Luke shines as Kings Arms lift cup

First published in Sport

LUKE McArdle scored one and set up Kings Arms’ other goal as they edged the verdict 2-1 over Poole Bay Estates in the MA Hart Nicholas Read Cup final at Hurn Bridge.

He produced an accomplished man-of-the-match performance to receive the Trophyman of Southampton award from BFA president Mike Fowler.

McArdle fired Kings Arms in front in the 24th minute when he latched onto the ball, sped goalwards, and crashed home a shot from the edge of the box that cannoned into the net off goalkeeper Elliott Broome.

McArdle’s strike partner Sacha Navarro showed some deft touches in the Poole Bay penalty area, then Mark Reilly put Darryl Baker through to poke the ball past the advancing Broome but also just wide of the target.

Kings Arms had by far the better of the play in the opening period.

But Poole Bay stunned them by equalising in first-half stoppage time when Russell Chivers pounced on a loose ball and scored at the third attempt.

A superb crossfield pass from McArdle in the 52nd minute picked out Navarro, who cut inside and restored Kings Arms’ lead with a clinical finish into the far corner.

McArdle missed a late penalty, but it was a well deserved success for the Hampshire Junior C Cup semi-finalists, who could also finish as Division Eight champions if they can overcome a formidable fixture backlog.

The award for the MA Hart Nicholas Read Cup leading goal scorer trophy, sponsored by BFA president Mike Fowler, went to Navarro, who scored 13 times in the competition.

Kings Arms Wallisdown: Evans, D Croft, M Croft (Welch 77), Grimes, Mitchell, Reilly, Ennis, McArdle, Baker (Doe 68), Carrigan (Millar 47), Navarro. Unused sub: Reynolds.

Manager: Paul Reilly. Assistant: Len Cox.

Poole Bay Estates: Broome, Chalkley, Groves, Doble, J Morrell, S Moran (R Moran 65), Platt, Smith, Chivers, Titman (Ireland 65), L Morrell. Unused sub: Phillips. Manager: Perry Phillips. Assistant: Glyn Burton.

Referee: Neil Harrison. Assistants: Andy Goodchild and Guy Andrew.

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