s, the latter of which will be feeling after last year that maybe this kind of A team scalp should not come as such a surprise.
Furness looked to be on their way to victory as they took a 2-1 lead going into the second half, goals coming from Danny Austin and Frazer Shand. But the slender lead wasn’t enough, and Pendle rallied resiliently with Captain Tom Persich bagging the equaliser and Riccardo Colabella completing the comeback. Pendle held out to progress to the next round with a 3-2 win.
Pendle’s A team were comfortable in their 4-0 triumph over Bowland B’s, as Stu Gittins returned to bag a brace, but Bowland A’s at least retained some college pride, beating Grizedale B’s 3-1. The latter’s A outfit were undone in an all-A’s encounter with County. County came out on top with the narrowest of 3-2 wins.
B league champions Fylde just about squeezed through thanks to a speculative, if not fortunate free kick from Captain Matthew Poysden that gave them a 1-0 win against Cartmel B’s.
Lonsdale’s teams made up the remaining two places in the 2nd Round draw. The A’s eased to a 5-2 victory against County B’s, while the B’s followed their lead by beating Furness B’s 3-2 on penalties.