Priory Sports won the Essex Sunday Premier Cup as skipper Grant Hill’s 8th-minute free kick proved to be the only goal of the game which overcame Manor House at Concord Rangers FC’s Aspect Arena.
With Hill’s set-piece proving to be the difference, Priory’s Captain repeated the trick of lifting the trophy in 2014, as his Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League side beat Essex Sunday Football Combination outfit Manor House, themselves Essex Sunday Junior Cup winners in 2015.mHill’s early intervention saw him curl in an excellent shot from fully 25 yards.
Priory came close to a second four minutes later as James Robinson’s bicycle kick dropped just wide. Shortly before half time the post denied Priory when Joe Nathanson’s shot bounced off the upright, with Manor House’s best chance of the match early in the second period seeing Billy O’Sullivan bring a good save from Sports goalkeeper Devon Jeggo following Aaron Matthews’ dead ball.
Manor’s Lewis Payne cleared off the goal line from Priory’s Correy Davidson to keep his side in the game, but the final chance of the afternoon also went the way of Sports, with Manor House’s ‘keeper Mason Durrell making a fine, brave stop to deny Davidson in added time.
After the game, match winner Hill was understandably pleased with his goal: “I think I caught the keeper off-guard. I think he was expecting a cross, but I saw him off his far post and thought I’d give it a go… and straight in it went!”
Having led Priory on the pitch during 2014’s Premier Cup success, Hill got his hands on the trophy for a second time, too, smiling: “It was hard to keep the ball and the ball up-top kept coming back. But we defended well as a team and got a clean sheet and got the win. It’s obviously always a good cup to win. To be the best team in Essex as well, it’s a good achievement for everyone at the club.”
Manor House: Mason Durrell, Joe Sullivan, Lewis Dennis, Lewis Payne, Kieran Courtney, Aaron Matthews, Perry Brockwell, Tommy Kavaz, Josh Humm-Rhodes, Alex Devlin, Charlie Holt. Substitutes (repeated): Billy O’Sullivan, Daniel Jones, Caine Quinn, Albert Levett.
Priory Sports: Devon Jeggo, Oliver Devenish, Jack Sterland, Grant Hill, Joe Nathanson, James Robinson, Tom Robinson, Chinedu Osadebe, Dean Simmonds, Craig Emery, Ollie Evans. Substitutes (repeated): Jack Kemsley, William Locker, Correy Davidson, Isaac Aubynn, Ryan Miles.
Referee: Craig Pullen (Havering).
Assistant Referees: Paul Sturton (Chelmsford) and Errol Souter (Colchester).
Fourth Official: Ayrton Hursey (Colchester).