Junior Football Festival proves to be a big hit with the players

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Alnwick Juniors completed their Summer Football Festival double weekend with victories for Felton and Blaydon in the U11s and U12s.

The U9s and U10s had played the previous weekend and afterwards a spokesman for the club said: “The four days of our #SummerFootballFestivals2017 have been and gone in an absolute flash!

“They have consisted of two weekends of footballing fun and mayhem.

“We’d like to extend our thanks to Louise and her strong team who have put in a lot of man-hours to organising the whole event from start to finish, as well as our ground staff who have prepared new pitches each week.

“Thanks also go to our sponsors, our committee and our dedicated players and parents.

“We are also very grateful to our young referees who have given up their time to ensure everything has run smoothly on the pitch. Sam and Josh have travelled from Cramlington three times, Alex has given up his time from Rothbury while our own Reece Gaines has been there every day. The lads have done excellently for having an average age of 15.

“A special mention goes to regular referee Ray Smith for helping with our first day before jetting off on holiday and Stephen Gibbard who stepped in at very short notice for today’s event.

“We hope all team’s have enjoyed their days in the North East, some having travelled from as far away as Sunderland. Plans are already afoot for next year and we look forward once again to becoming bigger and better.”

The final day of U11s and U12 were played in great spirit with some scintillating football on display.

The U11s competition belonged to the local teams. Being the biggest of the two weeks, it was split into two groups of six. Alnwick Magpies topped their group to seal a place in the final, a superb last-minute penalty save against Cleveland Hall capping it.

In the other group it looked sure to be HFC Utd heading through with Felton requiring a six-goal win in their final game. The local side went on the attack from the start and a last-gasp goal proved enough to send them through sensationally on goal difference.

The final was a real tight affair with few chances. The black-and-whites dominated the first half but couldn’t break through and Felton grew into the game. The team in yellow and blue grabbed the decisive goal two minutes from time to bag the trophy.

In the U12s, the two groups were wrapped up more quickly. Blaydon dropped only two points as they zoomed through while Hazelrigg qualified for the final with a 100% record. In the final, Blaydon won with a single goal in the first half.