Showpiece cup finals are on the horizon
COUNTY CUP COUNTDOWN: Friday April 8 – Norfolk Minor Cup, Gorleston Rangers Youth v Shrublands Junior, Trafford Park, Wroxham, 7pm.
There will be a new name on the cup for Under 14s after this meeting of teams from the seaside town. Shrublands are managed by Andrew Nicholls while Steve Deag holds the Rangers reins.
• Sunday April 10 – Norfolk Sunday Intermediate Cup, Bayer v Bentinck Arms, Clipbush Park, Fakenham, 10.30am.
Look out for another new name on the cup as Norwich Sunday League outfit Bayer, run by player manager Chris Nelson, take on King’s Lynn outfit Bentinck.
• Friday April 15 – Norfolk Primary Cup, Great Massingham v Hopton, Emerald Park, Gorleston, 7.30pm.
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Hopton, managed by Dave Riseborough, take on Great Massingham. Massingham won a replayed semi-final against Belton 2-1 on Saturday. Belton had won the original encounter 3-1 but were ordered to replay the tie after it was discovered that they had fielded a player who had played eight times for another club (Beccles Reserves) two more than the maximum number of games permitted under competition rules.
• Sunday April 17 – Norfolk Sunday Junior Cup, Fairstead United v Bell Inn, Clipbush Park, Fakenham (10.30).
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Victory for the Barnham Broom pub side, would be worthy reward for Ian Babb, who manages to combine playing with the jobs of manager and secretary.
• Sunday April 17 – Norfolk Women’s Cup, Norwich City Ladies v Hethersett, Aldiss Park, Dereham, 2.30pm.
Powerful Norwich City Ladies, managed by Scott Emerson and Emma Fletcher, will be favourites in the inaugural final. The competition used to be a joint Norfolk and Suffolk venture, won last season by Norwich City, who beat Ipswich. Hethersett, managed by Chris Bolderstone, have won the Eastern Region Women’s League Cup for the last three seasons. They are currently fourth in the Eastern Region Premier Division, the fourth national tier of women’s football – one below City who are in the South East Combination.