Cheltenham Saracens U18s lift CYFL Cup with win over Bishops Cleeve – Severn Sport

Cheltenham Saracens U18s sealed a first League Cup title as they saw off Bishops Cleeve U18s at the Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium on Thursday evening, writes Josh Evans.
Two goals in the opening four minutes helped Sarries on their way to a 3-1 victory and kept Cleeve at arm’s length in the second period to lift the trophy.
An early own goal, a Harry Duncan stunner, and a second-half strike from Dan Onakoya were enough to send Saracens away with some silverware in their first season as an U18s group.
Fin Gwillim looked to have threatened a comeback just before the hour mark, but the eventual winners showed enough class to see them through.
With just three minutes on the clock, Onakoya darted down the left side before he looked to pick out James Barnes-Wills who battled, but the ball cannoned into the back of the Cleeve net off a defender’s boot.
60 seconds later, it was Harry Duncan who sent Sarries into raptures as he picked the ball up on the right, cut inside, and curled a beauty into the bottom corner around 20 yards from goal.
Sarries shot-stopper Jon Dix looked in fine form yet again when he reacted excellently to deny Will Farr a certain goal from a header six yards out, he dived to his left and tipped around the post on 23 minutes.
In a first half that was generally very even, it was Saracens who went in much the happier having scored two goals in the early stages without reply.
Barnes-Wills tested Mitres ‘keeper James Platt after Duncan passed inside but the forward couldn’t generate enough power to hit the back of the net after 50 minutes.
No.11 Barnes-Wills turned provider next time around and squared it to Onakoya who applied a fine finish six yards from goal to make it three for Sarries with 56 minutes played.
Only three minutes had passed when Gwillim pounced on an attempted clearance, found himself bearing down on goal, and duly applied a neat finish into the far corner.
Their game understanding kicked into play as Saracens knew they couldn’t afford to concede another and managed the game effectively.
Substitute Harry Jackson tested Dix though when he was found in acres of space wide on the right, he drove at full-back Archie Woods and got an effort on target, only for Dix to parry to safety on 78 minutes.
Midfielder Josh Russell picked out Barnes-Wills brilliantly down the left and he crossed for Billy Osabuohien but he couldn’t quite direct his header goalward with 86 minutes gone.
It was soon celebration time as Saracens got over the line from this moment forward, a fitting finale to what has been an excellent season to kick off their U18s programme, adding a cup win to their 3rd place league finish and memorable run in the FA Cup.
Bishops Cleeve U18s: Platt, Alder, Banfield, Farr, Gwillam, Hope, Hucker, Smith, Tucker, Wallace, Williams
Subs: Jackson, McCormack, Montague, Stara,
Cheltenham Saracens U18s: Dix, Gibbs, Woods, Stalley, Maher-Goldsmith, Parker, Soule, Richmond, Onakoya, Duncan, Barnes-Wills
Subs: Flindall, Russell, Champion, Stokes, Osabuohien
M&S Roofing Man of the Match – Ty Gibbs (Cheltenham Saracens U18s)
Cover photo taken with full copyright by Brian Rossiter. Please visit his wonderful albums via Twitter @BrianRossiter1 or Flickr
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