The Hawks U18 side were crowned the Ryman Youth League South Division champions on Thursday evening at The Enclosed Ground following a 3-3 draw against Three Bridges.
Before the game, Jude Macdonald’s side knew that a win would make them champions, but the game got off to the worst possible start as the visitors took the lead after 10 minutes. The Hawks didn’t play to their full ability during the First Half but caught a break in the 37th minute as Dom Hemblade was fouled in the box for a penalty, which George Coltherd-Walls easily dispatched. Only a few minutes later they took a 2-1 lead as Rob Deda struck a brilliant through ball to Coltherd-Walls who slotted home.
The Second Half began like the First as The Hawks started slow again and Three Bridges levelled it up to make the score 2-2, but just a few minutes later Billy Barker restored the lead with a cross which flew over the Three Bridges keeper and into the goal to make it 3-2. There was to be late heartbreak however as in added time the visitors equalised through an own goal to make it 3-3, which was the score when the game ended.
The heartbreak soon turned to elation when news broke that closest rivals in the title race Eastbourne Borough could only manage a 3-3 draw against Worthing FC, a result which meant Eastbourne would be unable to overthrow The Hawks from the top spot which handed our U18’s a first ever trophy and league title since their inception just under 4 years ago.
The Hawks are still on course for an unprecedented quadruple as next Thursday, 6th April, they take on Newhaven FC in the Sussex County FA Under 18 Cup Final at Culver Road, Lancing (7.15PM kickoff). They will also take on Tombridge Angels in the Ryman Youth Cup Final at Church Road, Whyteleafe (7.30PM kickoff).
Winning the title has also entered The Hawks into the Ryman Youth League Champion of Champions competition which pits the winners of the South, East, West and Central divisions against each other. Further information will be confirmed in due course.
Videos of the celebrations filmed by our Sports Therapist Denise McLean are below –