THE name of Upperthong adorns most of the RCD League’s silverware at some point as the Holme Valley side were, for two decades, one of the strongest clubs in the region.
But the club have suffered a decline in recent years and only the efforts of stalwart Ray Bissett have held the club together until now.
During the same period, Dalton Dynamoes have been going from strength to strength and there are few seasons where a Dalton team fails to pick up a major trophy.
But the Under 15 Minor Cup final signalled a new era for Upperthong as they lifted their first recent trophy to put the club firmly back on the junior league map – beating Dalton 5-1.
Although the final score indicates a comfortable win for Upperthong it disguises the fact that, for over an hour, Dalton looked well capable of winning.
A scrappy Max Berry goal in the 10th minute gave Upperthong a good start and Dalton’s inability to clear a corner allowed William Wilson the chance to fire home a second after just 15.
Having lost only two games this season, Upperthong might be forgiven for thinking the cup was already in the bag but, Dalton had other ideas and, for the next hour, the Dynamoes did everything possible to spoil Upperthong’s day.
The danger signals for Upperthong started when a hopeful, long-range shot flicked off the top of the bar and, minutes later, only a terrific block by keeper Jack Atkinson prevented Israel Johnson from pulling one back for Dalton who, thanks to the hard work of Alex Prout and Garry Nixon, were now controlling the game.
Oliver Tiplady had the chance to put the result beyond doubt in the opening minutes of the second half but, with the keeper beaten and an open goal at his mercy, the Upperthong striker fired over the bar.
Upperthong soon realised the miss might prove costly as, at the other end, Israel Johnson’s brilliant run ended when he slotted the ball into the corner to put Dalton firmly back in the game.
The goal shook Upperthong and the normally solid defending of Max Kaye and Jack Sewell looked fragile as Prout and man of the Match Johnson threatened an equaliser.
But, despite the pressure, Upperthong held out and when a defence-splitting pass found Wilson, the powerful forward finished off Dalton’s challenge with an unstoppable shot from 15 yards.
Having given everything, the goal proved a demoralising blow for Dalton who, with just 10 minutes of the game remaining, were unable to pick themselves up and, with all resistance gone, Ross Killock and Joe Dyson netted again to give Upperthong victory.
Sunday features the first four RCD League Cup Finals taking place at the Syngenta Sports Ground.
The first game kicks off at 2.15pm when North Gawber take on Vision in the Under 11 Cup final.
The Under 15 final between Dalton Dynamoes and Howden Clough gets under way at 2.30pm
At 4.15pm, Barugh take on Howden Clough in the Under 14 final
And finally at 4.30pm, what should be one of the best games should be played out when Linthwaite take on Bradford United in the Under 17 final.