Buntingford Cougars Under7’s pulled off a “first” in Cougars history on Saturday as both the Blues team and the Stripes team walked away with the silverware at the Royston Crow league Mini Soccer Tournament held in Stevenage.

Cougars Stripes led by Tom Curtis and Sean Curran lifted the cup in the afternoon section in Stevenage. Tom told Sky Sports after the victory “Well done to the children today, I am so proud of them all.” Cougars started slowly with a one all draw but then won two games two-one and pulled off a four nil victory to win the cup.


During the day the side scored some great goals, with TJ Curtis netting an important winner in one game. Alfie Vottariello was great in goal for the last two games and Beau Lampard made the pass of the day when he set up Jamie Coote for one of his goals in one of the two – one victories. In the final game goals came courtesy of Jamie Coote, Luke Ross and Jonny Rolf and goal of the day from Olly Curran who deftly chipped the keeper”

Cougars Stripes followed the impressive Buntingford Blues team led by Luke Fone and Rikki Crace who won the morning section. Dan Fone, Rylee Kitteringham, Dempsy Crace, Fraser Finlay, Lui LoConte and Oscar Kay played some great football over four matches. They were joint top of their group so played a play-off with Stevenage which ended in a one-one draw so it was the dreaded penalties. Cougars had the better of the shoot-out scoring four out of the five. Luke Fone told BBC’s Gary Linekar after the match “I know I speak for Rikki and all of the parents when I say that the boys did us so proud today.”


Cougars Chairman Richard Daly was delighted saying “What a day for Cougars Under7’s, they are a great bunch of children and they have rightly received lots of plaudits so I will congratulate and thank our team of Managers, Coaches and Staff for this age group. This is the largest group of players that we have ever had at Under7’s and that has its challenges however Tom Curtis, Sean Curran and Matty Adams have done a fantastic job developing our Stripes and Royals teams and of course Luke Fone and Rikki Crace with the Blues and Whites teams have continued to improve an already strong squad. When you add to that formula the strong organization skills of Jo Vottariello this makes for an impressive team off the pitch as well as on it – well done to everyone involved.


Buntingford Cougars Under9s Blues travelled to Biggleswade for their last game of the season on Saturday. The game was tight throughout and it took a long distance strike from Captain Freddie Arnold to break the deadlock. The match was still extremely close and it was only thanks to some good work in goal from Cougars Guardian Luca Rigolli that kept the hosts at bay. Ten minutes from the end Buntingford doubled their lead when Ollie Hay notched his second in as many games to effectively seal the win despite a late consolation goal from Biggleswade. Freddie Arnold’s impressive performance was awarded with the man of the match accolade.

Fred Arnold


Meanwhile Cougars Under6’s travelled away to play a strong Letchworth Eagles team in a training game on Saturday. The visitors started nervously and were out muscled in the early exchanges and despite trying to play passing football found themselves a couple of goals down. The strong Eagles continued to dominate by pressing the ball and not giving Cougars time to play.

As the game went on cougars started to grow in confidence and troubled Letchworth with their quick passing, some good goalkeeping was the only thing stopping the Buntingford boys from scoring. An end to end game of fast attacking football saw the hosts come out on top in the quarter.

The next two quarters saw Cougars step up again, they moved the ball faster and tried to play from the back as instructed by their coaches. The encounter now was much more even and the children from both sides entertained the crowd with plenty of goals. Going into the forth quarter both teams had grown in confidence and some fantastic football was played by two very well matched teams.

Cougars Under6’s Coach Phil Allen saw “A great morning’s football was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Letchworth for hosting and playing us and well done to all the players from both clubs.”

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