Mulholland drives Grouville to cup win

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GROUVILLE deservedly won the Wheway Trophy for the first time by consigning Premiership champions St Peter to their fifth consecutive defeat in the final of this competition.

After a match worthy of the top two teams in the Island, the trophy count now stands at two each with the ‘decider’ coming in three weeks’ time when the same two teams contest the Jeremie Cup final, again at Springfield.

Grouville had an early claim for a penalty waved away by referee Toni Cardoso when Max Rivers went down under a challenge from Jay Newton. Those two would continue their personal battle for the whole match, as the St Peter defender was under continual pressure from Rivers down Grouville’s left flank.

To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Brutus, Garry Lloyd’s brilliant save shortly afterwards was ‘the tide in the state of the match that led on to fortune’. A well-placed header had found Elliot Poole in space ten yards out and his powerful shot was somehow deflected over the bar with a strong left arm.

With parity maintained, Grouville gained confidence and, midway through the half, Karl Hinds played in Harrison Moon, who rattled the bar with his close-in shot. St Peter responded with a glorious long ball that Seaney McColgan controlled well, only to flash his shot well over the bar.

The vital opening goal went to the Easterners. Rivers with his back to goal on the edge of the box flicked the ball past his marker, Peter Vincenti. It would have put him in with a scoring opportunity only for Vincenti’s right elbow to flick it away, which unfortunately for him referee Cardoso was well positioned to see. Moon sent Pierce Roche the wrong way from the spot and as the half neared its conclusion both Hinds and Rivers went close to doubling the lead.

St Peter replaced Vincenti with Harry Scott for the second half in order to assist Arthur Illingworth, who had been ploughing a lone furrow up front. Before that tactic had a chance to be seen to work or not, Grouville had scored again. Player-of-the-match Jake Mulholland, who dominated the midfield, played a series of passes with Hinds as they looked for an opening, and the chance seemed to have gone when the final ball was cleared to the edge of the box. There it was returned with interest by Grouville skipper Charlie Payn, who rifled a shot into the top left corner. A goal worthy of winning a major trophy.

Moon and Rivers both shot tamely at Roche before substitute Leandro Vieira hit a screamer of a cross shot that Roche was grateful to see whizz past his right post with a quarter of an hour to go.

Don McBey got forward to plant a header towards the top corner but it lacked the strength to trouble Roche. Rivers had another opportunity blocked by Roche before Robert Martins-Figueira cleared off the line in the penultimate minute to prevent any late palpitations for Grouville.

Grouville: Garry Lloyd, Callum Coote, Robert Martins-Figueira, (Olly Rivers 90), Carl Duncan (Connor Lloyd 85), Don McBey, Kieren Stephens, Max Rivers, Charlie Payn (c) (Y 69), Karl Hinds, Jake Mulholland (Y 53), Harrison Moon (Leandro Vieira 73).

St Peter: Pierce Roche, Jay Newton (Tom Ewing 81), Paul McCafferty, Jack Griffin (James Murphy 65), Tom Blampied, Mark Logue (c), (Vincenti 90+4), Seaney McColgan (Ryan Le Cornu 81), Elliot Poole, Calvin Weir, Peter Vincenti (Y 38) (Harry Scott 46), Arthur Illingworth.

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