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Peerless Parr powers Saints National Cup progress

There was only ever going to be a dramatic climax to this week for SHWFC Monday’s session was scorchio Tuesday’s Executive meeting was terrific Wednesday’s Sutton session produced some frantic football But Friday topped the lot Our Over 65s meeting with Brunswick Old Boys to decide the National Cup North West West Division winner and representative on Grand Finals day at Lilleshall in September had the lot!

The game was played at LCFA Sefton complex in drizzly conditions that mercifully eased as the match commenced

The teams were;

Brunswick OB - Robinson, Harricke, Small, Watts, Lyons, Murt and Melia

SHWFC - Barrow, Painter, Fitzpatrick, Parr, Maldon, Hawkins, Williams, Brack and Byrne

The early action was mostly played in the SHWFC final third with the hosts dominating possession and peppering the visitors goal with speculative shots Watts, Lyons and Murt testing the Saints back line and keeper Thatto Dave Barrow Despite the pressure Saints held firm and had some decent efforts from Maldon and Parr to keep Robinson busy too

The opening goal was the result of a swift counter with Tom Stretch Parr gliding past his man to fire a wicked shot into the far corner 0-1 to Saints Lord Rainford ploughed a lonely furrow up front starved of possession and left instead to close down defenders and help his team mates as the first line of defence

Brunswick applied more pressure and as Lyons unleashed a drive that evaded Barrow at full stretch it was soon 1-1 Lyons threatened to run riot but the visitors were fortunate perhaps to concede just one more goal when Lyons took advantage of a fortunate rebound to poke home from close in Just as Saints Little and Large defensive duo Citeh Geoff Painter and Peter El Presidente Fitzpatrick seemed to be getting the measure of the green menace it was 2-1 and advantage Brunny

As the first 20 minute half came to an end Saint‘s resolve was put to the test as Maldon received a Blue Card and 2 minutes on the sidelines for a word too far for patient Referee Steve Pitt

Playing with a man down seemed to galvanise the Saints who comfortably dealt with the task to reach Half Time a goal down but with a measure now of the task ahead

At the break John Lord Rainford Hawkins was withdrawn for Colin the Late Williams Les Victor Meldrew Brack replaced Allan Molly Maldon after Saints burned down the remaining seconds of the sin bin Fresh legs and new impetus soon drew benefits with a long pass to Les wide on the right allowing him the chance to volley a cushioned pass into Parr who blazed home to draw the sides level 2-2 and Saints back with real purpose now

In a rare foray into the home half of the pitch El Presidente was able to cruise onto a loose ball and commit the centre back before delivering a perfect nutmeg pass into Tom Parr who drilled the ball home for his hat trick

Saints now on top at 2-3 and threatening more goals with Williams unlucky to be clipped with a clear sight of goal As is so often the case the free kick came to nothing but at least Saints retained possession Brunswick were much less dangerous as time went on Barrow had little to do in the final period Referee Pitt finally lost his patience with Watt and Brunswick were a man down and increasingly unable to pose a real threat other than occasionally from distance

Lord Rainford returned to replace El Presidente for the final flourish Finally Pitt blew his Acme Thunderer amid wild scenes of celebration Saints had dug deep and earned their 2-3 victory

Coach Davies hugged his players Club Captain Andy Houghton and Gonzalo congratulated everyone associated with SHWFC Special mention to all members, family and friends who had cheered the players on throughout

Our thanks to Brunswick who though clearly disappointed were gracious in defeat

Referee Steve Pitt had a decent game always on top of proceedings Our thanks to him for his usual excellent performance

The only downside was the lack of a Cup to reward the players for being the West region winners perhaps that might inspire us to National Cup glory in September

And so the Saints are going to be marching in to Lilleshall in September into the last sixteen of the National Cup A great day for all who played or helped or was there

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