AFC Craven achieved Hoyle Cup glory when they ran out deserved winners at the John Smith’s Stadium with a 5-2 win against Sovereign Sports.
A brace from Matthew Willans and penalty from keeper Shane Kelly ensured that Craven lived up to their favourites’ tag in front of a crowd of 256.
Sovereign were without their veteran player Paul Sturgeon who suffered a freak injury.
Craven took the lead on 20 minutes; a good ball from Austin Bedeal found Patrick Maylett in the box and the Craven midfielder went down after a clumsy challenge from Andre Willox. Keeper Kelly converted from the spot.
Craven then doubled their lead six minutes later through striker Tom Willans. A mistake from Jay Hamilton allowed Willans to fire his shot into the bottom corner.
Sovereign reduced the deficit before half-time when a long free-kick from Andrew Toner caused confusion in the Craven box, and defender Paul Stead was first to react to turn the ball home.
With the game finely poised, Craven restored their two-goal advantage. A free-kick from Jonny Lay found the head of Matthew Willans and his looping header beat the keeper to make it 3-1.
Craven then put the game to bed in the 73rd, a great first time ball from captain George Dawson found Matthew Willans and he raced past a Sovereign defender and coolly slotted home his second of the final.
Sovereign found a glimmer of hope in the 77th minute with an own goal from Nikki Stansfield. Lively substitute Dom Webster jinked past two players, found Hamilton in an advanced position, the left-back beat the keeper to the ball but his effort on goal was scrambled off the line by Stansfield,
However his heroics were short-lived when Bedeal’s cross cannoned off Stansfield’s leg and flew past the keeper to make it 4-2.
Five minutes later Craven were well and truly out of sight. Another perfect pass from Craven captain Dawson found substitute James Raynor and he calmly lifted the ball over the on-coming keeper to make it 5-2.
It capped off a true captain’s performance by man of the match Dawson who lifted the Hoyle Cup with his triumphant teammates in fantastic celebrations.
AFC Craven: Kelly, Lay, Smith, Dawson, Stansfield, Gibson, Beaumont, Maylett, Willans (T), Willans (M), Bedeau. Subs: Proctor, Moon, Sharif, Raynor, Dolan.
Sovereign Sports: Crowther, Whiteley, Hamilton, Willox, Stead, Chamal, Krol, Toner, Jackson, Armstrong (L), St Louis. Subs: Wadsworth, Pollock, Webster, Armstrong (S).
Referee: Ian Daffern.