Steve Criley nets first England hat-trick in big win at Basque Country
- Credit: Heath Underwood
Weston AFC over-50 forward Steve Crilley scored his first hat-trick for England over-50s in an impressive display over Basque Country earlier this month.
An emotional day at Athletic Bilbao on the Eskaldanaks first international appearance was somewhat hindered by an impressive Three Lions performance in which their far greater experience proved invaluable.
Crilley opened the scoring at the Eskaldanaks impressive training headquarters after a smart interception by Boston United’s Dave Scotney.
An Andy Clarke penalty and a Paul Kirby pile driver put England three-nil to the good as their passing and movement started to pay dividends.
The first-half scoring was completed by Bob Sapey as he opened his international account with a classy finish.
The second-half started in similar fashion when England ever present Trevor Hanson produced a stunning drive to put England 5-0 up.
Sapey and Crilley both got their second to put England in total command .
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The biggest cheer of the day from the 200 hundred strong crowd was then heard as the Basque Country scored an impressive goal from a well worked free-kick leaving goalkeeper Rob Keating no chance.
Crilley then become the first over-50’s England player to complete a hat trick as he rolled in a well practised free-kick.
The scoring was then completed by Boltons Clarke to record a 9-1 victory.
Whilst the margin of victory was great, the experience gained by a hugely proud nation massively outweighed the result.
Many friendships were made and alliances forged in the true spirit of what Walking Football should be about.
Athletic Bilbao were not only the perfect hosts but also showed superb sportsmanship.
An incredibly fantastic San Mames Stadium tour and first class hospitality proved a fantastic experience for all the team and management.
England Assistant Manager Dave Castle, who also plays his club football for the Seagulls, said: It’s a great day for Weston, the year seems to get better and better.
"We have won the Nationals and now Steve has become the first to ever score a hat trick for England, with midfielder Ed Lilley also on the verge of the squad we must be doing something right at the club.
“Lach Geddes (Weston’s Manager) has created something pretty special and surrounded himself with some real quality.”