Belper battle through to national cup semi-finals

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EHB National Men’s O40s Cup

quarter final

Belper 4, East Grinstead 2

BELPER Men’s Over-40s side produced another big display to reach a first ever semi-final of the national O40s cup where they will face Ipswich at the Meadows on Sunday, March 27 (noon).

The Nailers saw off five times winners East Grinstead from Sussex last Sunday.

Belper began well the Grinstead keeper was constantly called into action while at the other end the Belper defence were well organised.

After more saves from the visiting keeper, Belper’s pressure brought a penalty stroke but the Grinstead keeper stood tall and saved Paul Lawrence’s flick.

Belper took the lead just before half-time when an excellent through-ball from Mark Minion found Nick Morris in the circle and he calmly rounded the keeper and shot at goal which hit a covering defender on the line and another penalty stroke was awarded. This time captain Morris fired home to settle any frustrations.

Home keeper Steve Mills had to come out and make an important save before the break.

Belper kept applying the pressure and when Andy Liles passed the ball across the front of the goal and as Nick Morris was about to slap it into the goal a defender fouled him. This time the penalty stroke was awarded and once again Nick Morris calmly scored form the spot.

At 2-0 Belper looked comfortable, but, as legs tired they were pushed back and the visitors had a number of short corners from one of which they finally beat Belper Keeper Simon Emsley after his intial save.

At 2-1 the game became more stretched and end-to-end.

Belper broke and a flowing move resulted in Stuart Humphris slapping the ball in under the advancing keeper for 3-1.

Belper were reduced to ten men when midfielder John Bell was yellow carded for breaking play down.

Humphris had a ‘goal’ disallowed and EG broke to win a penalty corner from which they made it 3-2 with seven minutes left.

Grinstead were then reduced to ten before Belper sealed an outstanding achievement when Ken Campbell flicked the ball home.