Oxenhope lift Keighley Cup with magnificent seven

Ben White with the Keighley FA Challenge Cup

The champagne flows as Oxenhope celebrate

Tom Sowerbutts, left, and Scott Nelson in action during the final

First published in Sport by

Oxenhope Rec 7 Silsden Reserves 1

A one-sided but entertaining Keighley FA Challenge Cup final went the way of West Yorkshire League outfit Oxenhope as they lifted the trophy for the third time in their history.

Having put their name on the silverware in 1966 and more recently in 2012, they powered their way to victory over their hosts from the North West Counties League at Silsden’s Angel Telecom Stadium.

Experience and strength soon told as Oxenhope took the lead on ten minutes. Tom Marshall broke down the left and crossed to Michael Garnett, who used his physique and power to turn defender Nathan Priestley and blast in from a narrow angle.

Eleven minutes later, Rec doubled their lead. Silsden keeper Wayne Mahomet broke up an attack with a long clearance down field but the ball fell to Ollie Metcalfe, who lobbed home from all of 40 yards Beckham-style.

On the half-hour mark Silsden pulled a goal back. Mikey Hall fed Brad Fay, who pushed the ball into the path of Tom Sowerbutts to slot home.

Oxenhope regained control when Garnett twisted and turned to get his cross in.

The ball was blocked and fell to Chris Day on the edge of the box, whose powerful volley went in off the post.

Hall had a chance to reduce the arrears but failed to get clean contact on a cross and the ball flew agonisingly over the bar.

At the start of the second half, Lee McGowan, at the heart of the Silsden defence, denied Dan Mor-iarty. Soon afterwards, Liam McNicol headed in but was adjudged to have climbed on McGowan’s back.

A scissor-kick from Garnett brought an acrobatic save from Mahomet while, at the other end, Sowerbutts’ volley beat keeper Sam Lee but cleared the bar.

The pace of Marshall caught Silsden’s defence off guard but Mahomet parried the youngster’s powerful drive and saved his follow-up.

On the hour, Moriarty put daylight between the teams. He cut inside Declan Consoli and, from the edge of the box, drove an angled ball beyond the keeper.

Minutes later Moriarty notched his second, cutting in again from the left to make it 5-1.

Silsden had chances to reduce the deficit. Hall drove in a curling free-kick that was heading for the top corner but keeper Lee produced a superb one-handed save to tip over. From the resulting corner, he blocked Danny Nazir’s cross-shot.

A mazy 40-yard dribbling run by Oxenhope centre back Scott Nelson put him in on goal but he shot across the face of the target.

Silsden’s sub Liam Murgatroyd then got caught dribbling the ball out of defence by Leon Smith, who slotted home number six.

Two minutes later, Moriarty completed his hat-trick with a trademark jinking run through the Silsden defence.

Oxenhope proved worthy winners – their seven-goal haul took their tally to an incredible 32 goals from just four ties. Captain Ben White went forward to collect the cup and the players celebrated their victory with their fans late into the night.

Oxenhope: Lee, Day, McNicol, Nelson, Walton, White (Quinlan), Trowers, Moriarty, Garnett (Smith), Metcalfe, Marshall (Hickman).

Silsden: Mahomet, Consoli, Narey (Murgatroyd), McGowan, Priestley, Jalil, Metcalfe, Sowerbutts, Hall (Feather), Faye, Nazir.

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