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Isle of Man clinch Inter-League Cup

The Isle of Man defeated Hertfordshire Senior County League to clinch the FA Inter-League Cup at the Bowl on Saturday afternoon

The Isle of Man defeated Hertfordshire Senior County League to clinch the FA Inter-League Cup at the Bowl on Saturday afternoon

The Isle of Man will play European football next season after winning the 2014 FA Inter-League Cup at the Bowl on Saturday afternoon.

Having won the competition in 2006, the Men were desperate to make amends for the heartbreak of the 2012 final when they lost in extra-time and they made an excellent start against the Hertfordshire Senior County League.

The game, played in front of more than 1200 spectators, was just 12 minutes old when the recalled Daniel Bell played a superb diagonal ball to his Peel team-mate Lee Gale who cut inside a defender before firing a fine strike past visiting goalkeeper Sam Styles.

The Herts No1 proved to be a pillar of defiance in the face of numerous Manx attacks, producing several sublime saves as the game remained 1-0 at half-time.

However, it didn’t take long for the hosts to double their lead after the interval when Gale led a devastating counter-attack which resulted in Chris Bass Jr crossing to man of the match Frank Jones to bundle the ball in at the far post.

And the Men were in dreamland just four minutes later when Bass Jr punished some poor passing in the Herts defence to steal possession and slot the ball past Styles for 3-0.

Substitute Sam Caine went close to extending the lead when his low effort crashed back off the post, but Hertfordshire were given a lifeline in the 85th minute when the lively Jamie Arthur fired past Max Thomas.

Then four minutes later Gavin Chatterpaul was brought down inside the box for the visitors and Chris Ingham powered in the resulting penalty to set up a nervy finale.

However, despite nearly six minutes of injury time, the Isle of Man were able to hold on be crowned FA Inter-League Cup champions for a second time to earn the right to represent England in the UEFA Regions Cup - a fantastic achievement.

Full report and photographs in Tuesday’s Isle of Man Examiner Final Whistle supplement.

 

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