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No More Years Of Hurt: Coningsby Claim RAF Cup For First Time Since 2013

RAF Coningsby has claimed the 2018 centenary RAF Cup after its footballers beat their rivals RAF Brize Norton 3-2 in a thrilling final...

RAF Coningsby has claimed the 2018 centenary RAF Cup after its footballers beat their rivals RAF Brize Norton 3-2 in a thrilling final.

The forces players had the honour of battling it out for the Keith Christie Trophy at Premier League side Watford's Vicarage Road ground.

And despite the 27°C heat, both teams created plenty of chances - but it was right at the end of the first half when the deadlock was broken.

A surging run from Brize Norton's James Morrison set up Dan Chillington, but two point-blank stops from Coningsby's goalkeeper Dan Gorman initially kept the men in red out.

 

It wasn't for long though, as the Lincolnshire side was unable to get the ball clear and Dave Wanless took control of the situation to eventually steer the ball into the net.

After half-time, however, it was Coningsby who seized the initiative and after several close efforts, they equalised from a penalty.

After Mike Branniff crossed from the left Tom Hig was adjudged to have been pushed by Jack Bown-Porter, with Steve Norton firing home the spot kick to make it 1-1.

Soon after that, Coningsby turned the final on its head. A high corner from the right was nodded on by Stu Longbone to Captain Mike Braniff, who stabbed in at the second attempt.

RAF Cup football 2018

But back came Brize, looking for their first RAF Cup success since 1990.

A corner from Mike Atkinson was met perfectly by Captain James McGowan, who headed past Gorman to make it 2-2.

As the match opened up and with no extra time, a penalty shootout looked to be on the cards - until Lee Gemmell broke clear.

Wesley Christian's tackle was adjudged to be a foul and a second penalty, allowing Norton to step up and score with virtually the last kick of the game.

The result gives Coningsby its first Cup win since 2012-13 and leaves Brize still waiting for the best part of three decades for their moment of glory.

More: Army Win Babcock Trophy At Twickenham