A GOAL from Tom Sweeney five minutes from time gave Colburn Town the Medals Shield in a tense final at the Calvert Stadium a week last Thursday.
Colburn, who came into the match unbeaten in 20 matches since defeat to Hawes United back in September, dominated for long periods against the league leaders but the final looked to be heading for extra time until Sweeney’s late intervention.
Hawes began the night sitting comfortably on top of the league but Colburn started well and had a great chance to take the lead in the 18th minute.
Stu Murray’s pace took him beyond the Hawes back line and he was brought down right on the edge of the penalty area by Hawes’ goalkeeper Chris Harrison.
The yellow card for the Hawes stopper looked generous and Si McGuiness’ free kick clipped the top of the crossbar.
Murray was causing a lot of problems with his pace and movement but it was strikepartner Sweeney who had the ball in the net midway through the first half only to see it ruled out for offside.
Hawes, whose only defeat of the season came back in September, struggled to get into the final and were restricted to mainly long balls in the direction of striker Jonathon Champion which were dealt with comfortably by Nige Cole and Liam Hall in the Colburn defence.
The second half became a scrappy affair with neither side really able to stamp their authority on proceedings. But a change by Colburn midway through the half tipped the final in their favour. Luke McCormack replaced Michal Szwak in midfield and Colburn began to reassert their earlier dominance.
Sweeney and Hall both came close to breaking the deadlock but just when it looked as though the final would be heading for extra time, Sweeney finally struck.
McCormack waltzed through a tired looking Hawes defence and when his shot was parried by Harrison, Sweeney was on hand to gleefully volley into the empty net.
The final few minutes saw Hawes throw everything forward but they were unable to find an equaliser and Colburn held on to lift the first of what they hope will be two cups this season.
They face Carperby Rovers in the semi-final of the Dales Cup a week tomorrow.
Hawes, on the other hand, will hope to have wrapped up the league title by then.