Shoot-out agony for Rutland in cup clash

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Rutland U18 4 Belper U18 4

RUTLAND went out on penalty strokes at the end of a thrilling National Cup hockey tie against Belper U18s on Sunday.

This last-32 tie was always going to be a tight encounter between two talented sides and although Rutland started better, launching several good attacks, it was Belper that opened the scoring from a well executed short corner.

Rutland equalised at the end of a move that started with a brilliant solo run by Richard Pollock from inside Rutland’s half. He took the ball to the edge of the D before releasing David Booth to beat the defender and keeper to equalise.

Not long after, Rutland were in again and this time Scott Perry scored to put Rutland ahead.

But Rutland could not add to the score before Belper had levelled, firing a loose ball into the D for a deflection past the keeper. And, just before half time, Rutland fell behind after being caught by a long ball up field for a breakaway strike.

Rutland played some superb hockey in the second half, moving the ball around with precision and finally converting after a series of short corners with Scott Perry flicking high into the net.

Rutland soon took the lead, with Jake Loomes slotting home Rutland’s fourth at the end of a beautiful, quick, passing move down the right flank.

Rutland were composed and it looked like they would play the game out but with just three minutes on the clock, Rutland sent an aerial ball straight to a Belper player who hit the ball back into the Rutland 25 and forced a short corner.

Rutland defended it well only to concede further short corners and with just 30 seconds left, Belper converted to equalise and force the game to penalty strokes, which Rutland lost 5-4.

Rutland squad: Oli Carrick, Johnny Ashwin, Owen Evans, Tom King, Richard Pollock, Harry Robertson, Louis Scarrott (capt), Scott Perry, Ben Harford, Jake Loomes, Marcus Parsons, David Booth.