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Students have their sights on treble success; Grassroots Sport minor league football northern alliance league cup finals preview.

SEVEN cup finals add to what will be a hectic finale to the 2018-19 Northern Alliance season - with several clubs aiming to complete a decent haul of silverware.

Bay Plastics Premier Division leaders Newcastle University have the devastating strikeforce of Niza Chilufya, Keith Douglas, Lefteris Alambritis hoping to fire them to a league, League Cup and Benevolent Bowl treble.

Having led the way in the league for most of the campaign, the Students reached the Reeves Independent George Dobbins League Cup final with victories over Jesmond (8-3, away), Newcastle Blue star (3-1, home), Rothbury (2-0, home) and Blyth Town (2-1, away AET).

The Uni's Neil Baistow said: "Having been finalists in the Benevolent Bowl and won a league and cup double last season, we want to win every game.

"There have been a lot of games this season, especially early on, which have tested us so we had to hit the ground running but losing to (Newcastle) Chemfica (in the Challenge Cup) was disappointing - as was the loss to Blue Star in the league, which was a reality check more than anything.

"As for the cup finals, facing Cullercoats, we will certainly respect them - but I know a few of their players so will have a plan.

"The Benevolent Bowl, though, that has not been easy getting to the final again but that is the beauty of the cups and we are the one team everyone wants to beat."

The Uni's opposition in the League Cup decider is Division One high-fliers Cullercoats.

Having started their campaign in the first round (Uni began in the second) they oversaw challenges from Stobswood (5-1, home), Felling Magpies (3-1, home), Gateshead Reserves (3-2, away), Alnwick Town (2-0, away) and Forest Hall (2-0, away).

The League Cup is one of three cup finals 'Coats will contest, having also reached the final of the Team Valley Carpets Combination Cup, where they will face Prudhoe Youth Club Seniors, and the Northumberland Minor Cup - Blyth Town providing the opposition.

Coats' manager Daniel Iredale added: "It is what it is all about, playing against the best.

"We know we can hold our own and we will have a go.

"We are not scared of them and any team has a chance on any day.

"I will putting out the best side possible in all three finals and we will all go out there with very positive attitudes."

Another side into three cup finals, and who have chased down the Uni all season in the Premier Division, are AFC Killingworth - and the freescoring Malcolm Morien.

Into the final of the Northumberland Benevolent Bowl, Challenge Cup and Bluefin Sports Insurance Bill Gardner Cup, where his side will oppose Uni, Newcastle Chemfica and Gosforth Bohemians respectively, striker Morien has fired more than 30 goals in the league alone.

The Killy hitman said: "The goal for me now is to win all four (league and three cups) and take the golden boot.

"You have to aim high and I want to better last season's goal tally and have plenty of games left to do it in.

"I usually let my feet do the talking but I will say we will be disappointed if we don't do this.

"I would say it will come down to the games between us and the Uni (the pair still have to play each other in the league, all their games set for this month).

"Consistency-wise it has been one of the best seasons we have had and the three cup finals are interesting ones - the Benevolent Bowl (against the Uni) is the hardest but you will see the best of Killingworth in those games."

FULL LIST OF FINALS: APRIL 4 (19:00), TEAM VALLEY CARPETS AMATEUR CUP FINAL (Woodhorn Lane, Ashington) Blyth FC - Stobswood Welfare; APRIL 11 (19:00), TEAM VALLEY CARPETS CHALLENGE CUP FINAL (Darren Pressen Stadium, North Shields), AFC Killingworth - Newcastle Chemfica; APRIL 18 (19:00), REEVES INDEPENDENT GEORGE DOBBINS LEAGUE CUP FINAL (Grounsell Park, Heaton Stannington), Cullercoats - Newcastle University; APRIL 22 (12:00), BLUEFIN SPORTS INSURANCE BILL GARDNER CUP FINAL (Purvis Park, Percy Main), AFC Killingworth - Gosforth Bohemians, APRIL 25 (19:00), TEAM VALLEY CARPETS COMBINATION CUP FINAL (Birtley Sports Complex, Birtley), Cullercoats - Prudhoe Youth Club Seniors; APRIL 26 (19:30), NORTHUMBERLAND SENIOR BENEVOLENT BOWL (Blue Flames Sports Ground, Whitley Park), AFC Killingworth - Newcastle University; (TBA) NORTHUMBERLAND MINOR CUP FINAL, Blyth Town - Cullercoats.

CAPTION(S):

2018 Combination Cup winners Forest Hall - this year's final will be between Cullercoats and Prudhoe YC
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 2, 2019
Words:747
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