Barnoldswick Town brought home the Morrison Cup in a pulsating final at the Silentnight Stadium last Thursday evening.
Rolls started the stronger, and Town did not get a toehold in the game for the first 10 minutes until Teal Amos was prevented from giving Town the lead by a fine save from the Rolls Royce keeper Jonothan Syrad.
This appeared to settle the youthful Town outfit, and they started to play some fast attacking football, harassing and dispossessing their opponents at every opportunity.
Bailey Coates made no mistake when clean through, and he gave his side the lead after 15 minutes.
A superb interchange between Chris Richardson and Jonny Davies almost extended Town’s lead on 35 minutes, but Richardson’s shot flew narrowly over the bar and Town went in at the interval 1-0 in front.
The expected onslaught by the Rolls Royce players arrived straight after the break, and Matt Holt turned the ball into his own net on 48 minutes.
Instead of demoralising the young Town side, this seemed to galvanise them, and they tore in to the Rolls Royce defence to support their unfortunate team mate Holt, who was otherwise exceptional throughout.
Amos beat the last defender on 55 minutes but rolled the ball agonisingly wide of the far post, and a minute later Coates hit the cross bar.
It was now apparent that superior fitness was starting to impact, but Rolls were still in the contest, and it took a breathtaking one-handed save by the Town keeper Adam Wormwell to keep the score at 1-1, from a Liam Garbutt shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Amos restored Town’s lead on 66 minutes, and then made it 3-1 following a superb through ball by Ellis Harling, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes.
The mercurial Amos and his strike partner Coates were threatening to take the game completely away from Rolls Royce at this point, supported by almost total control of the midfield areas, where Isaac Turner seemed to be involved in everything.
Wormwell made another incredible one-handed save on 75 minutes as the game opened up and both teams attacked relentlessly.
The pressure was eased on 80 minutes when man of the match Amos hit the post and was denied a hat-trick.
But there was huge consolation as the energy of Jonny Davies found him in the perfect place to effectively win the cup for Town by giving his team a 4-1 lead.
Rolls Royce never gave up for a second, and pulled a goal back on 82 minutes through Nick Schofield.
But skipper Aidan McCusker ensured that they were not going to score another, and Town lifted the trophy again after five long years of ups and downs.
This was a superb performance by the young Town side, who started as underdogs.
They demonstrated that the players from the club’s junior section are more than capable of making the transition to senior football in the future.
Over 300 people turned up to watch the final, and were enthralled by a fine local derby encounter, which proved a credit to both sides, and to the town of Barnoldswick as a whole.