Saturday 21st January; Essex Boys and Girls Clubs take charge of the Harlow Leisure zone for their annual 5-Aside championships. Teams of talented young footballers descended upon the Essex venue to battle it out for the prestigious trophy and to be branded as the county champions for 2017.
The morning session saw the Under 12 and Under 14 age groups showcase their footballing ability; clubs included Crown and Manor, Canvey Island YFC, Belhus CC, Bancroft Lions, Loughton CC, Epping Forest Falcons YFC, Chelmsford Hylanders and Rayne ABC. Spectators, coaches and EBGC officials witnessed some fantastic games of football. There were great displays of individual skills, teamwork and sportsmanship throughout. Game of the morning came from the Under 12 age group between Canvey Island YFC and Belhus 1, the match finished 3 -2 to Canvey Island YFC and could have gone either way, from the word go both teams gave everything with the hopes of becoming victorious.
As the morning session drew to a close the winners in both age groups were revealed after some tough fought fixtures. In the Under 12 age group Canvey Island YFC were crowned champions for 2017 with Belhus 1 as the close runners up. In the older age group Crown and Manor became the Under 14 champions with Loughton CC only 1 point behind them. All of the young players represented their clubs in a respectful and immaculate manner. Epping Forest Falcons and Chelmsford Hylanders were recognised for their behaviour and both clubs were awarded with the Sportsmanship award.
1pm saw the start of the Under 16 age group with 11 teams from 4 different clubs including Wickford Town YFC, Epping Forest Falcons YFC, Crown and Manor and Belhus CC. Crown and Manor Under 16’s came into this as reigning county and national champions, a fantastic team and seen as the club to beat. The 11 teams were split into 2 groups and with the two top teams progressing to a final. As the first game kicked off it was evident the level of ability and physicality was of a high standard and everyone present was in for a fantastic event.
The group stages saw some fantastic encounters between the participating teams, Wickford Town 2 led the way with a prolific eye for goal, finding the back of the net 10 times over their first two games. In group B Epping Forest Falcons FC and Crown and Manor showed their class in some tight fixtures against the other sides. The rest of the group stage didn’t let any of the spectators down with high scoring games throughout, with Wickford Town 2 and Crown and Manor U16’s finishing top of their groups without dropping a point. Crown and Manor the national champions proved their ability; only conceding 2 goals throughout the group stage. The Final saw the two prestigious teams battle it out over two very close halves, at half time it was 0-0 and anybody’s game. Crown and Manor stepped up their game and on the blow of the final whistle the game finished 2-0 to the Hoxton based club.
A fantastic day had by all. Well done to all clubs involved and we look forward to seeing our County champions progress onto the National round in Manchester on June 10th.