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2016 NEMLA Flags Festival Report

Poynton Lacrosse Club made history on Sunday by winning their first ever NEMLA Senior Flags in a 127-years by beating the 19-time champions Cheadle 8-7 on Sunday at the 2015 NEMLA Flags Festival hosted by Rochdale Lacrosse Club.

Cheadle took an early lead through Ady Bennett and would hold a one goal lead at the end of the opening quarter with further goals from Bennett and Sam Dexter. Poynton goals in the opening quarter came from captain Sam Russell and Jamie Butler.

The second quarter would see Poynton take the lead for the first time with goals from Josh Robinson and Sam Russell getting his second of the game with Cheadle unable to reply.

The third quarter saw Cheadle level the scores with goals from Matthew Boyd, Nick Watson and Sam Dexter. Poynton scored through Sam Davidson and Jamie Butler to level the scores (6-6) going in to the final quarter.

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Poynton’s Captain Sam Russell © Poynton Lacrosse Club

The final quarter was undoubtedly the most entertaining of the game with both teams having chances to take the lead and some excellent goalkeeping from both Poynton’s Will Baxter and Cheadle’s Nick Anderton to keep the scores tight.

Nick Watson scored first for Cheadle in the final quarter before the Russell brothers both scored for the Blackbirds. Sam Dexter could have taken the game in to overtime had he not rattled a shot off the crossbar with seconds remaining.

The victory was undoubtedly an all-round team performance for Poynton. The welcome return of captain Sam Russell however was a massive boost for the Blackbirds. Russell has made a rapid recovery since suffering a shoulder injury four weeks ago and was instrumental in his team’s victory scoring three goals and controlling the tempo of the game.

Russell commented on the game: “I still can’t believe we have done it. It’s a great feeling especially

Cheadle's Sam Dexter © Poynton Lacrosse Club

Cheadle’s Sam Dexter
© Poynton Lacrosse Club

when you see what it means to so many of the older members of the club. It’s been a terrific season and to end it like this is unbelievable. I’d also like to give a massive amount of credit to Cheadle who pushed us all the way”.

Cheadle battled hard throughout and must be commended on how they played. One key stat that stands out was the importance of Chris Brady at the face-off X winning 16 from 18 draws, he provided his team with the platform to stay competitive throughout the game.

In the other games at the festival weekend, Stockport A won the Junior Flags title in an equally close contest against Heaton Mersey A. The game was decided by two goals with Stockport A coming out on top 8-6.

Following the theme of the weekend the Stockport Cup saw the hosts Rochdale A beat Brooklands A by a two goal margin 9-7.

In the David Beesley the Poynton Blackbirds claimed their second title of the weekend beating Brooklands ‘Ex A’ 14-8 to cap off a memorable weekend for the club. Finally in the Lancashire Cup Sheffield Steelers A beat Heaton Mersey B 17-11.

In the junior games, Heaton Mersey U12’s were crowned the Onongada Cup champions beating Mellor U12’s 12-7.

Timperley U16’s beat Stockport U16’s to lift the Junior & Schools title and Mellor U14’s lifted the Centurion Cup beating Timperley U14’s 17-4.

In the plate competitions, Brooklands U14’s beat Rochdale U14’s 5-1, Timperley U12’s beat Cheadle U12’s in a closely contested and hard fought game 9-8. Sheffield Steelers U16’s beat Cheadle Hulme/Norbury U16’s 10-4.

2016 NEMLA Flags Festival Results

U14 Plate Final
Brooklands U14 5-1 Rochdale U14

U16 Junior & Schools Final
Stockport U16 8-9 Timperley U16

Onongada U12 Cup
Mellor U12 7-12 Heaton Mersey U12

Stockport Cup
Rochdale A 9-7 Brooklands A

Senior Flags
Poynton 8-7 Cheadle

U12 Plate Final
Timperley U12 9-8 Cheadle U12

U16 Plate Final
Sheffield Steelers U16 10-4 Cheadle Hulme/Norbury U16

David Beesley Cup
Poynton B 14-8 Brooklands ExA

Centurion U14 Cup
Mellor U14 17-4 Timperley U14

Lancashire Cup
Sheffield Steelers A 17-11 Heaton Mersey B

Junior Flags
Stockport A 8-6 Heaton Mersey A

Photos: Mike Robinson (Poynton Lacrosse Club)