Wellington United and Waimakariri United have taken out the 2018 Youth Football Tournament delivered by the Youth Football Development Trust.
Both finals were tight affairs, as proven by the score lines, with the men’s champion being decided by the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
Wellington, coached by Paul Temple, had to take the hard route to claim gold in the men’s competition thanks to a last second header by Western Springs’ Theo McIntosh to send the game into extra time after Oskar Van Hattum had given the men from the capital the lead earlier in the second half.
After a scoreless period of extra time, Wellington’s ‘keeper Zac Dean saved two penalties to help his side claim a 4-1 shoot out win and ultimately the title.
United’s captain Willem Ebbinge was pleased with his team’s performance in what turned out to be a tough battle.
“We are over the moon; we are stoked with the result.
“It was a tough game out there and to have to go through extra time, pens, creating chance after chance but not being clinical enough I have to say I am really proud of the boys.
“Also, credit to Western Springs for giving us a really hard fought final.’
In the women’s final, it was the crossbar that came to the rescue for Waimak, with Forrest Hill Milford hitting it twice in the dying minutes as they searched for an equaliser.
Unfortunately for Ben Bate’s side it wasn’t to be and a Jayda Stewart goal sealed the victory for Shane Verma’s side.
Influential midfielder Maya Hahn, who joined the side as a guest player, was pleased with how how her team played across the entire weekend.
“The links we made across the weekend worked really well for us.
“I thought we played well overall, it was a bit of a scrappy game in the final but I think it showed through our progression over the weekend that we deserved the win.
“To Forrest as well, they are such a good team, it was definitely a tough battle out there.”
In the individual stakes North Wellington’s Jesse Randall and Maggie Jenkins of Glenfield Rovers took out the Golden Boot while Gareth Lewis from Forrest Hill Milford was named goalkeeper of the tournament.
The MVP awards were awarded to Western Springs’ fleet-footed attacker Oscar Browne and Claudelands Rovers Kelli Brown.
2018 Youth Football Tournament Winners
Championship Winner – Wellington United
Championship Runner up – Western Springs
Bowl Winner – Onehunga Sports
Bowl Runner up – Cashmere Technical
Plate Winner – Manurewa
Plate Runner up – Selwyn United
Championship Winner – Waimakariri United
Championship Runner up – Forrest Hill Milford
Bowl Winner – Glenfield Rovers
Bowl Runner up – Claudelands Rovers
Plate Winner – Western Springs
Plate Runner up – Ellerslie