Swinton Fitzwilliam 4 Thurnscoe Hill 0
CAPTAIN marvel Ben Hague struck a clinical brace as Swinton Fitzwilliam ended a four-decade barren spell to lift the Totty Cup with an inspired 4-0 victory over courageous Thurnscoe Hill.
The striker who, like many of his team-mates had dyed his hair in the teams’ colours of black and white, slammed in a rebound off Hill goalkeeper Luke Harper for his first.
He held off defenders in a crowded penalty area to rifle the ball into the top corner for his second.
Alex Butterfield and a last-minute Ben Taylor goal secured the trophy for the Don side, at last Thursday’s final at Wath Central.
But Thurnscoe Hill can be proud of their performance in the South Yorkshire Times-sponsored event.
They scored 24 goals en-route to the final and with a large percentage of their squad from Year 5, they can feel confident they’ll be back for another crack at the trophy next year.
In players like Aiden Morris and Josh Moreby they have stars who have the potential to set next year’s competition alight.
Hill manager, Simon Evington, said: “I think the nerves got to them on the day.”
A sound assessment considering an even opening ten minutes of little goal mouth action was abruptly ended by two Fitzwilliam goals in three minutes – putting the Swinton side firmly in the driving seat.
Midfield dynamo Butterfield weaved his way into the penalty area and drove the ball across the face of Harper to break the deadlock.
The Swinton boys managed to double their advantage before the delighted Fitzwilliam following had calmed down, Hague pouncing on the ball after it had deflected off the unfortunate Harper.
From then on it was an uphill struggle for the Thurnscoe team against the meanest defence in the competition and Jack Ward, the goalkeeper who had keep a succession of clean sheets to help his team to the final. He comfortably dealt with catching, diving at feet and even charging out of his area to clear from the feet of the advancing Hill striker Nathan Hunt.
Hague’s solo effort was saved until the stroke of half time, the perfect time to stretch his teams lead to three goals.
The best goal of the game would have been Aiden Morris’s had he not flashed his second-half strike agonisingly wide of the far post, after cutting in from the left hand-side and leaving Fitzwilliam defenders in his wake.
The best football move of the match was left to the dying few seconds when Ben Taylor rose higher than anyone to meet a telling cross and power a header at goal.
Harper looked to have saved, touching the ball onto the cross bar. It bounced down and the referee gave the goal.
Fitzwilliam coach Les Burgin said: “They’ve done superb. I’ve only been with them 12 months, but they’ve responded to training and they’re athletic kids. They’re a great bunch of boys to work with.”
Deborah Wing, who runs the winning team, said: “I think it was played in a really good spirit. It was a lovely atmosphere. I think we deserved to win it and I’m really proud of all the lads.”
Simon Evington added: “We will be back next year. The best team won on the day, but we’ve only got four Year 6s in the team so it will be a formidable side next year.”
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