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Newmarket pub The Prince Of Wales aiming to wrap up cup double over back-to-back weekends

It was not so long ago that The Prince Of Wales FC was struggling to raise a starting XI each weekend.

Embarking on long runs without a victory, there was a real danger at times that the team’s existence was going to come under threat.

But great strides have been made in recent months, so much so that the side connected to the pub on Newmarket’s All Saints Road has the chance to get their hands on some silverware over upcoming back-to-back weekends.

Robbie Fitzpatrick in action for The Prince Of Wales, who have two cup finals coming up Picture: Philip Fuller
Robbie Fitzpatrick in action for The Prince Of Wales, who have two cup finals coming up Picture: Philip Fuller

On Sunday they will run out at Western Park Pavilion on the outskirts of Cambridge to contest the final of the Sutherland Cup (1pm), while seven days later the Cambridgeshire & District Friendly League Division One Cup will be at stake.

And according to goalkeeper Harry Lash, much of the credit for the turnaround should go to manager Tom Brown – a former jockey with more than 100 winners to his name.

Lash said: “It was only three years ago that we were celebrating our first ever win with champagne! That had been a long time coming. It was so hard to raise a team and while we all wanted to be there, we had a reputation of being a team that moaned a lot at each other on the pitch.

“But Tom has come in after suffering an injury while playing and he’s made it a team that the players really want to play for.

“We lacked a bit of leadership and Tom has provided that. He’s really passionate and wants us to play good football.

“He’s created an environment where everyone chips in. We all stay behind after games to make sure the changing rooms are tidy, the pitches are marked and that sort of thing.

“We’re definitely more of a team right now than we ever have been before.”

The Prince Of Wales, who have a number of players that are involved within the horse racing industry, will be up against familiar opposition in the form of The Dobblers in both finals.

The Cambridge-based pub has won both league matches between the two sides this season, including on March 24 when they triumphed 4-3.

However, Lash is hopeful that his team will be able to wrestle back the ascendancy when it matters most.

He added: “They beat us a few weeks ago but we were depleted that day. They only just beat us so we’re hopeful with a full squad we can turn it around. Our league season has dwindled a little bit. It feels like a lot of our focus is on the two cups.

“We lost a cup final to Godolphin a couple of years ago, so it would be great to put that right in at least one of the games.”

And should the team come up trumps, there is likely to be plenty of celebrations back at The Prince Of Wales.

“Ginny at The Prince Of Wales has been so supportive of the team,” said Lash. “I cannot talk highly enough of how helpful they’ve been. They’ve helped us with kits and plenty of other things.”