4:29pm Friday 4th April 2014
COLBURN Town marched into another cup final at Reeth last Saturday as a hat-trick from leading scorer Tom Sweeney saw off the challenge of Carperby Rovers.
Medals Shield winners Colburn looked set for a comfortable victory when Sweeney scored from the penalty spot inside ten minutes, but it was not until the second half that they were able to seal their place in the final thanks to two more from Sweeney, an own goal from Rovers goalkeeper Thomas Musgrave and a strike from substitute Chris Sutherland.
John Pickard scored a late Carperby consolation.
Unbeaten in 24 matches, Colburn started as clear favourites against a Rovers side that had finished in ninth place and they were gifted the lead after just ten minutes.
Musgrave pushed over Stu Murray inside the penalty area and Sweeney, with 42 goals to his credit this season, easily beat the Rovers keeper from the spot.
That led to a dominant firsthalf display from Town but they were unable to add to their tally before the break.
Murray missed a hat-trick of chances while Nige Cole saw a header cleared off the line and Luke McCormack also came close. But while it remained only 1-0 Carperby always had a chance.
However, the second half followed a similar pattern, with Colburn on top, and they finally doubled their advantage just before the hourmark.
Cole sent McCormack clear and when his effort was parried by Musgrave, Sweeney was on hand to force home the rebound.
And the tie was effectively over ten minutes later when Sweeney completed his hattrick.
A spot of pin-ball inside the Rovers area saw the ball fall to Sweeney and he made no mistake from close range for the 45th goal of his phenomenal season.
It was now just a case of how many Colburn would score. It was 4-0 in the 76th minute when a cross from Mikey Brend was pushed into his own net by Musgrave, while just a minute later substitute Sutherland, who had replaced Sweeney, headed home a Si McGuiness free kick.
With a second cup final appearance of the season now secured, Colburn switched off in the closing stages and Pickard was given too much time and space to fire a consolation beyond David Mutch.
But it was too late to spoil Colburn’s day and they will now face a cup final showdown with the winners of the semifinal clash between league champions Hawes United and Richmond Buck Inn.
Having secured the league title the previous week, it was a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show for Hawes, who struggled to find their best form after taking an early lead through Jordan Iveson. The Buck were level before the break with a first goal of the season from Martin Mason and that was the way it finished.
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