Rapid start ends Wrens’ cup hopes

Blackpool Wren Rovers (red) v Eagley in the Richardson Cup final at Fleetwood Town FC.
Blackpool Wren Rovers (red) v Eagley in the Richardson Cup final at Fleetwood Town FC.

BLACKPOOL WREN ROVERS 2 EAGLEY 4
 RICHARDSON CUP FINAL

Blackpool Wren Rovers’ hopes of retaining the Richardson Cup were blown away in a first half blitz by cup kings Eagley.

Rovers were a goal down after just 14 seconds at Fleetwood Town’s Highbury ground and were staring down the barrel of a thumping after conceding two further goals within the first 26 minutes.

Two late goals threatened a comeback but in the end their West Lancashire League rivals held on to secure their second major trophy of the season, after their LFA Amateur Shield success against league champions Charnock Richard.

Wrens, who finished 11 points ahead of their Bolton-based rivals, got off to the worst possible start when Jordan Cover seized on a throughball to rifle home after just 14 seconds.

Wrens struggled to get a foothold in the game and were two down 15 minutes later, Liam Carr nodding home a right wing cross from virtually on the goal line.

It got worse shortly after, Cover taking advantage of a defensive slip to race clear and confidently fire past Kevin Kennerley for his second and Eagley’s third.

Wrens striker Jack Sharples had a low daisycutter parried away shortly after the restart but any real hopes of a stirring fightback were over on 55 minutes.

Ryan Moore won possession on the edge of the box, wrong-footed the Wrens back line before burying an unstoppable shot inside Kennerley’s near post.

Sharples pulled one back to muted celebrations on 64 minutes, planting a fine header past the stranded Eagley keeper.

Substitute Steve Creelman should have done better with a close range header and then hit a fizzing left foot volley which was well parried.

Midfielder Tom Watson did smash home a loose ball on 82 minutes to make it 4-2 and set up a potentially nervy finish but Eagley saw out time for a well-earned victory.