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Blackstones lose to March Town in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup





Blackstones spurned the chance of a fourth successive higher level scalp after losing out in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup on Wednesday night.

Stones had given an excellent account of themselves in the final at Yaxley against United Counties League Premier Division South side March Town.

However, it was the Hares' ruthless streak in front of goal that proved the difference as Stones were left to rue their missed chances at the end of a 3-1 loss.

March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Craig Gillies
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Craig Gillies
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup

Jon Harrison and Ryan Wood's side could have been two goals to the good inside the opening 10 minutes but for fine saves from March goalkeeper Josh Pope.

He produced a superb reaction save to deny Dami Agboola at point blank range before denying Nathan Rudman when the Blackstones striker found himself with just Pope to beat.

Alfie Fergson also fired another decent chance narrowly wide before March showed how it was done in the 19th minute.

March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Josh Burrows
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Josh Burrows
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones scoring to make it 1-1
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones scoring to make it 1-1
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Craig Gillies
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Craig Gillies
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup

A back post corner picked out Matt Foy who rose highest to head home the opening goal.

That didn't seem to knock a Stones side missing some key players out of their stride though as they continued to carve out some good openings.

Rudman rounded Pope but couldn't force the ball home from a tight angle as March scrambled back to clear the rebound.

March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones players disappointed
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones players disappointed
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones scoring to make it 1-1
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones scoring to make it 1-1
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones scoring to make it 1-1
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones scoring to make it 1-1
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup

Ferguson saw another shot saved by Pope after a driving run from Harry Peasgood before Ben Seymour-Shove went close for the Hares after a smart turn and shot that drifted just wide of the far post as the Hares held their advantage at the break.

Stones came out for the second period determined to get back into the contest and took just four minutes to level as Agboola raced clear before firing past Pope.

The Stamford side continued to offer the greater threat with Peasgood heading just wide from a corner and a sweet strike from Will Bestwick bringing another smart stop out of Pope.

March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones players disappointed
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones players disappointed
Ryan Wood and Jon Harrison
Ryan Wood and Jon Harrison

The Hares then had a let-off when Jack Withers escaped a second caution after scything down Bestwick just moments after he had been booked for kicking the ball away.

The fact that he was substituted at the next available opportunity showed that the March management weren't prepared for him to walk the disciplinary tight-rope for much longer.

And, shortly after Withers' departure, March took the lead for the second time in the game in the 67th minute.

March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones scoring to make it 1-1
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup Blackstones scoring to make it 1-1
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup
March (Blue) v Blackstones (Green and Black) in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup

A well-struck cross from Josh Burrows wasn't dealt with sufficiently by Blackstones goalkeeper Simon Dalton who could only turn the ball into the path of Seymour-Shove who gratefully rifled home the rebound.

Dalton did well to deny Foy at close range shortly after but the next duel between the duo ended firmly in the March man's favour to settle the contest.

Foy unleashed a 76th minute shot from just outside the area which somehow eluded the grasp of the Blackstones goalkeeper before nestling in the back of the net.

There was no way back for Stones after that third goal as March played out the contest to end their season with silverware.

Stones: Dalton, Tudosa, Rowell, Peasgood, Thorpe, Grunsteins, Agboola, Harris, Rudman, Bestwick, Ferguson. Subs: Robinson, Coughlan, Edwards, Wheatland, Aig-Imoru, Shackleton.



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