Hurst Green double up with Barron Cup

MOM: Sam Hayes

MOM: Sam Hayes

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CATFORTH Summer League champions Hurst Green completed a magnificent double as they defeated Fleece Inn on penalties in the Barron Cup Final.

The final was a typical blood and thunder affair, with Green starting slowly without their midfield anchor Neil Reynolds.

Fleece should have taken an early lead, but their striker amazingly missed the target from little more than five yards.

Rick Coar finally broke the deadlock in the second half as he charged down a clearance and finished superbly to put the league champions in front.

Green started the better in the second half as the Coar brothers up front began to stamp their authority on the game.

Just as it looked like Green were to secure a memorable cup victory, a rare defensive lapse enabled the Fleece substitute to turn and shoot from the edge of the area and find the corner to force extra time. Both sides made changes but Green didn’t let the mistake hinder their hunger for cup glory.

Johnny Welch almost snatched it for Green with a 20-yard daisy-cutter, but the opposing keeper was equal to the effort.

It went to penalties, with Green’s first two penalties converted by Melling and Bamber, while a save from Danny Woodhead put Green in the driving seat.

However, Barnes’ penalty hit the crossbar, only for Woodhead to save again.

Again the tie was in the balance as Coar skewed his effort wide, but hero of the day Woodhead produced another wonderful save to leave Hayes with the simple task of slotting home for a cup and league double.

Woodhead was also rewarded for his penalty exploits with the man of the match award by the league committee.

The Summer League campaign has been a well-fought one, with the Hurst Green team bringing together some excellent non-league players from the area wanting to stay fit over the close season, as well as blooding some fine young players, managed by Graeme Seedall and assisted by Peter Hayhurst.

Chances were hard to come by, but Rick Coar went close with a header and Joe Melling had a couple of efforts which flew over the bar.

Green started the better in the second half as the Coar brothers up front began to stamp their authority on the game and should have taken the lead as Barnes was only inches away from converting a Sam Hayes cross.