Poynton make it four in a row after overtime Flags thriller


Poynton came through a nail-biting final to win their fourth consecutive Senior Flags after Cheadle staged a remarkable late fightback to force the game into overtime.

The Blackbirds had opened up a five-goal advantage with less than 10 minutes to play but a Dan Condron effort with 00:01 on the clock gave Cheadle a lifeline and sending the match to the extra period.

But the Flags holders managed to pick themselves pick up from the disappointment of giving up the lead to come through the memorable contest.

Poynton came out the quickest in the opening exchanges moving into a three-goal lead with Sam Davidson, Will Prescott and Andrew Brickell all scoring, making good use of a man-up opportunity to score twice.

However, it was to be penalties given away by Poynton that allowed Cheadle to maintain touch through the first-half.

The gap was closed to 3-2 as Ady Bennett and Joe Baythorpe got Cheadle going, both on EMOs, and despite a solo effort from Sam Russell keeping Poynton ticking over, the league champions added another three goals in Q2 without reply two of which again on man-ups as Cheadle led for the first time.

Prescott levelled the tie for Poynton going into the half and after the resumption, the third quarter was generally quiet with both defences on top as the tension grew between the sides.

Nick Watson and Josh Jenkins exchanged efforts before arguably the moment of the match as Tom Brook forced a turnover, carried it out into the attack on a fast break and passed it off as Prescott finished off the move for his hat-trick and the ¾ time lead, 7-6.

If Q3 was uneventful, the fourth period turned out to be anything but.

It looked as though Poynton had it all sewn up as they found another gear, blitzing four straight goals to at the start of Q4, creating a six-goal streak and opening an 11-6 lead with less than 10 minutes to play and left Cheadle reeling, seemingly out of the game.

However, Cheadle, runners-up to Poynton in the last three Flags finals, were determined not to give it up again and produced their own devastating streak to stun Poynton and the watching crowd.

Dan Condron started the run and goals from Bennett, Matt Collier and Dan Smith, who picked up a face-off from the wing and went to goal with an eye-catching long pole effort, put Cheadle back within one with 2:30 in the game.

Cheadle took hold of possession running into the final minute and as the clock ran down they fashioned one final chance; Watson picking the ball up behind and firing it into Condron who, turning away from goal, side-armed his effort past the ‘keeper to tie the game at 11-11 incredibly with just 00:01 on the clock.

That blow could have seen Poynton fold going into overtime and Cheadle did come out with the initiative, forcing Will Baxter to make two strong saves, but they regrouped and got to the end of the first period still at 11-all.

The crucial moment then came as some over zealous Cheadle defence was punished presenting a crucial EMO to Poynton.

And when the moment came, Poynton made it count going to a combination that had worked to great effect throughout the game Russell dictating and picking out Prescott on the crease who popped it through the goalie’s legs for his fifth and most important goal of the game.

Brickell made the match safe as Cheadle chased the game doubling in defence to leave him free and soon after the final whistle went an Poynton could celebrate maintaining their formidable flags record to make it four in a row.

Poynton Scorers: Will Prescott 5, Andrew Brickell 3, Sam Russell 2, Sam Davidson 1, Eric Haehl 1, Josh Jenkins 1.

Cheadle Scorers: Ady Bennett 4, Nick Watson 2, Dan Condron 2, Joe Baythorpe 1, Matt Collier 1, Dan Smith 1.