National Division 1: HBU are National Champions!
Herne Bay United Reserves played in the final tournament in the National Division 1 at the Arena on Sunday.
United had 3 games against England Schoolboys, Maidstone and finally the England Ladies. United were going into the tournament level on points with Halifax and 4 points clear of Maidstone.
United’s first game was against England Schoolboys. Leading 2-1 with 30 seconds to go somehow United managed to concede 2 goals to lose 3-2. Maidstone won their first game of the day to put them only 1 point behind United. This meant that the outcome of the game between the 2 sides would have a huge bearing on the title. If Maidstone won then the title would probably go to them. United though were up for the game and went 1-0 with a well taken individual goal from Lewis Greenwood. That was the only goal of the first half. The second half saw Maidstone pile on the pressure, they were rewarded with a goal of their own to tie the game at 1-1. However a draw was enough for United and Maidstone knew it, in the final minutes of the game Maidstone pressed United all over the rink and their tactic nearly worked when United conceded a penalty with only 3 seconds of the game remaining. If Maidstone scored the title would be all but theirs, however veteran keeper saved the shot to make the final score 1-1. United now knew a win against the England ladies would secure them the title. United dominated the final game running out comfortable 7-0 winners. Herne Bay United are now National Division 1 Champions for 2012/13 season, England’s Project 2013 Junior squad actually topped the table but are a project team and are entered as training program in the League.
After the tournament Club Coach Phil McVey said: “We are thrilled to have won the league, the team is basically made up of young up and coming players and the veterans. We have proved there is strength and depth within our club and the future looks bright. Hopefully it has given the younger players a taste of winning championships at senior level. We want them to enjoy it, learn from the experience and progress to hopefully winning many more competitions in years to come. I has been a very busy week for the club, and a very successful one as well. Our 1st team are currently sitting in 2nd place in the Premier League with one game to go, it is out of our hands. We need Middlesbrough to slip up against current champions Grimsby in their final game and we need to beat Bury for us to win the title. It seems unlikely that Middlesbrough will slip up but Grimsby are still in with a chance of winning the league as well so who knows. It should be an interesting few weeks ahead. Middlesbrough and Grimsby play this coming Sunday and we play Bury on the 22nd June.”
HBU Team: Garrett Priestley (gk), Paul McVey, Nick Barton, Matt Holness, Jon Barton, Richard Walker, Josh Branchett, Lewis Greenwood.