Hopwood Hall College end season of silverware with Greater Manchester County Cup
Hopwood Hall College’s Football Academy ended the season with another trophy after beating Aquinas College to retain the Greater Manchester County Cup.
The victory saw Hopwood Hall College crowned champions of Greater Manchester, adding to their other titles from the 2017/18 season. The academy had already won the first and third teams’ ECFA Premier Leagues along with a European trophy, having won the Netherlands-hosted Eindhoven Open Tournament in April.
In their route to the final, Hopwood Hall College had to overcome the Gary Neville and Paul Scholes-backed Salford 92 Academy, knocking them out in the semi-finals after a penalty shootout.
Pictured: Hopwood Hall College collect their winners medal
Their determination to hold onto the cup they lifted a year previous was evident in the first half against Aquinas College. Despite taking the lead through Adam Knott in the 21st minute, the game was very even and Aquinas College showed their intent by grabbing an equaliser two minutes before the break.
Five minutes into the second half and Aquinas College scored again to earn a 2-1 lead, but if one word summed up this season’s Hopwood Hall College team it would be ‘attack’.
Constant pressure from Hopwood Hall College resulted in two goals scored in quick succession by Amadou Doumbouya and Adam Knott, regaining the lead by the 70th minute.
The final goal of the game was scored under impassioned circumstance. Mark Duncan, who had played for his team despite some severe personal anguish, had his extreme dedication rewarded when he latched onto a pass inside the box and scored to secure his side a 4-2 win.
Pictured: Hopwood Hall College's football academy pose with the County Cup
Hopwood Hall College’s Football Academy Manager, Rob Johnson, described his elation at his students’ achievement:
“These lads are officially a treble winning team and European Champions, they should be hugely proud of themselves.
“We show them the mountain to climb, but it is they themselves who must climb it and in that sense they have truly conquered it. Everyone in the first, second, third and fourth teams have played a part and showed what a real team is.
“It is somewhat sad that we now have to say goodbye to some of these students as they progress onto university or into careers. Whatever they do, I have absolute confidence they will be successful.”