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Burchall gives PHC teenage kicks

Cecoy Robinson, the PHC captain, admitted the sending off of Robin Hood striker Antwan Russell was the turning point in yesterday's Dudley Eve Trophy final at Wellington Oval.

Russell, Hood's danger man, was shown a red card after a senseless off-the-ball incident with PHC defender Kenji Griffith on the stroke of half-time.

The victory ended PHC's seven-year wait for a piece of silverware after second-half goals from Shakir Smith and teenager Mazhye Burchall, who scored his first goal for the senior team.

“It's been a long time coming and everybody is excited,” Robinson said.

“We have worked very hard in the Dudley Eve this season. We have been undefeated in [the competition] so it was only right that we won it.

“It was pretty difficult and the wind played a big factor in the game.

“When we got that chance in the second half we took it and then we were able to control the game, especially with Antwan Russell getting sent off in the first half. That definitely made it a little easier for us.”

Kyle Lightbourne, the Hood coach, said his team's demise during the latter stages of the second half owed much to Russell's dismissal.

“The sending off had an impact on the game and we let ourselves down,” Lightbourne, the former PHC player and coach, said.

“PHC won it in the end because that extra man made the difference. It really didn't have to happen.

“I didn't see the incident and I'm disappointed that [Russell] got sent off because this was Robin Hood's big day. He will have to live with that. But those things happen in the game which has come at the wrong time for us.”

Lightbourne felt that his team were deserving of another cup victory, having won last season's Friendship Trophy.

“Overall, I thought we were the better team and I'm very disappointed for my guys because I thought they worked really hard,” he said.

“We were bossing the game and had plenty of chances we didn't take when we were going with the wind.

“Even when we were going against the wind I thought we played equally well with ten men.”

Jonathan Ball, the PHC defender and club president, hopes his team's cup triumph is the first of many for the present crop of the players.

“Hopefully this is a catalyst for bigger and better things to come for PHC,” he said.

“It was a good team effort and we're going to enjoy the moment.

“We started slowly, but at the end of the day we were able to break them down. Credit to some of our young players that have come through the ranks. They did well and really stepped up.”

Among the young players Ball alluded to was 16-year-old midfielder Burchall, who scored the four minutes after coming on as a 74th-minute substitute.

It was the CedarBridge Academy pupil's first appearance in a senior cup final.

“When it went in I was totally excited,” Burchall, a cousin of former PHC defender Enwar Hunt, said.

“At first I wasn't feeling comfortable but I decided to take a hit and try and get something out of it because the game was tied.

“It was my first goal in the Premier Division and definitely one of my best.”

Arms wide open: Smith wheels away after scoring for PHC as Jason Simons, the Hood goalkeeper, picks himself up off the ground at Wellington Oval

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Published November 12, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated November 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm)

Burchall gives PHC teenage kicks

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