THERE was drama aplenty as Bradford Hockey Club reached the quarter-finals of the English Hockey Under-18 Boys' Cup.

After three times being behind at Lichfield in normal time, Bradford were reduced to nine players going into the last minute, needing a score to force penalty flicks.

However, the visitors cleverly earned a short corner, only for the final whistle to go to signal the last play – and although the shot was well saved, Tyler Illingworth buried the rebound to take the last-16 tie to sudden death.

After five flicks each, the score was 4-4, but Illingworth confidently slotted home his effort.

Then keeper Joe Moore pulled off a fine save to take Bradford through to face Deeside Ramblers (5-1 conquerors of Ben Rhydding) in the quarter-finals tomorrow from an original entry of 80 teams.

Bradford, who are looking forward to the tie with confidence, had progressed thanks to a bye, a concession and a 1-0 win at Belper in a tough contest.

Lichfield are a large club but their under-18 team were an unknown quantity.

Nervous unforced errors helped the Staffordshire hosts take the lead and although Bradford should have made more of their opportunities as they settled down, they did equalise via Ali Murtaza after good work down the right by Jordan Hardaker.

A good finish put Lichfield 2-1 ahead before half-time but Bradford felt they should have led by the interval, such was the balance of play, and the match continued in that vein in the second half.

Both sides cleared short corners well until Illingworth pounced on a rebound to make it 2-2.

However, Lichfield took advantage of a dubious short-corner call with a few minutes left to take the lead for a third time.

Bradford then called on their never-say-die attitude to score from that final play and force penalty flicks.

Captain Charlie Sorton led by example for victors Bradford, who are Yorkshire's sole survivors in the competition, but it was really a great team performance in which there were no passengers.

Bradford squad: Joe Moore, Ben Craig, Josh Moehr, Mark Roberts, Charlie Sorton (captain), Simon Wood, George Prescott, Seb Shaw, Jordan Hardaker, Shubham Tandale, Ali Murtaza, Esa Naseem, Tyler Illingworth, Matt Wilson.

Successful flicks: Sorton, Hardaker, Illingworth (2), Wilson.