An impressive entry of nine teams took part in the 2018 Lodsworth four-goal cup with Jo Stuart’s Los Hamblinos and Wilf Fine’s Sea Breeze making it through to the final.
Jo Stuart’s team fielded young Will Drewett (-2 goals) at No1, the Patron (-1 goal) at two, Harry Muddle (two goals) at three and Niall Donnelly (four goals) at back, making up a three-goal team and receiving a half-goal advantage on the scoreboard.
For Sea Breeze, patron Wilf Fine was replaced by Timi Badiru (-1) at the front door, with Alfie Hyde (no goals) at two, Angus Rowan-Hamilton (one goal) at three and Nick Pepper (four goals) at back.
Donnelly raced away from the throw-in that started the match but was smartly seen off by 15-year-old Alfie Hyde. The teams battled for possession until Badiru sprang on to the ball and carried it all the way down the pitch and through the Los Hamblinos goalposts to take the lead for Sea Breeze.
Donnelly secured the ball from the throw-in but Hyde was ready to intervene. However, Donnelly’s persistence paid off and by chukka’s end he had achieved a field goal to put Los Hamblinos in the lead at 1½-1.
Continuing a very solid performance Badiru made his second goal in chukka two but Sea Breeze’s lead was rapidly erased with a goal from Muddle taking the lead back for Los Hamblinos at 2½-2.
The second half opened with a throw-in and Hyde securing the ball, but Los Hamblinos benefitted from a swift free hit when Sea Breeze sent the ball over the boards.
Donnelly tapped to Muddle whose shot at goal went wide. Pepper brought the ball in and made a good pass to Alfie Hyde.
Young Hyde neatly controlled the ball all the way and sent a super shot through the goal posts to take the lead for Sea Breeze on 3-2½.
At the start of chukka four, Hyde again showed his talent racing all the way to the posts, but his shot went wide.
Donnelly brought the ball in and he and Muddle went racing off but Pepper soon stopped their advance.
When the umpires blew for a foul, Badiru attempted a 60-yard shot at goal but the ball went wide. The whistle blew again and a safety 60-yard shot was awarded to Sea Breeze, which was sent through by Pepper to take the side ahead 4-2½.
The pacy action continued with Badiru and Hyde combining well as they tried for another goal. Then a foul by Sea Breeze gave Donnelly a chance and his lofty, accurate 60-yard shot pulled back a goal for Los Hamblinos. But it was too late to prevent a 4-3½ victory for Sea Breeze.
Ollie Stuart presented the Lodsworth four-goal cup to team captain Nick Pepper, on behalf of Wilf Fine, and prizes to all players. In the subsidiary final, which proved to be another pacy match, Capital Agri beat Connect 44 7-4.