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Scenes of joy as Terrace Onions beat Somerset in Masters Cup Final

Terrace Onions celebrate Masters Cup Final win

Celebrations more common to those found at grounds throughout the British Isles transformed Devonshire Rec after Terrace Onions laid waste to Somerset Extros in the Masters Cup final.

After the 5-0 win, nobody was showered more with glory and praise than goalscoring heroes Paul Craven and Kerston Lewis, who took turns carving up the west enders’ defence, Craven striking a hat-trick and Lewis returning a brace to account for all of the Onions’ goals.

The Saturday night victory coincided with the club’s 35th anniversary, while the recent capture of Corona League silverware fuelled revelry lasting into the night.

The victory allowed Onions to gain sweet revenge for the lack of league success against Somerse.

“We played Somerset early in the season and they had their way with us,” said three-goal hero Craven immediately after the contest. “They are a very good team, who combine good passing and play proper football, so we knew it would be a tough game.

“We stuck to the game plan, marked spaces and put together a really good team performance.”

Normally a central midfielder, Craven was only recently repositioned to the right side by manager Steve Woodward, with the move proving ingenious as Craven morphed into a goalscoring dynamo.

“I hadn’t been a massive scorer,” explained Craven “I’ve been playing centre-midfield mostly and the manager moved me out on the right-hand side for the semi-final and final.

“It was a different position, but the guys in the middle were able to give really good balls and we created good space for us other guys to have space to make some goals and get a good result. It doesn’t get better than this.”

The triumph was extra special for captain Darren Choonucksing, who a year ago had to be taken from the grounds via ambulance after collapsing in what appeared an epileptic seizure during the third-place match.

“The last final I collapsed and to come back and be in this final is amazingly special to me,” said Choonucksing, who took the moment to announce his retirement from football.

“I’m delighted to retire from the game and all of that. To be a captain that helps bring the team a trophy makes the moment emotional and extra special.

“It’s great for Terrace Onions. It’s great for both of the teams, the fans, the spirit of the club and for it to be the 35th anniversary, it doesn’t get any better than this.”

Choonucksing, who by day works as a reinsurance underwriter and finance consultant at Davies Group, was not the only Onions veteran bidding farewell.

“It was a great performance by the team,” said coach Woodward. “We are, as one would say, over the moon.

“It’s also fitting, the result, as it was one of our senior players’ Keith Szmierek’s last game for the club, so it was a perfect way for us to send him off.

During the course of the match Lewis, not unlike Craven, displayed himself as a force in the attacking middle, his size, deceptive ball skills and game sense pressuring the Extros defence.

Lewis scored once in each half and might have had a few more but for a few timely rescues by Somerset.

“It’s been fun because we’ve been looking forward to the culmination of this cup run for a while,” said Lewis, a Devonshire Colts club staffer who was enjoying the fruits of a second sporting achievement for the week, having cheered Devonshire Colts’ perfect season on Thursday night.

“We came third last season and the boys knew we needed to give it a committed shot.

“The current team is really good. Many of us have played together for the last ten to fifteen years, so we really know each other and I’s been really good to see the guys not only come out and have fun, but win and have fun.”

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Published April 07, 2024 at 4:12 pm (Updated April 08, 2024 at 9:25 am)

Scenes of joy as Terrace Onions beat Somerset in Masters Cup Final

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