Cats purring with success

Great Yarmouth & District Football A good four days for Catfield Football Club. After a tough HA Holmes Cup final victory against MK United in which they prevailed in a penalty shoot-out following a goalless 110 minutes, they secured the second part of the treble when they retained the first division crown.

Great Yarmouth & District Football League

A good four days for Catfield Football Club.

After a tough HA Holmes Cup final victory against MK United in which they prevailed in a penalty shoot-out following a goalless 110 minutes, they secured the second part of the treble when they retained the first division crown.

Their fourth successive title was secured with a 7-0 win against Easter Monday morning's Wiltshire Cup opponents Lacon Arms with Paul Thompson scoring a hat-trick along with a double from Chad Pillar, a

rare goal from Bevan Self and an own goal.

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Golfers Arms bow out of the league with a 4-3 win against Great Yarmouth International thanks to a hat-trick from Ollie McCarthy and a goal from Prince stalwart Chris King.

MK United Reserves weathered early pressure from Prostar Windows and scored with their first meaningful attack from a corner by Ryan Booth which found Dale Crane on the edge of the box to head MK into the lead. Another breakaway saw MK double the lead when a through ball found Adam Secker, who finished well.

Early in the second half Secker added another. Lee Orchison came off the bench to score two goals and left-back Matty Fincham completed the scoring as

MK United Reserves attempt to retain the Burgess Cup they won last season.

Shrublands return to the top of the second division with a 5-2 win at home to Carpathians with goals from Danny Glover (2) Adam Baisley, Jason Thompson and Rob Manning.

The other five games were very competitive with Albion (GY) held to a 1-1 draw by Norfolk and Chance. Sam Welch gave Albion the lead on the hour mark but Scott Foskett equalised 10 minutes later. Four wins from their final nine games should ensure Albion's claim the title and MK United Reserves stand in the way of the double when they meet on April 22 in the Burgess Cup final.

Hemsby Reserves were 3-2 winners at home to South Yarmouth with goals from Cain Esherwood, James Hunt and substitute Wayne Bensley and that was also the score as Great Yarmouth Peelers beat Martham A with goals coming from Mark Carrier, Wayne Goreham and Richard Goreham.

Gorleston Wanderers defeated Great Yarmouth United 2-1 (Chris Thompson and Chris Wilkes).

HA Holmes Cup final

NO goals, and very few clear-cut chances in 110 minutes.

Two very well-organised teams defended with discipline and skill against the likes of Chad Pillar and Adam Hogg. Chris Hall and John Holliday for MK United were excellent and hardly put a foot wrong and similarly Spencer Self and Mark Vincent, until substituted and replaced by Adam Hodds, limited MK to long-range efforts.

Behind Hall and Holliman was the imposing figure of Taurean Molly who made important stops all night and was especially quick off his line, however he was powerless in the penalty shoot-out as his opposite number Ryan Starkey made a save from Adam Hogg and saw another effort hit the post as Catfield converted their four kicks and MK converted only two.

The game started at a frenetic pace with neither side having any time on the ball and many balls played long - one from Bevan Self found Chad Pillar who just beat the quickly advancing Molloy to the ball but could only steer his effort wide. With the advantage of the wind Catfield dominated the early possession without looking to threatening and it was 25 minutes before Molloy was again smartly off his line to snuff out another through-ball. Arron Bowers was shown a yellow card as the game had an edge to it.

A raiding Bevan Self did well to get in a cross under pressure but the stooping header from Gary Todd was easily claimed by Molloy. With 10 minutes of the first half remaining MK had their best spell of the half, forcing a corner and a free-kick, but Catfield replied immediately

and with Molloy struggling at a corner he was glad of the defender on the post.

Darin Scales and Bowers combined to produce the best piece of football just before the break but the imperious Hall was there in a flash to clear the danger. Adam Hogg turned smartly on the edge of the box but couldn't keep his shot down.

MK United enjoyed the better possession in the second period, however it was Pillar at the centre of the action. At the other end within seconds of coming on as a substitute, Aaron Hogg was put through by Hall but he fired over from a tight angle. Ten minutes from time Molloy saved at point- blank range from Adam Thompson after Hodds had chested down a corner. MK scrambled away another effort from Adam Thompson.

In extra-time goal-scoring chances continued to be at a premium as both defences maintained their concentration however Molloy needed to be sharply down to his right as Hodds soared to meet a corner. Paul Thompson was close to winning the game when he flashed an effort just wide.

The penalty shoot-out featured five of the six substitutes in the eight players to take a spot-kick and one of those put MK ahead with the first penalty, Aaron Hogg. Hodds levelled before Adam Hogg's spot-kick was saved by Starkey and Scales stayed calm to put the Cats 2-1 ahead.

Things got worse for MK when Darryl Clark hit the post and Pillar made it 3-1. Substitute Tom Norman kept MK's hopes alive until another sub Eddie Moore applied the killer blow.

Chairman Michael Covill and vice-chairman Grant Harvey presented the medals and the trophy to the winning captain Aaron Bowers as Catfield retained the HA Holmes Cup for a third successive year.

Catfield: Ryan Starkey; Bevan Self, Spencer Self, Mark Vincent (Adam Hodds), Adam Thompson; Karl Barnard (Andy Moore), Arron Bowers, Darin Scales, Paul Thompson; Chad Pillar, Gary Todd (Stuart Patterson). Subs (not used): Clint Bilyard, Ben Tavares.

MK United: Taurean Molloy; Kevin Foster, Chris Hall, John Holliman, Dale Ingram (Darryl Clark); Dane Whiteley (Tom Norman), Lee Turner, Louis Turner (Aaron Hogg), Luke Jackson; Adam Hogg, Roe Coe. Sub (not used): Steven Loades.

Referee: Peter Cater; Assistants: Brian Russell, Paul Emblem.

Paul Payne