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In a pulsating match at Leamington FC's New Windmill ground, our Y11 boys evidenced brilliant teamwork, tenacity and individual flair to ultimately run out reasonably comfortable winners against a solid Kenilworth outfit.

WIth NLS's quality clear from the outset, the boys settled in to a rhythm that told part way through the first half when Jack B finished off from 6 yards after a quality, incisive through ball from the pacey Harry H. A number of opportunities followed with some excellent distribution from the ubiquitous, combative Jake P - who broke up the Kenilworth play and delivered some lovely balls into the channels.

Tom R was tenacious in the tackle and buzzing around all over the pitch with a boundless energy. Meanwhile, Ross Q provided some additional quality in the centre and goalscorer Jack B continued to drive play forwards.

With captain Joe B-B imperious at the back ("None Shall Pass"!) and ably supported by a determined Charlie C as well as the composed duo of Josh A-S and Jack A it was always going to require a lot from Kenilworth to get back in to the game.

But so it proved as the half wore on.

Inspired by a very high quality, determined number 11, Kenilworth began to creep back in to the match and looked odds-on to equalise as they dominated for a very bright 15 minute spell. Only the spirited defence and athleticism of big-kicking goalie Alex H kept the opposition at bay.

However, as is often the case when a team surges forward looking to get back in to a match, Kenilworth were - thankfully - hit on the counter. A lovely take from Conor B saw him drive in to the area and pick his spot beautifully by going across the keeper right in to the corner of the left-hand side of the goal. 

2-0 NLS at half-time.

The pattern of play in the opening to the second half matched that at the end of the first - with NLS beginning to establish authority. The continued positive play from the team paid dividends with 20 minutes to go with Jack B netting his second of the match - a nice piece of play finished from the edge of the box when the latter drilled in to the bottom right of the Leamington FC home end.

3-0 NLS.

NLS dug deep with Kenilworth fighting back and some strategic, effective substitutions (in the form of Ibi F and Dylan C) by the management duo of Messers Morey and Ingram helped tighten things up - but without NLS sacrificing the attacking, forward playing spirit which has typifed performances from the Y11s.

Kenilworth, though, continued to prove resurgent and the match was a more even affair right up until the team from the next town over pulled one back!

A delightful piece of interplay on the edge of the box resulted in an arrowed shot from the number 11 zipping in to the top left - beyond the despairing dive of Alex in goal.

Game on!

Kenilworth threatened to peg the lads back again when a terrific free-kick from 25 yards out rattled the NLS crossbar as the opposition impressively sought to take the game to our District Champions. Wave after wave of attack was admirably fended off - for no little reason is NLS sport known for its quality.

As the defence soaked up the pressure and the forward momentum began to pass again to NLS, the balance of the tie seemed to swing back in our favour and, with a few minutes to play, Alex F came on to help keep the energy levels and spirit high.

Again, without sacrificing the forward-momentum, NLS effectively kept Kenilworth at a distance and dictated the pace at the very end to ultimately end up fairly comfortable winners - without detracting from the performance of a well-organised, talented and hard-working opposition (the relative comfort more-so an indication of NLS's incredibly high standard).

When the final whistle went, NLS celebrated a much-deserved 3-1 win.

We look forward to the Coventry Telegraph Cross-County Cup Final on Wednesday, May 24th when a hugely successful NLS outfit take on the might of Coventry's finest - President Kennedy School!



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