CONGRATULATIONS to the Torquay United Under-16s after they reached the semi-finals of the JPL Cup on the weekend following a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory away at North Somerset.

The young Gulls had to recover from conceding the opening goal to a Jack Thorne tap-in and, after surviving the home pressure, United surged into the lead in the second period, thanks to a clinical brace from the impressive Olaf Koszela.

The first was a predatory effort from a corner and the second a cool finish by Olaf to complete a superb team move. North Somerset, to their credit, pulled level again when Ethan Feltham scored five minutes from the end.

It was straight into the lottery of penalties and United’s hero was goalkeeper James Weeks, who produced two brilliant saves to carry his team into the semi-finals.

The Under-12s and Under-15s both suffered defeats last weekend, but, as always, there was no faulting their commitment and endeavour throughout. Under-13s were without a game, due to a waterlogged pitch on their area of the training ground.

Will Nicol scored an early goal for the United Under-14s in a game switched to the 3G at Torquay Academy, with much of Seale Hayne waterlogged. The visitors from Gloucester earned a point in the second period but special mention to Brandon Simpson for a terrific performance between the sticks.

The Under-11 Yellows took on Under-11 Blues in the ultimate Torquay United derby and it was a thriller. The Yellows came out as 6-4 winners with goals from Robbie Wright, Jack Scott, Jacob Wellington, Kaiden Meade, Ollie Mathieu and Adam Reda Khalf.

It was a fantastic game to watch and the ideal send-off for coaches Craig Hutcheson and Marcus Thompson. Torquay United would like to thank both for their hard work and effort in helping us begin the rebuild of our youth system.

The Under-9s took part in a tournament held at Torquay Academy involving sides from Saints South-West, Exeter City Development and Select Soccer. There was some great football on display and the 9s won three of their four encounters.

Final word to the Under-10s and Under-8s, who were forced inside to the Seale Hayne Sports Hall after another torrid week of rain. All players worked extremely hard and got a proper sweat on in a lively session.