Marine Academy reach national final
MARINE Academy Plymouth Under-10s (left) did the South West proud as they came close to winning the National Futsal Finals in Birmingham.
The team reached the showpiece's final, but eventually lost 3-0 to East Hull Saints at the National Indoor Arena.
The competition started 10 months ago for MAP who progressed through city, county and regional finals to reach the climax in Birmingham.
After an overnight stay Marine Academy began their campaign by defeating Shrewsbury Juniors 3-0 with Pete Keaney (2) and Dylan Peters scoring the goals.
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Their second match against East Midlands side Whitemoor was close with Bailey Yeo finishing well for the young MAP side to edge it 1-0.
Another close game and another 1-0 win against Santiago from the West Midlands ensured their passage into the semi-finals, with Jack Eddle getting the all important goal.
In the last group game Marine Academy needed a draw to secure top spot in the group.
This was achieved against Marshalls from the North East with Pete Keaney scoring in a 1-1 draw.
The semi-final draw pitched Marine Academy against FC Enfield from London and a tense game resulted in a draw with Jack Eddle scoring in a 1-1 deadlock.
Extra-time saw no further goals and it was Tom Mitch who was MAPs' hero as he saved the third penalty and then stepped up to score the winning spot kick to send the travelling Plymouth contingent into raptures.
The team went into the final with the knowledge they had not lost a single game, but two early goals from opponents East Hull Saints had the Marine Academy Players chasing the match.
The team showed fantastic desire to get back into the game and hit the woodwork twice, and the Hull keeper produced some fantastic saves to keep MAP at bay.
The game was decided in the last minute as Hull added their third to condemn Marine Academy to runners-up spot.
Dan Skyrme, who accompanied joint manager Brad Yeo to the event, said: "The players were absolutely devastated after the final to get so close to winning a national title, but when they reflect on their efforts they will realise what a fantastic achievement it has been to get to this stage.
"It really has been a journey we shall all remember for a long time."
The tournament signalled players Keaney and Peters' last matches for Marine Academy as they take up contracts with Plymouth Argyle's centre of excellence.
The club are now on the lookout for players to join to add to their squad in readiness for the under-11 DJM season next season.
Players interested in joining the side can contact Skyrme on 07854 969276.