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Russell and Mills experience final glory

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Bermudian youngsters Rio Russell and Keyni Mills celebrated clinching national title glory after helping their school win the Under-15 Small Schools Cup final at The Hawthorns, the home of West Bromwich Albion.

The pair, who are part of the Langley School academy in Loddon, South Norfolk, and headed up by former Norwich City striker Grant Holt, were part of the team that secured a thrilling 5-4 penalty shoot-out win against De La Salle Academy, from Liverpool.

The match, which finished 2-2 after regulation time, started in the worst possible fashion as De La Salle scored an early goal, and advantage they managed to take into half-time, despite Langley dominating much of the possession throughout the half.

However, their endeavours were rewarded shortly after the restart as Langley equalised after a flowing team move, with Mills playing an integral part in the goal. After being picked out by Sol Alidor-Hamilton, Mills kept his composure to cut the ball back for Ruben Shakpoke to slot home calmly.

Now in complete control, Langley were dealt a blow when scorer Shakpoke was forced to come off with what was believed to be a serious injury.

Despite the setback, they continued to dictate proceedings without managing to find the decisive second goal.

That was to change as Shakpoke recovered from his injury and returned to action in spectacular fashion, scoring with his first touch back on the field to put his side within reach of the title.

However, with Langley so close to victory, there was a late sting in the tale as De La Salle rallied to force an injury-time equaliser from a set-piece move, sending the match into penalties.

With the pressure on, both Mills and Russell kept their cool, converting their penalties, along with James Hodgson, Osel Thakuri and Caleb Adomako-Mensah, while goalkeeper Joe Wicks made an all-important save to secure the title.

The triumph capped off a memorable first academic year for the pair as they continue their football education at the highly regarded school. Within the academic set-up both boys are on a course which could aid them professionally with the school's strong links to Sky Bet Championship side Norwich City, who have achieved promotion to the Premier League this season.

Playing their part: Bermudians Keyni Mills, left, and Rio Russell, helped Langley win the English Under-15 Small Schools Cup final at The Hawthorns last Wednesday. Also pictured is Ajani Burchall, who plays for the Bournemouth academy side
We are the champions: Langley Langley School in London, South Norfolk, celebrate winning the Under-15 Small Schools Cup final at The Hawthorns, the home of West Bromwich Albion, on Wednesday

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Published May 28, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated May 28, 2019 at 12:49 am)

Russell and Mills experience final glory

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