Excelsior win thrilling cup final after penalty shoot-out drama

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Excelsior and local rivals Snooker Centre met at Allotment Lane to contest the final of the Don Bemrose Trophy, and what a cracking game it turned out to be, full of entertainment and drama.

Snooker Centre drew first blood when Excelsior failed to clear a cross from the left, and from a Lee Williamson flick on, Andy Ritchie beat the keeper to steer home.

With play swinging from end to end, both teams had chances, and Snooker Centre just on top were awarded a penalty, but Pearson denied Ben Denham from the spot.

Excelsior must have thought it wasn’t going to be their night, when the referee awarded another penalty to Snooks but Pearson once again save, this time from Williamson.

Finally, Snooker Centre went in front for the second time through a great run and finish from Denham.

The second half started evenly, until the ball fell to Joe Stenton in the box and he made it 3-1 from 10 yards.

Danny Baker then got his second of the game with a delightful free kick. Excels continued to press Snooks’ defence and Watson levelled matters drilling the ball home from close range.

With both teams looking to win the game in normal time Excelsior went in front for the first time in the match when Mike Tate’s drive beat Chadwick in Centre’s goal.

With only a matter of minutes left Excels thought they were home and dry but one last effort from Snooker Centre evened things up again, as Denham equalised with a sweet finish from 20 yards.

In extra time, Excelsior once again went in front, Baker notching his hat trick, with a sublime finish, but with the last throw of the dice, Danny Bint made it 5-5.

It went to a penalty shoot-out, and Excelsior triumphed 4-2.