THE Charity All Champions Cup Final 2019, sponsored by The Knightsbridge Garage, had a familiar ring about it after both the 2018 finalists retained their respective titles, writes TONY SPENCER.

Republic of Chineham pipped their closest rival in Sunday section on goal difference, while Twentyten outscored their Saturday section peers in an otherwise three-team tie.

Republic enjoyed early possession on a superb playing surface at Barlow’s Park Tadley, with Sam Nicholls blasting a free-kick over the bar on five minutes, with a second free-kick seven minutes later steered lower but wide.

On 25 minutes Ben Nicholls’ pass found Finlay Hall whose left foot shot sailed over the bar. It was a Republic effort from the left that was the first shot on target but Darren Gary saved the Twentyten net.

It wasn’t until the 31st minute that Twentyten threatened to break the deadlock, when James Arnold sent Dan Hancock away to shoot across goal.

A couple of minutes later Ryan Lupton’s shot was similarly wide of the far post, then Arnold headed wide to finish a good spell of pressure by Twentyten. Republic upped their game for the rest of the half, with Hall’s half-volley straight at the keeper, D’Andre Brown firing wide across the target and closing the goalless first half with a corner that Twentyten cleared.

Republic came out of the blocks the more determined in the second half, with Ben Nicholls shooting wide and, after a corner a minute later, Nicholls’ shot was fumbled by Gary and Republic forced four corners in the opening ten minutes of the second half. Twentyten brought on Christian Cox to give more options up front and shortly after Kuodys had to save from Lupton’s chance. Republic shuffled their pack, bringing on Stuart Austen and Charlie Manning on 62 and 70 minutes. On 72 minutes Kuodys fumbled a corner kick but was fouled in the follow up. Then Republic’s Pickering passed to Connor Dawber who shot across goal.

A foul in the centre of the “D” on 79 minutes was the turning point in the game, Nicholls took a right footed shot over the wall and into the top left hand corner of the net, leaving Gary stretching at thin air, to give Republic the only goal of the game. Substitutes Mikey Davies and Joe Hill came on for Twentyten, while Charlie Manning for Republic went on to freshen up tired legs. Hanks and Cox took efforts which threatened Republic’s slender lead towards the end, but Republic of Chineham held on to repeat their slim victory of last year in what turned out to be a tight but entertaining final game of the season played in the right spirit.

Jeff Twigg, Sunday referees secretary, presented medals and cup. The match raised £150 for Sebastian’s Action Trust.