Ability Counts League family pays their respects to the family of Ewan Hadfield

Sheffield Red takes control of the Premier Division Cup

Glory for Dooley Kicks in the Championship tournament

A real nail biter as Titans’ Red edge the honours in League One Trophy.

Season’s end for the 7-a-side coaches, players, referees, and spectators at Concord Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon; but only after three thunderous Divisional Competitions, played in typically sporting fashion by all our participants.

The afternoon was preceded by a beautifully and impeccably observed tribute by the League to one of our family, the late Ewan Hadfield of City Knights, taken at such a young age. Ewan’s coach, Sharon Lavender, led the tributes with her memories of Ewan, and his parents and other family members then joined in a minute’s silence followed by a minute’s applause. The League and clubs presented cards and donations to Ewan’s Mum and Dad, which they will pass on to Ewan’s favourite charities.

As the family took their leave – they will of course be welcome at any of our future matchdays – Sharon told www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.comCan I say a big thank you to Ewan’s family who turned up, to all the clubs and people that came to support them and have donated to Ewan’s family and who respected the day.”

“Thank you to all the referees and the Ability Counts League committee who supported the day – it was much appreciated.”

Pictures and video of the tributes to Ewan are available on the website, and the SYACL Committee would like to thank all our participants for their fantastic support for the tribute.

RIP Ewan.

So, to the action, and, as always, our intrepid reporters did their best to keep up with the frantic action across three pitches at Concord – just the 34 X 8-minute matches during the afternoon. Just as well that we have our reporters with sharpened pencils standing ready to keep us up to date on the games.

In the Premier Divisional Cup, Sheffield FC Red got off to a fast start with a win in their derby with Sheffield FC Blue, before Club Doncaster Titans White shared the points in a goalless stalemate with Aston Swallownest Red.  “Both teams played an end-to-end game and some lovely football, but the final score was 0 – 0.” Titans Head Coach Martin Taylor told us.

Martin and his Titans’ White team stayed on for their second match with Sheffield Blue. “It was another end-to-end game, but Titans stepped up a gear,” Martin told us. “Titans had a number of chances to take the lead but couldn’t take them and it ended in another 0 – 0 draw.”

Sheffield FC Red marched on with a 2 – 0 win over Aston Red before facing Titans White. Here’s Martin Taylor with Titans’ perspective. “We knew this was going to be a hard game with Sheffield FC Red winning the League. The game start end-to-end then Titans had a chance to make it 1 – 0 but hit the post. Then Sheffield broke away and scored making it 1 – 0. Titans heads went down a little, and Sheffield scored two quick goals making the final score 3 – 0.”

Sheffield FC Blue shared the spoils with Aston Red in a goalless draw before Titan’s White faced Sheffield Red again. “Sheffield started the stronger team and scored a quick goal. This time Titans kept their head and started playing lovely football and nearly equalised, but Sheffield scored another from a breakaway making it 2 – 0.” 

Aston Red and Sheffield Blue played out a goalless draw before Sheffield Red took the points with a 3 – 0 victory over Aston Red. Titans’ White then drew nil-nil with Sheffield Blue. “It was another end-to-end game and more lovely football too. Both teams played their socks off,“ Martin told us.

Titans’ continued after a quick turnaround to finish the afternoon with a win over Aston Red. Martin Taylor continued, “Titans started on the front foot and started bossing the game. Chance after chance came for Titans, but we couldn’t finish them. Then the ball fell to John Hibbert and he passed the ball through to Keith Parker who slotted the ball under the keeper to make it 1 – 0. Titans kept the pressure on but couldn’t score again,” Martin added, “so the final score was 1 – 0 to the Titans.”

So, it was left to Sheffield Red and Sheffield Blue to play out a tense goalless draw which confirmed Sheffield Red as Premier Division Cup winners, all the more remarkable as they were unbeaten and didn’t concede a goal during the afternoon!

All of the players received a medal, including our brilliant referee, Sean Wright; but it was Sheffield Red who lifted the trophy, so our congratulations to them and well done to the other sides.

In the Championship Divisional Cup, the first match saw Dooley Kicks edge Brunsmeer Awareness, with Bradford City Blue and Wheatley Wanderers sharing the points.

Wheatley stayed on, but lost 3 – 0 to Dooley Kicks, who had started the afternoon strongly. Brunsmeer took their first win, 3 – 0 over Bradford City FC Blue, who stayed on the field, but lost a hard-fought game with Dooley Kicks.

A goalless stalemate between Wheatley and Brunsmeer followed; then another between Brunsmeer and Dooley Kicks.

Bradford City Blues and Wheatley shared goals and points in a 1 – 1 draw, then Dooley Kicks continued their fine afternoon with a narrow win over Wheatley.

After Brunsmeer and Bradford had played out a goalless eight-minute match, Dooley Kicks all but sealed the glory with a 2 – 0 win over Bradford Blue, with Brunsmeer 3 – 1 winners over Wheatley in the final match.

So deserved cup glory for Dooley Kicks, with every participant taking a medal home, including our excellent referee, Tim Savage.

The League One Divisional Cup was a tense affair which went right down to the last game.

In match one, City Knights Blue shared a thrilling 2 – 2 draw with Sheffield FC White. “We started the tournament matches with playing Sheffield White,” City Knights Sharon Lavender told www.syacl.com. “They had 7 we had 7 and it was quite an even game. The guys communicated well and supported each other. We were losing 1 -0; the lads pulled their resources together, kept strong and pulled one back with a great goal from Jordan with a lovely assist from Grant Chapman. Well done Jordan Bratby! Not long after Warren smashed one in assisted by Stephen MacDonald. Well done Warren Foster!”

“With seconds to the end of the final whistle Sheffield FC equalised. Final score 2 – 2.”

Next up, Aston Swallownest Blue and Club Doncaster Titans’ Red shared the points after a goalless stalemate. Our first game was challenging for both teams as these games were 10 minutes straight through,” Titans’ Coach, Dannyl Hall, told us. “Neither team had any chances on goal, and it ended 0 – 0.”

Derek Dooley Orange made their first appearance of the afternoon. “Our team had only 5 players, but they gave their all throughout the match day,” Coach Claire Cowlishaw told us. “City Knights Blue were gracious in agreeing to play 5 players against our 5. The match started at a good pace, and they were passing to each other and making space for the pass to go into. Jamie Lee had a shot and scored. Knights brought on a player, but this didn’t stop the team from passing to each other, Josh had a shot but went out for a corner. Jamie Lee took the corner, sent it to Nathan whose shot went wide. Knights passed together and got the ball past Nathan F to bring it back to a 1 – 1 draw. The lads didn’t give up and passed up front from Nathan to Jamie Lee on the left side, who was taken out. Free kick from Nathan, unfortunately went over the net. Another corner from Jamie Lee, high this time, but went over Greg’s head. Solid in defence was Nathan P the coach put in a great tackle to stop the knights on a run, sent the ball up to Jamie Lee who passed to Josh in the middle who had another shot wide. Their first game ended in a great 1 – 1 draw.” 

City Knights Sharon Lavender gave her take on the point, “Our second match was against Derek Dooley Orange,” Sharon reported. “Their manager came over to me and told me that they only had 5 and would we mind playing 5 aside so I said yes, but this was the team that was in the Championship League. We played 5 v 5 then they got a goal, so we put another player on; they were fine with that. Not long into the match we got a goal back, Sam was in the right place at the right time and slipped it in the net, it was assisted by Jordan, well done Sam Leary great goal! Final score 1 – 1.”

After a 1 – 1 draw between Aston Swallownest Blue and Sheffield White, Derek Dooley Orange took on Club Doncaster Titans’ Red, watched by Dannyl Hall. “In our second game, Titans Red took on Derek Dooley Orange, newly relegated from Championship. They only had 5 players so as we are a respectful team, we put on 5 players. “The match didn’t go our way, and we lost 2 – 0, “Dannyl went on. “Our players’ heads dropped, but I told everyone to forget it and concentrate on the next game.”

Claire from Dooley Orange gave us her take on the match. “The second game was against Doncaster Titans. They were great sportsmen who agreed to start with 5 players. We started again with a good pace and went straight up from kick off with a pass from Josh to Gregg and it was saved. Doncaster passed it all the way to our end but couldn’t score past Nathan F. He rolled to Nathan P who passed to Josh who passed to Jamie Lee on the wing who crossed to the other side to Gregg, but the shot went wide. There was really good team work with lovely passing with Gregg passing to Jamie Lee who scored the first goal. Doncaster brought another player on, this seemed to give the lads a boost and there was more passing and shot over from Josh. Jamie Lee took the ball down the wing and passed to Gregg who scored to take the lead 2 – 0.”

“This was a good win for Dooley Orange.”

City Knights Blue then shared the points with Aston Swallownest Blue. “Our third match was against Aston Swallownest Blue,”  City Knights’ Sharon explained. “They gave us a good challenging game; we had several chances to score; they were saved by their keeper numerous times; our keeper and defenders also did well to keep the ball out of our net. The guys kept their heads up and battled on, leaving the final score at 0 – 0.”

Titans Red were then back in action against Sheffield FC White. “Game 3 with Sheffield FC end-to-end action and could have gone either way,” Dan Hall reported, “but Titans broke the deadlock with Kieran banging it in to make it 1- 0 to Titans. Now we defended our lead and Callum Bisby capitalised and made it 2 – 0.”

“The final whistle went, and the cheers lifted the team.”

The tension was mounting as Derek Dooley Orange faced Aston Swallownest Blue.

“Our last game was against Aston and the lads played amazing with the 5 of them against 7 players,” Claire Cowlishaw told us. “Despite this, it was an even game, and they showed their good passing and had many shots, but they weren’t on target. Eventually one went in, and they took the lead. They kept pushing and some solid defending from Nathan P and superb goalkeeping by Nathan F. The run started from Nathan P to Josh who scored, they took the lead. Aston showed some good passing and they managed to score past Nathan F taking it back to 1 – 1. A great draw, not losing a match.”

Derek Dooley’s last match was against Sheffield White, and a win would give us the trophy. “They started off well with shots from Josh and Gregg, but went over. This was an even game and some great defending from Nathan P and shots saved by Nathan F. They couldn’t break the deadlock and finished a draw.”

“The tournament was a success for the Orange team who didn’t lose a game” Claire reminded us. “Well done lads!”

 “Our fourth and final match was against Doncaster Titans Red,” City’ Knights’ Sharon told us. “In the first half we kept it very tight at the back, we let the ball flow freely to the front and had several chances but to no avail, there was some good one-two’s up front, some good team play, but no result! In the second half near to the end of the match our keeper tried very hard to keep the ball out of the net, but it slipped out of his fingers. The final score 1 – 0 to Titans.”

They didn’t know it yet, but that win – and Dooley just missing out on the win in the last match – gave a thrilling Divisional Cup to Club Doncaster Titans Red, watched by winning coach Danny Hall.

“On to the final game Titans Red v City Knights Blue, again end-to-end action. Titans captain Callum Bisby shot across goal and somehow it managed to go in game ending 1 – 0 to Titans”.

“With the other results that gave Titans Red – won 2; drew 1; lost 1: 7 points – and to our shock we won the Cup.”

“Champions- we did it!!!”

So, congratulations to all the teams in the Division One cup, and well done to all our teams.

Everyone took a medal home, including our super referee, Brian Eaton; but it was the guys from Doncaster who lifted the Trophy.

So that’s the season for our 7-a-side teams – thanks and congratulations to them all.

It’s the five-a-side Divisional Cups this coming Sunday so we’ll see you there, or here at www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com

We’ll finish though, where we started, and the loss of our team mate Ewan Hadfield. The final words are left with City Knights coach, Sharon Lavender.  

“I would like to say I was very proud of you all, well done to David Barker, Adrian Bingham, Sam Leary, Jordan Bratby, Stephan MacDonald, Warren Foster. Grant Chapman.
Also, even though they weren’t there, I would like to thank Connor Nicholls and Kyle Hancock, AJ for their support this season. Thank you for all the support you have given us, we do appreciate it.”

“Mike and Colin, thank you for Sunday – you helped give Ewan a good send-off.”

In respect of Ewan, we wore black armbands – and Ewan was in our hearts.

See you all next season, take care!!

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