Owls’ ex-Dutch Master outdone as Blades reach Arena final

Masters Football at Sheffield Arena.....Owls v Blades....Owls Efan Ekoku leaves Blades Dean Windass
Masters Football at Sheffield Arena.....Owls v Blades....Owls Efan Ekoku leaves Blades Dean Windass
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THE Gilles de Bilde and Gerald Sibon pairing ended in failure again for Sheffield Wednesday.

The Belgian and Dutch strike duo that turned into such a lightning rod for criticism from Owls fans was reunited last night in the Yorkshire Masters at Sheffield Arena. And despite some nice touches, which included an excellent de Bilde strike against Sheffield United, Wednesday flattered to deceive.

In the derby match that the majority of the 2,000 Arena crowd had come to see, 40-year-old de Bilde was briefly the hero that he never was during his time at Hillsborough (1999-2001) as he put Wednesday 3-2 up.

However an Adrian Littlejohn hat-trick gave United a 5-3 win and a place in the final against Leeds United.

The Blades came off second best, as the night’s best player, 35-year-old Darren Huckerby scored four goals to give Leeds a 5-3 victory.

Huckerby had given Leeds a 2-0 lead before Craig Short and Littlejohn levelled to 2-2.

Jamie Forrester edged Leeds ahead 3-2 but Steve Charles again equalised.

The match seemed destined for penalties until Huckerby scored his seventh and eighth goals of the night to end Barnsley’s two-year hold on the trophy.

Barnsley and Doncaster Rovers both went out at the group stage.