Double delight for the Green Army

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Premier Division and League Cup winners Armthorpe Rovers U17 are (back l-r) Steve Parkhouse, Pete Shirley, Liam McHugh, Jack Eusman, Ryan Hill, Jordan Smith, Jordan Sigsworth, Callum Hope, James Padgett, Adam Wright, Graham Hill; front (l-r) Kieran Benson, Callum Tiffany, Lewis Elwood, Callum Wiffen, Joel Cartlidge, Toby Alderson, Billy Parkhouse, Luke Soffe. Picture: Andrew Roe.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Premier Division and League Cup winners Armthorpe Rovers U17 are (back l-r) Steve Parkhouse, Pete Shirley, Liam McHugh, Jack Eusman, Ryan Hill, Jordan Smith, Jordan Sigsworth, Callum Hope, James Padgett, Adam Wright, Graham Hill; front (l-r) Kieran Benson, Callum Tiffany, Lewis Elwood, Callum Wiffen, Joel Cartlidge, Toby Alderson, Billy Parkhouse, Luke Soffe. Picture: Andrew Roe.

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GOALS from Joel Cartlidge and Jordan Sigsworth helped Armthorpe Rovers U17 secure a league and cup double in their last action in the Doncaster and District Junior Sunday League

There was plenty of needle between Rovers and perennial rivals South Kirkby which made for a competitive if slightly scrappy final at Yorkshire Main.

South Kirkby controlled much of the game, particularly in the first half, but were undone by clinical finishing from Armthorpe, who ran out 2-1 winners.

It took a fantastic blocking save from South Kirkby keeper Connor Boulton to prevent Rovers from taking the lead inside the first minute when Billy Parkhouse volleyed Callum Hope’s centre.

But chances were few and far between for Armthorpe for the rest of the half as South Kirkby took control with the better of the football played.

Luke Malone stole the ball, surged to the edge of the box and squared to George Proud who could only scuff his first time shot.

Half chances continued to come for South Kirkby with Jake Wileman pulling a 25 yard free kick wide while Malone headed Nathan Dowie’s high cross over the bar.

The closest South Kirkby came to taking the lead was on 28 minutes when a corner was cleared to Jamie Croft 30 yards out and his powerful drive flew just past the top corner.

Armthorpe took the lead against the run of play on the half hour when a free kick from the left dropped to Cartlidge who swiped home from close range.

Sam Kirk turned superbly on the edge of the area but was crowded out by the Armthorpe defence before he could get his shot away while substitute Chris Mills fired just wide from outside the box as South Kirkby continued to push forward towards the end of the half.

South Kirkby did have the ball in the back of the net three minutes into the second half when Kane Snowden tapped home after a free kick rattled off the bar only to see it ruled out for offside.

Armthorpe settled into the game properly for the first time and could have extended their lead on a couple of occasions.

Parkhouse fired just wide from the edge of the area while Sigsworth saw his rasping drive blocked by the onrushing Boulton.

Just when it looked as though the game was slipping away from South Kirkby, they drew level.

Mills delivered a superb free kick from the half way line and the ball fell to Nigel Dixon who drilled into the roof of the net.

The two sides cancelled each other out for much of the remaining 25 minutes with the game descending into a scrappy midfield battle, not aided by an uneven playing surface.

Armthorpe had a Cartlidge strike ruled out for a foul in the build-up and extra time appeared inevitable.

But 11 minutes from time, Rovers produced the decisive blow.

Sigsworth rose superbly to meet a cross and loop a header into the far corner.

To Rovers’ credit, they saw out the remaining time calmly, denying the opposition any time and reducing them to long balls forward.

It was from one such long pass that South Kirkby almost found the leveller in injury time but Mills failed to get enough on his flicked effort to take it beyond Eusman.

But like the season, the day belonged to Armthorpe and their Green Army.

* For more pictures from the U17 League Cup final, see this week’s Free Press, out now.