Junior Cup Final 2018
Fabulous win for Dent in Westmorland County FA's Junior Cup
Dent FC won the Westmorland County FA's Junior Cup, edging out Keswick Reserves 2-1 in a thrilling encounter at the Stables, Thompson, Briscoe Stadium in Kendal on Wednesday evening. This was a keenly anticipated battle, with both teams still battling for the Westmorland League's Division Two title, and this was the first of Dent's two finals this year, with an appearance in the Mason & Freeman Cup to come. The teams had already met twice this year, each winning once and each win by just one goal. This was the first time Dent had been in a final in twenty-two years and Keswick last won the trophy some thirty-five years ago, in 1983. All to play for!
With a lot of interest in the Final, excellent vocal support had travelled from both Dent and Keswick in large numbers, and the supporters were treated to a real battle. As soon as referee Mark Pentz blew his whistle to start the game, Keswick went on the attack, and for the first ten minutes this was all Keswick with Dent forced to defend against repeated attacks as Keswick laid siege to the Dent goal. Keswick's Charlie Robson had a powerful shot blocked on the goal line, Adam Gaskell and Adam Beaty both went close, and Ewan Clark headed just wide. But the Dent defence held, and held well. The next twenty minutes were more of the same, and although Dent started to steady the ship, there were continued Keswick attacks, with George Frampton firing in a number of corners, but all frustrated by the excellent Dent goalkeeping by Morgan Brown and a defence well marshalled by skipper Bryan Taylor. On the half hour and against the run of play, Dent broke down the right and Rich Thexton fired in a powerful shot which went right across the face of the Keswick goal and the ball buried itself in the left hand bottom corner of the net. 1-0 to Dent.
Keswick kept up the pressure with Beaty, Joppy Hodgson and Dan Fletcher all close to scoring, but Keswick went into half time regretting numerous missed chances and Dent must have been pleased to have protected their lead so effectively.
Half Time: Dent 1 Keswick Res 0
The second half was a very different matter. Dent came out on the offensive and now it was Keswick who were forced onto the back foot with the defensive pairing of Dan Abbot and Ewan Clark forced to make some crucial blocks and challenges, with a fearless Clark making a crucial goal-line tackle and clearance. With Ben Jefferson now isolated in the Keswick attack, it was Dent who now looked more likely to score and score they did from a Martin Bainbridge inswinging corner which was struck in from the left and which fooled everyone in the box, sailing into the top right hand corner of Sam Page's net. 2-0 to Dent on 65 minutes. The final twenty five minutes were end to end as Keswick fought to get back into the game, and Dent looked for the killer third goal. It was Keswick who scored next, on 85 minutes from Jefferson, but despite frantic pressure from Keswick in the last five minutes with Will Atkinson powering forwards, Dent held on for a famous win and Bryan Taylor lifted the trophy to a big roar.
Full Time: Dent 2 Keswick Res 1
Alistair Bainbridge, Martin Bainbridge, Bryan Beagan-Taylor, Morgan Brown, David Burton, Adam Cragg, Joe Gardner, Chris McClurg, Adam Scarr, Ben Sedgwick, Sam Sedgwick, Robert Stafford, Richard Thexton, Tom Thexton
Sam Page, Adam Gaskell, Ewan Clark, Daniel Abbott, Anthony Stafford, Jonathan Hodgson, William Atkinson, George Frampton, George Frampton, Daniel Fletcher, Adam Beaty, Charlie Robson, Ben Jefferson, Toby McMullen, Jake Sampson
Referee: Mark Pentz
Assistant Referees: Terry Allonby and Dougie Burns
4th Official: Bart Barnarski