SOME of the best teams in the Chester and District Junior Football League and its Mini-Division converge on Chester City's Saunders Honda Stadium on Sunday for the Duke of Westminster Cup and Olympic Trophies Challenge finals.
The event gets under way at 9am with the Under 9s Shield semi-finals. Upton Jaguars take on Tattenhall JFC in what promises to be a very intense match.
In the league stage of the competition, Jaguars finished above Tattenhall by a point so there's all to play for. If Jaguars don't keep an eye on players like Jack Payne-Gill and Ben Loughran then Tattenhall could punish them.
In the other semi-final, AFC Waverton meet joint league leaders Castrol Celtic in what should be a great contest. Waverton will rely on Saoirse
Walker in goal to keep Castrol at bay with her quick thinking and bravery. Castrol will have to produce something special to beat this shot-stopper. nIn the U9s Cup semi-finals, Christleton New Scene meet close rivals Upton Panthers who have failed to beat CNS during the group stages of the competition, but will Sunday be their day?
Jamie Wild in midfield will have his work cut out as he and his players try to tame the CNS players, such as Matthew Astbury and playmaker Tom Batten.
Chester Nomads will be hoping their recent run of good form will see them into the final as they take on JFC Boughton in the other cup semi. The contest is guaranteed to have the supporters on the edge of their seats. nThe U10s Cup will feature Chester Nomads against topof-the-league Upton Panthers in what looks on paper to be akin to David v Goliath.
The other semi-final pits Blacon Youth against local rivals Saughall Colts. At the end of the group stages, these two teams finished joint second so there is nothing to choose between them.
If Saughall are to make it to the finals, they will have to watch out for Thomas Whitney, who has already notched up 39 goals this season. He will be aided by winger Adam Langley, whose crossing can be precision perfect.
Saughall have their own match winners in Danny Youde, Adam Thorley and Jennifer Moore, who can punish any team if they switch off even for a minute.
The U10s Shield semi-finals will see Blacon Youth Tigers take on their closest rivals. Rowan Brooks could be the key to a Blacon victory if Upton don't keep an eye on him. If Upton's Luke Diamond has his shooting boots on, Blacon defenders Dan Davies and Amy Sandbach will have to work hard to protect their goal.
The other semi is too close to call with Chester Nomads Wolves up against Newton Athletic Eagles. If the Wolves have a howler then the Eagles could soar into the finals.
Jack McGarva and Matthew Duckworth will be ready to pounce on the Eagles if they get the chance. Newton hotshot Sam Alexander has already scored 23 goals in 24 games and could be a thorn in the Wolves side.
Thomas Craig has had an inspired season in goal for the Eagles and will relish the opportunity to keep a clean sheet. nIn the Duke of Westminster U11s Cup Final, league winners Upton JFC will meet runners-up AFC Waverton.
Upton have beaten their rivals twice in the league, but will it be third time lucky for Waverton? Certainly, Jacob Coan and Ben Spaven will hope so as they lead the Waverton attack.
Upton have their own strike force that can be merciless in front of goal, headed by Connor Cutler-Evans, Carl Randles and Callum Parry.
Both defences have been strong all season. Look out for the Upton keeper Luke Harrison who, if on form, may give the league winners the edge. nGreat Sutton JFC will enter the Duke of Westminster Cup U12s finals as favourites having dispatched AFC Waverton in the semi-finals. They had better keep their feet firmly on the ground as Westminster Park are no pushovers and have grown in confidence since reaching the finals. nAFC Waverton and Bretton Super Saints will meet for the fourth time this season as they battle it out for the Duke of Westminster U13s Cup.
Bretton have come out on top in the last three encounters but only by the narrowest of margins.
Certainly, if Waverton striker Jack Johnson is given any room with his pace, he could punish Bretton. Matthew Frost and James Moulds will have their work cut out in the Waverton defence, especially if Dominic Jolliffe and Laurence Angle are on target for Bretton.
The Duke of Westminster Cup U14s final will see Upton JFC take on Pulford FC in a game that promises plenty of end-to-end incidents.
Willy Flood will be the danger-man for Pulford as he bids to extend his excellent scoring re-cord. Upton narrowly missed out on taking the league championship from Pulford and will be determined to take home some silverware.
The final fixture of the day will be Newton Athletic against Blacon Youth in the Under 15s Cup final.
Both teams have had a fine season, finishing second and third in the league respectively.
In their encounter in the league, the first game was drawn. Newton will have a slight psychological advantage going into the finals, having beaten Blacon last week in the league with a goal in the last minute of the game.
Newton's Jack Minshaw and Andy Dyne could control the midfield if Blacon are not on their mettle. Blacon, though, have proved to be a clinical counter-attacking team and if their strikeforce of Ben Connolly and Craig Chesworth are on form, Newton will need to watch out.
The Chester & District Junior Football League welcome applications from clubs who wish to play next season. For further information, contact league secretary Karl Williamson on 07881 788965.