The 2022 FA Disability Cup was a huge success, with plenty of action taking place across a bright and sunny weekend at St George’s Park.
The sixth edition of the tournament consisted of six impairment-specific cup finals, three on each day, and all broadcasted live on BT Sport.
The partially sighted, amputee and blind finals were up first on the Saturday 11 June, with the cerebral palsy, Powerchair and deaf finals occurring on Sunday 12 June. Each athlete was a credit to their sport and provided huge inspiration to those both attending live on the day and the many watching at home.
2022 Results - Saturday 11 June
PARTIALLY SIGHTED FINAL – Birmingham Futsal 5-1 Merseyside Futsal
A comprehensive and well-deserved victory for Birmingham Futsal helped them win the Partially Sighted final for the second year running and become the first champions of the weekend. Birmingham skipper Luke Darnell gave the Blues a two-goal cushion at half time with a fantastic finish before the game was well and truly sealed in the second half with three further strikes.
AMPUTEE FINAL – Manchester City Amputees 1-0 Portsmouth Amputees
A narrow victory for Manchester City Amputees on their first attempt in the FA Disability Cup will have meant a lot to the team, due to their League Cup loss in the last 30 seconds of extra time against the same opponents just weeks earlier. Liam Burbidge’s goal in the second half settled a tight affair for the Citizens, but it was the impressive individual performance of Mickey Chambers which caught the eye and rightly earned him the player of the match award.
BLIND FINAL – Royal National College (RNC) for the Blind Hereford 2-2 Brighton and Hove Albion Blind FC (RNC won 1-0 on penalties)
After three years away from the sport, England’s highest capped para and blind footballer, Darren Harris, proved to be the matchwinner via a penalty shootout in an end-to-end game to bring the trophy to RNC Hereford. Recognised before the contest with a golden cap for over 150 appearances for England and playing well into his 40s for his country, Harris, who scored both his side’s goals in normal time, was the only player to convert from the spot after 40 minutes ended all square.
Sunday 12 June
CEREBRAL PALSY FINAL – CP North West 4-4 North East and Yorkshire CP FC (North East and Yorkshire CP FC win 5-4 on penalties)
A pulsating first game to start the second day of the FA Disability Cup 2022 finished with a win for North East and Yorkshire CP, who retained their crown after sudden death penalties decided the outcome. They took control of the tie after a breakaway finish and a defensive mix-up, but CP North West hit back to level before half-time after a couple of quick-fire penalties were awarded – with the first missed by Jayden Kenyon (who later went on to complete a hat-trick) but the second converted - Kenyon doubling his tally to equalise for 2-2. Normal time ended after each team added two more goals apiece, but Ethan Day kept his cool from the spot to give North East and Yorkshire CP the trophy for the second successive year.
POWERCHAIR FINAL – Northern Thunder 1-1 West Bromwich Albion PFC (Northern Thunder won 2-1 on penalties)
Northern Thunder made it third time lucky as a penalty shootout secured them the cup for the very first time. Sam Smith opened the scoring just before half-time for Northern Thunder with a well-worked passing move, but Matt Gilbert hit back for West Brom in the second period. With extra-time unable to determine a winner, it came down to spot-kicks which ultimately resulted in happiness and plenty of relief for Northern Thunder, seeing as they had been in the final twice before and had lost on both occasions.
DEAF FINAL – Farsley Celtic Deaf FC 3-2 St. John’s Deaf FC
Another entertaining match-up concluded the weekend as Farsley Celtic scored a dramatic last-minute winner in the first ever deaf final to spark scenes of jubilant celebrations for those in green. Farsley Celtic went 2-0 up in the first half and were seemingly in the driving seat, but St John’s rallied after the interval and got themselves back on equal terms with two goals in the last 15 minutes. With the game heading towards extra-time, Kieran Carey, who had opened the scoring earlier on, poked home in injury-time to make a little bit of history after a superb turn and nutmeg to get himself clear.
Saturday 17 July
POWERCHAIR FINAL – Aspire PFC 0-2 West Bromwich Albion PFC
After a tight goal-less draw after normal time, the game was decided on penalties, with Chris Gordon and Marcus Harrison sealing the title for the Baggies.
CEREBRAL PALSY FINAL - North East & Yorkshire 5-2 CP North West
Two goals apiece from Cameron Osburn and Jack Fox-Hockney along with a Josh Power own goal were enough to secure the title for North East & Yorkshire. Sam Dewhirst and Lewis Tupman netted the goals for CP North West.
PARTIALLY SIGHTED FINAL - Scorpion Futsal Club 1-3 Birmingham Futsal
First-half goals from Nik Acton and a brace from Harry MacDonald set Birmingham on their way to victory, with Scorpions pulling back a consolation goal from Bailey pack after the break.
Sunday 18 July
AMPUTEE FINAL - Peterborough United Amputees 0-0 Portsmouth Amputees (Peterborough win 6-5 on penalties)
BLIND FINAL - RNC Hereford 1-1 Merseyside Blind & VI FC (RNC Hereford win 2-1 on penalties)
A goal from Robin Williams put Merseyside ahead in the first half, only for Dan English to equalise soon after. The tie couldn't be settled in normal time though, leading to a shootout and the title heading to Hereford.
See highlights of the Finals below...