Long Sutton came out on top at the Lincolnshire Under 12 Mixed Hockey League Finals at Louth, but they were made to work hard for their first silverware at this level.
Having won all of the monthly tournaments this season, they went into the finals determined to ensure their excellent form would continue when it mattered.
They won all five matches, conceding just one goal along the way, while at the other end they banged in 15.
Sutton’s first game proved to be their hardest as a determined and equally strong Spalding side made life tough for them before Josh Baker grabbed a late winner.
They went ahead from a short corner when Macy Carr pushed out to Matt Goodley who made time for himself before firing home.
But Spalding’s pressure paid off when they broke forward and found a way past Brad Whitmore for the first goal Sutton had conceded for four tournaments.
Sutton grabbed the winner right at the death when Carr passed to Baker from a short corner and he beat an on-rushing defender before drilling the ball home.
Spalding were unbeaten for the remainder of the tournament as they finished runner-up.
Hosts Louth were up next for Sutton, who ran out 4-0 victors with Taylor and Baker each grabbing doubles.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic though as Whitmore was forced to make three good saves to keep Louth out while Charlotte Maplethorpe impressed in the Sutton midfield.
Sutton edged a tight encounter with Lincoln A 1-0 in their fourth match. Poor finishing and good Lincoln goalkeeping saw the tension growing until they finally made a breakthrough following a short corner.
Baker was again the Sutton hero as he fired home to earn his side a 1-0 victory.
The all-Sutton clash between the club’s A and B teams proved more straightforward as the favourites won 4-0.
Tyler Hagan in the B team goal kept out Maplethorpe but was eventually beaten four times as the favourites kept up their winning run.
Taylor and Maplethorpe finally managed to get the ball past the keeper to open up a two-goal lead but the A team weren’t finished there.
Carr pushed home to extend the advantage and it could have been more if not for fine keeping from Hagan, but a fourth did eventually arrive as Baker once again found the net.
Sleaford were the final opponents and they went the same way as the rest as Sutton again made their short corners count to maintain their 100 per cent record.
Carr and Baker both scored from short corner routines and the third came when Goodley drove into the area and forced a good save, only for Baker to fire home.
Kieron Smith, having impressed all year in defence, was unlucky not to add to the scoreline.
A lack of goals cost Long Sutton’s B team. They didn’t manage to score in their first four games, which all ended in defeat, but a last-gasp goal in their final match ensured they finished on a high.
They lost narrowly to Sleaford 1-0, were beaten 3-0 by Lincoln A and then went down 2-0 to Spalding where Fraser Watts scored the first before an unfortunate second goal sealed the points.
Sutton’s 4-0 reverse against the A team followed but they finished with a win as they got the better of Louth 1-0.
Connie Gittins grabbed the winner after Josh Balding’s intial effort was saved.
Bourne Deeping Dragons won Division Two, winning four of their six matches.