ASHBOURNE Aztecs under-10 Diamonds continued their fine run of form – which has seen just a single defeat in 2013 – with a grandstand finish to put another hard-fought point on the scoreboard against Mickleover ‘95.
Diamonds had shared the points early in the season, and there was nothing to separate them again, with the early exchanges end to end.
Much of the play was down the Mickleover right, where there was an enthralling battle between the two wingers.
Diamonds continue to look very dangerous from corners and several of these resulted in close shaves by Thomas Harris, Harry Vinall and Maxwell Bishop.
To try to break through, mazy runs from Conor Phillips, Harris and Theo Rodgers resulted in either shots on target or goalmouth scrambles.
At the other end, Regan Ford was covering every blade of grass to cut out the danger, while Thomas Barke was reveling in his new role, subduing advances and feeding the tireless Bishop and midfield marauder Eric Prince.
When Mickleover got in a shot, Banks was on hand to confidently gather.
With 10 minutes to go a smart interchange left Mickleover two on one with Ford, who for once found his strong challenge squirm out to the second forward, who finished tidily.
However, Diamonds showed determination as they rolled their sleeves up and took the game to Mickleover.
After several great attacks, Phillips launched a long ball into the right channel with five minutes to go where he had spotted an intelligent run from Harris.
His excellent control and dribble helped him reach the byline and a pinpoint driven ball found the unmarked Prince two feet from goals, and he smacked home with absolute delight.
The remaining five minutes saw both teams attack with vigour but both defences remained resolute.