Over the past two months the Herefordshire FA have hosted their annual County Cup finals, sponsored by Avara Foods. In the traditional curtain closers for the season there were eight County finals to help celebrate and promote the various levels of the game. A round up of the events are below.
The first of the County Finals this season saw Worcester City U18s take on their near neighbours Kidderminster Harriers at Edgar Street in the Giantkillers Cup final. Kidderminster, a league above their opponents and retaining champions of the competition for the past two seasons, went into the fixture as clear favourites, however after trailing 1-0 at half time Worcester City lived up to the naming of the cup, coming from behind with two break away goals to clinch the win and lift the trophy presented by members of the Hereford United giant killing squad of 1972.
The excitement continued the following week as it was the turn of the women’s final to grace Edgar Street. A thrilling match saw Hereford Pegasus pushed to the very end in a tight affair as Ross Juniors Women showed great spirit and ability to twice take the lead against their League opponents Pegasus, who took victory in the two league fixtures this season. However, the experience of Pegasus showed through and after the match went to penalties the city team retained the trophy for a third year running.
The final match at Edgar Street saw Westfields firsts take on Hereford Pegasus firsts in the County Challenge Cup. With the two clubs competing highly in the Hellenic League and finishing with similar records the eagerly anticipated match saw an attendance of over 450 spectators witnessing a 3-1 win for Westfields.
More drama was to follow as the SSAFA County Ground took centre stage for the remaining finals. Ledbury Town, runners up in the Herefordshire Football League Premier Division, were hauled back from a 2-0 lead against Tenbury United to see the second set of penalties in this season’s finals. With the first four penalties for both teams being smartly dispatched into the net the trophy was won by Ledbury as Tenbury’s fifth penalty was sent over the cross bar.
Not to be outdone on the entertainment front Wellington Colts and Shobdon went head-to-head in the Bluefin Sports Junior Cup. After helping Wellington take an early lead their talisman Maturi sustained a double lead break putting a pause to the match, however upon restart Wellington continued the positive form to find themselves 4-1 up. A resurgent Shobdon showed great character in the second half to bring the scores level making it very difficult to separate the sides, but no penalties were needed this time as Wellington recovered to final the crucial winning goal and achieve a league and cup double.
Not to be outdone by their adult counterpart the youth finals also saw many goals and action points. Ledbury Swifts came from behind to secure the Youth Cup against Ross Juniors, with some excellent football on display and a large crowd behind them Ledbury found three second half goals to overcome the deficit. Ross Juniors did find success in the U16 Girls final as they clashed with rivals Tupsley Girls. Another 3-1 score line was enough to separate the sides who both reached the final last season. With many of the players returning for a second hit at this cup it was Ross who lifted and retained the trophy with Camden putting in a strong performance to receive player of the match accolades. We finished this year’s finals with the U14 Girls competition which saw goals galore as a very strong Tupsley Girls team, with numerous stand outs, put on an impressive display to be crowned Champions.
The Herefordshire FA would like to say a huge congratulations to everyone that reached the finals and represented their clubs so well. Thank you to all clubs that took part and made the competitions so competitive and enjoyable to oversee for the past 9 months.
A special mention must be made to our sponsors Avara Foods for supporting the County Cups and Arthur Oakley Transport for sponsoring the Player of the Match trophies. Thank you to our team of Match Officials for your ever-present efforts and professionalism. Finally thank you to Hereford FC for their support and organisation of hosting some finals and our great band of HFA Board and Council members for their support and efforts in running each final making the events run smoothly for all.
We look forward to season 2023/24 and seeing fresh challenges to lift the Cups!
HFA County Cup Finals 2022/23 Results:
County Challenge Cup
Westfields 3-1 Hereford Pegasus
Women’s County Cup
Ross Juniors 2-2 Hereford Pegasus (Pegasus win on Pens)
Tenbury United 2-2 Ledbury Town (Ledbury win on Pens)
Wellington Colts 5-4 Shobdon
Worcester City U18 2-1 Kidderminster Harriers U18
Ross Juniors 1-3 Ledbury Swifts
U16 Girls County Cup
Tupsley Girls 1-3 Ross Juniors
U14 Girls County Cup
Leominster Town 0-12 Tupsley Girls