Darley Over-30s end Community Cup drought

The annual Darley Dale Community Cup was held on Saturday and saw the over-30s claim the title for the first time since 2007 against their under-30 counterparts.

Indeed, the early confidence of the Under-30s following such a run of success was quickly disrupted by the determination of Daz Webster and Martin Bonsall in the opposing midfield to stifle any way through for their younger counterparts.

Building from this strong centre midfield partnership, the Over-30s added attacking options with Andy Tann and Liam Keeton causing problems out wide and up front, whilst Michael Charlton and John Dunsby in the Over-30s defence, backed up by Craig Heathcote in goal, looked comfortable dealing with anything the Under-30s could create.

Following a tight first-half the game opened up in the second and within five minutes the Under-30s could have taken the lead, only to be denied when Danny Stephenson cleared off the line from a well judged effort from Nik Baker.

Having survived with a narrow escape, the Over-30s took full advantage and began to put in 40 minute shift that defied the age gaps across the field and left the Under-30s blown away.

Opening the scoring for the Over-30s, Stuart Pearson unleashed an unstoppable strike from the edge of the area which, ten minutes later, was followed by an inch perfect effort from distance by Liam Keeton.

As the game wore on the Over-30s began to find more space and chances, yet the performance of Tom Crapper in the Under-30s goal kept his team’s deficit down to just two until five minutes from time when, following a flowing move, Wez Harrop tucked in from close range to make it 3-0.

The Over-30’s display was highlighted when Jack Wilson - the youngest player of the Under-30s’ defensive line up – received the man-of-the-match award for an excellent performance in helping to keep the goal tally down.