Brockholes Arms 3
Plungington Celtic 2
Catterall-based summer league football team Brockholes Arms FC have reached the final of the prestigious Barron Cup competition after a 3-2 victory over Plungington Celtic FC.
In what was an enthralling encounter from start to finish. Brockholes – who are also within touching distance of being crowned champions of Division 2 – were forced to overcome a Plungington side littered with semi-professional and ex-professional footballers and who lead the First Division at a canter.
The game was fiercely contested from kick off, and when full-back Jake Baldwin was sent sprawling after a late challenge inside 30 seconds, his opposite number was lucky to escape with just a booking.
However, it was this early incident that set the tone for the encounter and Brockholes came out fighting, affording their opponents no rhythm or time on the ball.
On the 20 minute mark Brockholes’ hard work began to pay off when the energetic Isaac Kusaloka raced through on goal and poked the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper to net, sending the sizeable home support into jubilation.
The lead was short-lived, however, when the otherwise excellent Sean Atkinson clipped lively Plungington winger Marc Mullen in the area, leaving referee Mark Hughes no choice but to point to the spot.
The penalty was despatched coolly by ex-Preston, West Brom and Wigan front-man Lee Ashcroft.
It took a moment of pure genius from Mark Kippax for Brockholes to regain the lead in the second half, with the top scorer firing a magnificent left-foot volley into the top corner from 20 yards.
Brockholes thought they had sealed the tie when the industrious Daniel Ball tapped in, but a dubious penalty awarded to Plungington – again despatched calmly by Ashcroft – with ten minutes to go made for a tense finale.
Brockholes, however, stood tall and soaked up the pressure, with their reward being a place in the final against Theatre Boys at Bilsborrow playing fields this Friday, July 18, kick-off 7pm.
Team: Bryan Berry, Sean Atkinson (rep. Rory Mower), Jonathan Hallam, Dave Porter, Jake Baldwin – Dan Hooson (rep. Liam Assalone, rep. Danny Tolley), David McEvoy, Steven Johnson, Mark Kippax, Daniel Ball, Isaac Kusaloka. Unused subs: Danny Lane, Simon Williamson.
Man of the match: David McEvoy.