England CP team win the Home Nations Championship.
The England Cerebral Palsy squad have won the Home Nations Championship after beating the Auld Enemy, Scotland, 1-0 at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire.
In a tight game on Sunday, Scotland started more positively than The Three Lions although they never created any real chances during the first ten minutes. England then began to settle down and the midfield of Matt Ellis and Man of the Match Michael Barker worked tirelessly and created a hatful of chances.
The match-winner came in the 19th minute when Barker spectacularly scored from 55 metres. A Scotland goalkick was cleared by England, out to Barker who saw the Scotland 'keeper, Craig Connell, off his line. He volleyed the ball the length of the pitch and Connell misjudged the bounce, only to watch it soar over his head and into an empty net.
Scotland attacked but were repelled by the impressive defence of Townshend, Wilson and Dimbylow, who marshalled the back line superbly. In the final minutes Scotland threw everything at England but The Three Lions held firm.
After collecting the trophy captain Jordan Raynes said: “To win the last two games continues to show the improvement of this team of players.
"After winning the Arafura Games we were determined to carry on with the run and win another piece of silverware. I was very proud to lift the trophy on behalf of the players and believe we can only improve."
National Development Manager for disability football, Jeff Davis, echoed Raynes words.“When Head coach Lyndon Lynch first took charge of the team he was determined to improve on the team's world ranking and build a team who are confident and have self belief," he said.
"We have not lost in the last nine competitive games, winning eight of these games and scoring 31 goals and conceding only two. The result against Ireland was particularly pleasing as they are ranked two places above England.
"We continue to improve and are always looking for players to strengthen the squad. Any player who was born with CP or have acquired a head injury i.e. through a head trauma (car crash) or meningitis, and is playing regular football, may have a opportunity to be considered for the squad."
As part of the development competition England won all their matches, beating Scotland 2-1, Northern Ireland 3-1 and the Republic of Ireland 8-0. This tournament gave many players their first experience of international matches.England Squad
Jordan Raynes, Karl Townshend, Michael Wilson, Matt Dimbylow, Matt Ellis (Richard Fox 52 mins), Michael Barker and Graham Leclerc (Dean Cartwright) Subs not used
Martin Sinclair, Leon Taylor, Sam WhatelyPlayers who are interested should email jeff.davis@TheFA.com with details of their age, who they play for, contact details and any information they have regarding their cerebral palsy.