Category Archives: Local sport

Fair Play Awards 2018: Nominations Open

Chris Evans reports…


Essex County FA Reward Good Sportsmanship

Honesty, integrity and respect for all participants are qualities which the Essex County FA plan to celebrate as nominations are invited for the 2018 Fair Play Awards, with suggestions of teams required by the Thursday 31st May deadline.

Anyone can nominate a side they feel have displayed consistent high levels of conduct and competed in the true spirit of the game. The County FA are looking for evidence of outstanding sportsmanship and fair play in as much detail as possible. The categories are:

o   Boys (Competitive)

o   Boys (Non-Competitive)

o   Girls (Competitive)

o   Girls (Non-Competitive)

o   Open-Age Men/Veterans

o   Open-Age Women

o   Open-Age Disability

Essex County FA Welfare Officer, Helen Hever, explained: “The Fair Play Awards, and good sportsmanship as a whole, are crucial in grassroots football. Attracting and sustaining participation are key goals of ours, as well as recognising the contributions made in the local game which aren’t all about winning leagues and cups. We look forward to receiving plenty of nominations!”

The deadline for nominations is 5:00pm on Thursday 31st May. Make your nomination via the form at


County Cup Rule Changes to Boost Entry Figures

Chris Evans reports…


Participation at the Heart of 2018/19 Amendments

Increased participation targets are at the forefront of new Essex County FA County Cup rule changes following their publication ahead of the 2018/19 season.

All grassroots participants, including clubs, leagues, County FA Council Members and staff, were recently given an opportunity to propose rule changes. Independent members were then assigned to Working Groups for the first time to propose their own rule changes to the Essex County FA’s Council, which were voted on and either ratified or dismissed.

Essex’s County Cups continue to hold sway, with good entry numbers, though the County FA wish to further increase the number of participating clubs, opening up County Cups ‘For All’ and to decrease the possibility of teams not being able to fulfil fixtures. To address this, the most notable ratified rule change sees a big shift in Rule 8(B).

Previously, player eligibility required a signing-on period and, from Round Three, a minimum number of appearances. Now, for each round up to and including the Semi-Finals, players need only to have their registrations approved by the appropriate league by 12:00 noon on the day prior to the tie. As before, players will need to be eligible for semi-final ties to be eligible for the final.

Season 2017/18 brought the introduction of a Girls’ Under 18s Cup as well as re-formatted women’s competitions which saw every open-age female club enter the Essex Women’s Cup. Sides defeated in the opening two rounds then went on to play in the Women’s Trophy. These new formats will continue for 2018/19.

While looking to avoid clubs struggling to fulfil fixtures, from 2018/19, dates either side of school holidays will be avoided for all competitions and the Essex County FA will seek to commence youth competitions a little later than has been done previously.

Eastern Junior Alliance youth teams will now start their campaigns in Round Three across all age groups rather than in just the Cassels Under 16s and Pelly Under 18s competitions. Also in youth competitions, draws will be regionalised on a north/south basis in the opening two rounds. Most adult competitions will remain split into four geographical areas in the opening two stages.



Lakeside Speedway – THURSDAY PREVIEW

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE are gearing up for back-to-back away Championship fixtures as they aim to move into the league’s top four.

The Hammers head to Redcar on Thursday before travelling to strongly fancied Scunthorpe on Friday.

Will Pottinger’s side have won two of their three Championship meetings so far, but are still searching for their first league win on the road.

However, in-form Lakeside man Adam Ellis reckons that feat isn’t too far away.

He said: “I think Redcar and Scunthorpe will be two different types of challenges.

“But if we could go to Redcar and get a result, as good as Scunthorpe look this year we’d be going there with some confidence behind us and they’d have to be on it otherwise we could spring a surprise there too.

“We’ve just got a real solid team this year who are all capable of scoring some big points both home and away.”

Lakeside are at full strength with former Great Britain representative Ben Barker leading Redcar.

REDCAR: Ben Barker, Theo Pijper, Jonas B Andersen, Tobias Busch, Matej Kus, Mikkel B Andersen, Jordan Stewart.
LAKESIDE: Nick Morris, Ben Morley, Adam Ellis, Kyle Newman, Richard Lawson, Zach Wajtknecht, Alfie Bowtell.

MATCH PREVIEW | Hampshire v Essex Eagles

The Eagles started well, but ultimately fell short against Gloucestershire: Image courtesy of Essex Cricket

The Eagles could be set to introduce a new face into their line-up when they face Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl in the Royal London One-Day Cup tomorrow.

Anthony McGrath will select from a 13-man squad that includes Zimbabwe-born bowler Shane Snater, who now plays international cricket for the Netherlands.

At 22 years of age, the right-armer has claimed 12 wickets in three first-class matches, including two five-wicket hauls, plus 7 wickets in 10 List A games, with best figures of 3 for 30 against Zimbabwe.

All-rounder Callum Taylor is also named in the party as Jamie Porter is given a rest, whilst young paceman Aaron Beard is due to get overs under his belt for the Second XI.

Ryan ten Doeschate is looking for an improved performance on Wednesday, particularly from the batting unit, as the Eagles look to get back to winning ways down on the South Coast.

The Eagles skipper saw his side beaten by Gloucestershire on Sunday when four wickets fell in the space of 33 balls after a promising opening partnership had laid the foundations for a score in excess of 300.

In the end, the visitors were left to settle for a total of 287 for 7, but were beaten as Gloucestershire reached their target with 11 balls and four wickets to spare.

“We didn’t bat well, we lost four quick wickets after the first powerplay when some of our batters lost their wickets cheaply,” ten Doeschate admitted.

“We weren’t at our best and didn’t deserve to win. People are allowed to make mistakes as they are human, but it is about how we learn from them going forward. Overall, we were a bit off the pace and we certainly need to be better as a batting unit if we are to do well against Hampshire.”

Head Coach Anthony McGrath endorsed ten Doeschate’s views. “We were probably 30 runs short of what we would have liked to have scored after our openers put on 70 odd runs,” he said.

“Now we need to focus on getting everything right for the Hampshire game. We knew starting this competition with three away games would be tough and with only eight matches in the qualifying group, you don’t want to be playing catch-up. You can’t afford a slow start and it’s really important to get the points on the board as soon as you can.

“The 50 over competition is a format that we’ve done well in over the past couple of years and we want to continue that. We played some fantastic cricket last year and the standards we can achieve are evident so we need to rediscover that touch quickly.”

Injuries have restricted the choice of selection thus far but the positive news is that a number of players are close to returning.

“Paul Walter, Matt Quinn and Matt Coles are all close to being available for selection and that will give us the opportunity to refresh our bowling unit,” the Eagles Head Coach stated.

“Meanwhile, we have to pick ourselves up after Sunday’s game and look to record our second win in the competition which would set us up nicely because we then have three home matches in succession.”

Eagles squad:

Ryan ten Doeschate (27) Captain
Ravi Bopara (25)
Varun Chopra (6)
Sam Cook (16)
James Foster (7)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Shane Snater (29)
Callum Taylor (67)
Neil Wagner (13)
Tom Westley (21)
Adam Wheater (31)
Ashar Zaidi (99)

Report provided by Essex CCC


Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE maintained their immaculate home record with a 54-36 win over Edinburgh.
The Hammers found themselves narrowly behind after two races but soon hit back to take full control of yet another meeting at the Arena-Essex Raceway.

It means the Purfleet outfit have lost just one of their last seven fixtures in all competitions and boss Will Pottinger was delighted to see another solid team performance.

“We’re more than happy with the result and we certainly can’t complain,” Pottinger said.

“The top five all did their jobs and more and Zach (Wajtknecht) looked back to his old self at reserve.

“Alfie (Bowtell) struggled a bit but we know there’s more to come from him.

“It’s more points on the board and again we’ve managed to send the opposition home with nothing.”

Adam Ellis top scored for the Hammers and only missed out on a paid maximum after finishing third in the final race of the night.

Zach Wajtknecht enjoyed another impressive night at reserve while Nick Morris pulled off two race wins on his way to nine points.

Richard Lawson, Kyle Newman and Ben Morley all took the chequered flag on one occasion each while youngster Alfie Bowtell endured one of his toughest nights so far at No.7.

The Hammers are now gearing up for back-to-back away meetings at Redcar and Scunthorpe on Thursday and Friday respectively with the next home action on Friday, June 1 against Workington (8pm).

LAKESIDE 54: Adam Ellis 12+1, Zach Wajtknecht 10+2, Nick Morris 9, Kyle Newman 8+2, Richard Lawson 8+1, Ben Morley 7+1, Alfie Bowtell 0.
EDINBURGH 36: Erik Riss 12, Edward Kennett 9+2, Josh Pickering 6+1, Max Ruml 5, Matt Williamson 3, Mark Riss 1, Joel Andersson 0.

Match Preview | Gloucestershire v Essex Eagles

Simon Harmer in action for the Eagles: Image courtesy of Essex Cricket

Essex Eagles continue their Royal London One-Day Cup schedule with a visit to Bristol where they face Gloucestershire on Sunday.

The visitors have named the same 13-man squad that were on duty when the Eagles comprehensively beat Middlesex by 6 wickets on Thursday in their opening match of this year’s competition.

It was an impressive performance by the Eagles and the chase of 251 runs for victory was underpinned by Tom Westley who took the opportunity of a change of format to rediscover his touch with a well constructed century.

The right-hander had been struggling for runs in the County Championship over the past few weeks but the switch to the white ball triggered a change in fortunes for the Essex number 3.

Westley put his run of low scores aside as the confidence came oozing back to his game in an innings filled with characteristic sweetly-timed drives, particularly into the leg side.

By the time he was finally dismissed for a career-best List A score of 134, the Eagles were on the cusp of victory.

It was a welcome return to form as the 29 year-old acknowledged. “It’s always nice to score runs as an individual and I’m very relieved,” he admitted.

“My lack of runs has affected me and that’s because I felt that I hadn’t contributed so it has been a tough period for me and it does weigh on you a little bit.

“I had a little bit of luck early in my innings against Middlesex but in white ball cricket, you do need a bit of good fortune because you are looking to go out and be aggressive.

“To go on and get a hundred and help get us over the line was very pleasing and, hopefully, it will be the start of a successful white ball campaign.”

Head Coach Anthony McGrath was delighted with the manner in which his side prevailed. “We talked before the game about wanting to start this competition well and the lads responded with a really, really, good performance,” he stated.

“I thought our bowlers did really well to restrict Middlesex to 250 on a good wicket and we managed to take some good catches as well. At the halfway stage of the match, we felt pretty confident.

“Then our batters did the job. It has been a tricky time for them this year but I think their performance on Thursday just underlined what I had been saying all along and that was there was no reason to panic.

“Tom Westley’s innings was superb and he had a really good partnership with Varun Chopra and Dan Lawrence came in and played with freedom as well. So overall we are happy as we prepare for the next game.”

McGrath is looking for at least one win from the next two matches.

“We knew that the first three games all being away gave us a tough start to this competition and although we obviously want to win every game, I think to win two out of the three would be a reasonable start,” he said.

“Gloucestershire are a good one-day side, it will be a difficult test but the momentum is with us and we’ll take that into the game at Bristol on Sunday.

“We are retaining the same squad for Sunday. We’ve got a few other players with niggles which is why they are not in contention but we are hoping to get a few more bodies back in the next week to ten days.”

Essex Eagles squad to face Gloucestershire:

Ryan ten Doeschate (27) Captain
Aaron Beard (14)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Varun Chopra (6)
Sam Cook (16)
James Foster (7)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Jamie Porter (44)
Neil Wagner (13)
Tom Westley (21)
Adam Wheater (31)
Ashar Zaidi (99)

Report provided by Essex CCC



Lakeside Speedway – SATURDAY PREVIEW

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

KYLE Newman is content with his part as Mister Reliable as Lakeside’s triple-pronged push for silverware continues at home to Edinburgh on Saturday (7.45pm).

The newcomer may not have hit the same heights as power-packed top two Nick Morris and Richard Lawson but has contributed consistent and decisive scores during his opening weeks with the Hammers.

The Dorset-based charger has maintained, if not slightly bettered, his 2017 standards with a series of seven-point hauls, a double-figure return of 11 and a host of bonus points along the way.

“It has been a steady start which was what I wanted,” said Newman.

“The past few years have been tough for me, I have had a lot of injuries so I just wanted to get off to a solid start to the season.

“Of course I would love to be banging in points left, right and centre but I am happy with how things have gone so far. The aim is to build on it now and have a good year.”

Newman forms part of a full-strength Hammers line-up against a Monarchs side led by guest Edward Kennett, who stands in while Ricky Wells participates in a Grand Prix qualifier.

Fans keen to take in some extra action are reminded there will be six junior races starting at 7.05pm prior to the main event parade.

Ashton Vale, Max Perry, Freddie Fox Baron and Charlie Wood compete on the 150cc bikes with Nathan Ablitt, Jacob Clayton and Sam Norris set to perform on 250cc machinery.

HAMMERS: Nick Morris, Ben Morley, Adam Ellis, Kyle Newman, Richard Lawson, Zach Wajtknecht, Alfie Bowtell. Team manager: Will Pottinger.
EDINBURGH: Edward Kennett (guest), Joel Andersson, Mark Riss, Max Ruml, Erik Riss, Matt Williamson, Josh Pickering. Team manager: John Campbell.

Buckhurst Hill 2-0 Catholic United (Essex Saturday Premier Cup Final)

Chris Evans reports…

Buckhurst Hill 2-0 Catholic United, Monday 7th May 2018, Kick-Off 3:00pm, Ship Lane, Essex Saturday Premier Cup Final.

Second-half goals from Sam Sollosi and José Espinoza earned Buckhurst Hill a first ever Essex Saturday Premier Cup title as Catholic United were defeated 2-0 at Thurrock FC’s Ship Lane home.

Relegated from the Premier Division of the ProKit UK Essex Olympian League last season, Hill have bounced back in style, dropping just three points all season in winning the Division One title. They capped off a fine campaign as with a 21st-successive win and bringing the County Cup to their Roding Lane base. It’s been some campaign for their opponents Catholic, too.

The Hoops won the Anagram Records Trophy just two days previously and a hectic end to the season would ultimately bring Olympian Premier Division success. But, on the hottest May Day Monday on record, it was Buckhurst Hill who will feel they deserved their victory having enjoyed the lion’s share of the opportunities during the final.

They finally broke the deadlock on 68 minutes, having been denied firstly by Catholic goalkeeper Louis Godwin-Green, who kept out Espinoza’s penalty, and then by a post as Sam Sollosi came within a whisker of giving his side the lead. “We had a game plan,” said Buckhurst Hill boss Mark Williams after the game.

“We knew they were really good in the air and we tried not to give away set pieces as we knew that would hurt us. We just tried to keep moving and they let us have the ball from the off and we stayed in the game.”

“They’ve had a lot of games recently and they’re obviously a decent side who deserve to be at the top of their league, and they won the cup on Saturday. I thought, if we just bide our time and get in at half time level pegging, then we could find time and space.”

Chances did come for William’s side, but some were squandered with the game still goalless, including Espinoza’s spot kick just three minutes after the interval. “With the penalty, he normally walks up and absolutely smashes the ball home, so when he strolled up I thought that’s a bit different,” said Williams, adding: “But, at the end of the day, we saw it through.”

“I didn’t think one goal was going to be enough and, when we got that goal, they had a very, very good chance. And then, on a number of other occasions, perhaps we should’ve sealed it. But, credit to their goalkeeper, he is a superb player. We’re just happy to win it, really. It’s the first time in our history and it doesn’t matter if you win it 1-0 or 2-0, it’s fantastic.”

The first real chance of the match went to Buckhurst Hill’s Joe Re, who brought the first of a number of good saves from Catholic ‘keeper Godwin-Green, who was soon called upon to deny both Espinoza and Steve Townsend.

Hill’s lively full-back Re then brought another good stop from Godwin-Green as he pushed the ball wide of the right-hand post. Liam Foster also teed-up Sam Sollosi, who fired just over the top. Catholic’s best chance of the first period saw Mike Sammut’s effort gathered on the goal line by Hill ‘keeper Daniel Blockley.

The missed spot kick arrived early in the second half, Godwin-Green pushing away Espinoza’s attempt after Josh Addinall was bundled over. Sam Sollosi also hit the post before finding the target to give his side the lead, exchanging passes with brother Nathan before firing into the far corner.

Catholic’s hopes of a comeback were hindered when substitute Mike Trenkel was sent off, but they had a chance to level when Mike Dean slid in and nudged the ball just off-target from close range. Godwin-Green made another good intervention to push wide a further effort from Sam Sollosi and a half-chance for Catholic saw Mark Baptist curl wide from range.

Another good save from Godwin-Green saw the stopper block with his legs to deny Nathan Sollosi, with Hill securing the win four minutes into added time. Espinoza made amends for his penalty miss by coolly slotting a finish beyond Godwin-Green having been played through on goal.

With Catholic riding high at the summit of the Olympian’s top flight, Williams’ promoted side now know they can compete themselves at that level. Williams concluded: “We’ve played a few of the teams in the top division this season and we know it’s going to be a different type of football.”

“I think we were very naïve and very young at the start of this season and I think we’ve matured as a team and hopefully that’ll put us in good stead. It’s a great set of boys. When I took the team over I brought in Nicky Potts and Billy Wells and they brought some boys over from Barkingside Reserves.”

“We gelled the boys and they get on really well. A lot of them are mates outside and sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t, but we were given an aim by the club to get back in that division and to compete, and we’ve done it first time.”

Buckhurst Hill: Daniel Blockley, Joe Re, Liam Foster, Henry Day, Billy Wells, Josh Addinall, Sam Sollosi, Josh Banfield, Steve Townsend, José Espinoza, Nathan Sollosi. Unused Substitutes: Alfie Harris, Christian Corbette, Tyriquee Soloman, Keaton Moore, Fehinti Falola.

Catholic United: Louis Godwin-Green, Pat Kearney (Mark Baptist, 63), Mike Dean, Brad Vaughan, Ellis Sands, Dan Trenkel (Dan Williams, 61), Harley Kee, Max Kent, Mike Sammut, Tom Kearney, Brad Williams (Mike Trenkel, 65). Unused Substitutes: Carl Read, Kevin Cole.

Referee: Lewis Farthing.

Assistant Referees: Harry Arnot and Jack Ridge.

Fourth Official: Ryan Smith.

Attendance: 214.




AFC Hornchurch 2-5 Maldon & Tiptree (Essex Cassels Under 16s Cup Final)

Chris Evans reports…

AFC Hornchurch 2-5 Maldon & Tiptree, Friday 4th May 2018, Kick-Off 7:45pm, Parkside, Essex Cassels Under 16s Cup Final.

Maldon & Tiptree recovered from going behind early on to defeat AFC Hornchurch and follow-up last season’s Essex Rosser Under 15s Cup success with Cassels Under 16s Cup victory at Aveley FC’s Parkside.

Sonny Leeks had fired Hornchurch into a 15th-minute lead, but Maldon were in front by half time through Tyler Whymark’s brace and Stef Stavrinos then struck twice after the break to give the Jammers an unassailable 4-1 lead. Hornchurch responded through Obi Molefi, but Ross Wright sealed a 5-2 win in stoppage time for Maldon.

“Second year in a row!” proclaimed Maldon boss Mark Carroll after the game, having also overseen his side’s Under 15s County Cup success the previous season. “I don’t think that’s been done for a long time and we’re proud of that. In the cup we just seem to be disciplined in what we do. We try and play some football. I think we’re quite organised and that helps in certain times.”

It was a particularly fitting occasion for the Maldon side, who were playing their final fixture together, as Mark explained: “What a fantastic way to come out of youth football. It’s a shame that this team is now folding and they’re at the stage in their lives where they’ve got to decide their own thing, whether that’s college, sixth form and some going on to football colleges.”

“This team has come to its natural end and we’ve had a great journey, from starting in Eastern Junior Alliance football four years ago, and they’ve gradually got better and better. To crown it all off, tonight is just fantastic. It’s great to see them grow and see what they’ve done and to see their parents, too. I’ll have some happy memories.”

“They’d known each through local leagues when they were younger and then everyone bit the bullet at Under 13s to come together, and we’ve achieved this. We’ve achieved great things and I’m a very proud person tonight.”

In what was a topsy-turvy affair, both sides shared chances, with the goal frame being hit no fewer than four times. “It was a proper cup final,” reflected the Maldon boss. “In the first 15-20 minutes it was sort of ‘hey it’s going to be a difficult one,’ but then we found our feet and got ourselves composed.”

“We didn’t play too much good football, but then we got the breaks, took our chances and then it was a case of ‘right let’s be organised and let’s be disciplined in our approach.’ And the chances came. The way the game panned out, we had the chances, we hit the bar probably three or four times and it could’ve been 5 or 6-1 if we took all our chances. But overall I cannot grumble.”

Hornchurch’s lead arrived as Leeks fired an excellent shot into the top far left-hand corner from 20 yards, but Maldon levelled the tie up eight minutes later when the ball dropped to Whymark in the area, who slotted in.

Maldon’s Jack Martin side-footed against the top of the bar just before the half-hour but, on 35 minutes, his side did gain the lead. Whymark neatly controlled inside the box and finished with aplomb beyond Hornchurch goalkeeper Jack Walker. In first-half stoppage time a terrific long-range free kick from Maldon’s King brought an equally fine save from Walker.

Early in the second period, Maldon came so close to extended their lead as they struck the upright twice, Whymark running into the area and seeing his angled shot bounce off the top of the far post before Brandon Driver hit the rebound against the same post.

Hornchurch’s Oliver Heath then twice came close, firstly seeing a shot well saved by Maldon ‘keeper Ben Porter before nudging the ball inches wide. But Maldon’s third arrived on 50 minutes. Stavrinos’ long range free kick found the back of the net via the inside of the far post. Five minutes later the ball slipped out to Stavrinos again, who slotted in his second from a tight angle.

As they looked for a route back into the game, Hornchurch’s Ben Allen rattled the crossbar and then hit the rebound just over the top. But it was Allen who set-up Molefi to side-foot home and reduce the arrears with 20 minutes remaining.

Hornchurch enjoyed a spell of pressure, and Harrison Sullivan brought an excellent save from ‘keeper Porter before Maldon sealed the tie in stoppage time. Wright latched onto a ball forward and finished calmly.

AFC Hornchurch: Jack Walker, Torgbor Torto-Tetteh, Oliver Heath, James Hegarty, Jeffrey Njuguna, Obi Molefi, Harrison Sullivan, Sonny Dutton, Sonny Dutton, Ben Allen, James Lickfold. Substitutes (repeated): Sebastian Towse, Jack Brown, Jalil Taiwo.

Maldon & Tiptree: Ben Porter, Jack Martin, Ed Bennett, Dylan Hunt, Fred King, Tyler Whymark, Joe Osborn, Jonathan Humphrey, Stef Stavrinos, Josh Carroll, Harry Simmonds. Substitutes (repeated): Rafe Dawes, Ross Wright, Brandon Driver, Albert Bishop.

Referee: Ike Agho (Harlow).

Assistant Referees: Gavin Bailey (Barking & Dagenham) and Stuart Henderson (Havering).

Fourth Official: Max Di-Lieto (Havering).

Attendance: 154.



Manor House 0-1 Priory Sports (Essex Sunday Premier Cup Final)

Chris Evans reports…

Manor House 0-1 Priory Sports, Sunday 29th April 2018, Kick-Off 3:00pm, Aspect Arena, Essex Sunday Premier Cup Final.

Priory Sports won the Essex Sunday Premier Cup as skipper Grant Hill’s 8th-minute free kick proved to be the only goal of the game which overcame Manor House at Concord Rangers FC’s Aspect Arena.

With Hill’s set-piece proving to be the difference, Priory’s Captain repeated the trick of lifting the trophy in 2014, as his Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League side beat Essex Sunday Football Combination outfit Manor House, themselves Essex Sunday Junior Cup winners in 2015. Hill’s early intervention saw him curl in an excellent shot from fully 25 yards.

Priory came close to a second four minutes later as James Robinson’s bicycle kick dropped just wide. Shortly before half time the post denied Priory when Joe Nathanson’s shot bounced off the upright, with Manor House’s best chance of the match early in the second period seeing Billy O’Sullivan bring a good save from Sports goalkeeper Devon Jeggo following Aaron Matthews’ dead ball.

Manor’s Lewis Payne cleared off the goal line from Priory’s Correy Davidson to keep his side in the game, but the final chance of the afternoon also went the way of Sports, with Manor House’s ‘keeper Mason Durrell making a fine, brave stop to deny Davidson in added time.

After the game, match winner Hill was understandably pleased with his goal: “I think I caught the keeper off-guard. I think he was expecting a cross, but I saw him off his far post and thought I’d give it a go… and straight in it went!”

Having led Priory on the pitch during 2014’s Premier Cup success, Hill got his hands on the trophy for a second time, too, smiling: “It was hard to keep the ball and the ball up-top kept coming back. But we defended well as a team and got a clean sheet and got the win. It’s obviously always a good cup to win. To be the best team in Essex as well, it’s a good achievement for everyone at the club.”

Manor House: Mason Durrell, Joe Sullivan, Lewis Dennis, Lewis Payne, Kieran Courtney, Aaron Matthews, Perry Brockwell, Tommy Kavaz, Josh Humm-Rhodes, Alex Devlin, Charlie Holt. Substitutes (repeated): Billy O’Sullivan, Daniel Jones, Caine Quinn, Albert Levett.

Priory Sports: Devon Jeggo, Oliver Devenish, Jack Sterland, Grant Hill, Joe Nathanson, James Robinson, Tom Robinson, Chinedu Osadebe, Dean Simmonds, Craig Emery, Ollie Evans. Substitutes (repeated): Jack Kemsley, William Locker, Correy Davidson, Isaac Aubynn, Ryan Miles.

Referee: Craig Pullen (Havering).

Assistant Referees: Paul Sturton (Chelmsford) and Errol Souter (Colchester).

Fourth Official: Ayrton Hursey (Colchester).

Attendance: 145.