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Sunday March 31, 2019
Presidents Final date for Arkwrights and Penwortham Town

Arkwrights (yellow) v Park United - Presidents Cup semi-final

Waverley Park (green) v Penwortham Town - Presidents Cup semi-final

More photos >>

The last of this season's semi-finals were played at the UCLan Sports Arena and they produced two cracking games which saw Arkwrights beat Park United and Penwortham Town beat Waverley Park to reach the Syndicate Trust Presidents Cup Final which will be played at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, Bamber Bridge on Wednesday 10 April, kick off 7.30pm.

Arkwrights are in second spot on division 1 and they faced Park United who by co-incidence are second in division 3 and it looked as the league difference would tell when Mark Taylor headed Arkwrights into the lead from a corner after just 3 minutes. Nothing could have been further from the truth as Bolton based Park United gritted their teeth and got down to business.

The casual visitor to the Arena would seen two evenly matched sides with Park United benefiting from their vocal supporters who were there in numbers. Much as Park United pressed they were unable to convert their chances, that was until the 70th minute when Alex Russell turned his marker and fired into the bottom corner. Five minutes later Arkwrights had the chance to retake the lead from the penalty spot but Andrew Danson's fiercely struck effort was brilliantly saved by keeper Bill Worthington.

However, Arkwrights have one invaluable asset in striker Mark Taylor who has netted 33 goals this season and he settled the game with a typical poacher's goal in the 88th minute. This was a high quality game between two excellent sides and well handled by the match officials. Park United manager Jon Winrow can be proud of his team, not only for the way they played but also for the sporting way they conducted themselves.

The other semi-final between two 2nd divisions sides Penwortham Town and Waverley Park got off to a flying start when Dave Hitchen put Penwortham ahead after just 90 seconds which would have left most teams shell shocked but not Waverley as Jamie Yates put on equal terms just five minutes later. Penwortham retook the lead on 35 minutes through Tom Seed only for Jamie Yates to get his second three minutes later to make the score 2-2.

The scores were deadlocked at half time and it was still 2-2 after 90 minutes as both teams took a well-earned breather before 30 minutes of extra time. The two manager Harry Sandells (Penwortham) and Paul Hopkins (Waverley) could not have asked more from their players in this ultra-evenly matched affair which was also well handled by the match officials. It needed something out of the ordinary to settle the match and it came in the 97th minute when Penwortham's Connor Sleight's speculative lob beat Nick Kay in the Waverley goal and it saw his Penwortham Town team through to the Final.

Round up and photos by Eamonn McNamara.


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