Henley Lions Become JPL Trophy Champions at St Georges Park

Henley Lions 3 – 2 Wirral Schools FA

Last Saturday saw Henley’s U13 JPL pink side travel to Burton to the home of England Training. After another successful season playing in this National league that bridges the gap between Academy and Grassroots football, the players were one game away from some more National silverware after their National cup triumph 2 years ago.

The facilities were incredible but some out of bounds as The Lionesses were there prepping for World Cup duty. The players had their own top level changing facilities and treated like mini pros for the day. The playing surface was like a carpet and the players started to realise how lucky they were to be playing there.

The game started and it was very clear it was going to be a tight affair right from the first whistle, both teams talented and comfortable with the ball but also physical.
Henley broke the deadlock after a great passing move after some great battling from Mom Marley McCann and the ball broke lose to striker Victor Wachowicz who slotted home 1 – 0. The lead didn’t last long though as Wirral were offered a very generous penalty decision after the big No 9 was clipped in the box. They slotted home 1 – 1.

After a quick team talk at half time from coaches Rich, Tyler and Sammy and a few changes the second half was to prove to be much more end to end. Both teams creating chances. Wirral having 2 clear chances 1 v 1. One chance going just wide and the second came off the woodwork. This pushed the Lions into action as there was no way they were coming this far to get beaten and every player raised their game. Connor Jackson with a clever toe poke that left everyone confused on how he saw the gap made it 2 – 1 to the Lions. Next the moment of the match saw top scorer Jack Timberlake hit a sensational volley from 30 yards out to lob the keeper and send the parents and coaches wild 3 – 1 with 4 minutes to play! The tie looked won until Wirral decided they would score from a free kick which caught Steen Alden off guard and went straight in from 35 yards. 3 – 2 Lions. This lead to a crazy 2 minutes but the Lions held out and were champions again!!