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J B Parker CFL Premier Division Challenge Cup
Written by Boninsegna   
Saturday, 30 March 2019 13:07


FC St Helens 1-1 Whaley Bridge AFC.... Whaley Bridge AFC win 4-2 after penalties

Whaley make it into CFL history books!

Whaley Bridge Athletic FC created a little bit of CFL history tonight by becoming the only team ever to have won 4 consecutive Premier League Challenge Cups.

Maybe the pressure of the occasion got the better of Whaley because this wasn’t a display that will long be remembered with most players failing to find any kind of form apart from Tattersall who again showed why he must be the best keeper in the CFL. However despite FC St Helens starting the brighter, pressing hard to gain and retain good early possession Whaley, as seems to be the norm these days, had by far the lion’s share of chances in the first half.

Dwyer was the first to force St Helens keeper Brinksman to pull off one particularly great save and soon after Leadbetter reacted first to an O’Donnell cross to swivel on 6 yards and smash the ball against the bar. Tattersall was then called upon to make a point blank save at the feet of Laird to keep the scores level. However, the big talking point in the first half revolved around Dwyer who, having got clean through and with no reason to dive, was booked for simulation when the referee wrongly adjudged that he hadn’t been clipped from behind. Other chances came and went; Dwyer clean through again chipped the advancing keeper who managed to get fingertips on the ball… Sutton shot over the bar from close range. St Helens were always dangerous from corners and set plays that surprisingly Whaley struggled to deal with and the speedy number 9 was always a handful on the break.

Second half: Whaley having had the better of the first 15 minutes and pushing on eventually got caught out 1 on 1 as the speedy Laird raced through from more or less halfway and, under pressure from chasing defenders still, managed to slot past the advancing Tattersall. Whaley started to throw everything at St Helens albeit still not playing particularly well and seemingly outnumbered in midfield they didn’t retain possession well; Dwyer hit the side netting before the equaliser came via the ever dependable Sutton who headed in a Dwyer cross. Jack Gregory came on to put the foot on the ball, calm Whaley down and try to create some linkage between the defence and forwards.

Whaley had to make enforced changes due to injuries to both Armstrong and Toseland; reshuffling the pack Sutton and Kay became the new central defensive pair with Gemmell on at left back. Drayson also came on as it looked more and more likely that both he and Gemmell would be instrumental if it went to penalties as it ultimately did.

St Helens missed 2 penalties but Sutton, Gilbride, Dwyer and Gregory made no mistake.

Watch the highlights on YouTube, click on the following link:- J B Parker Final

Tattersall; Langford; Armstrong; Toseland; Kay; O’Donnell; Broome; Sutton (c)(1); Gilbride; Dwyer; Leadbetter

Gregory 60mins; Gemmell 70 mins; Drayson 75 mins; Dunn; Bailey

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