Monday, April 30, 2007

Five-star FC enjoy trophy celebrations

Source: This is Lancashire

By Liam Chronnell

RORY Patterson smashed his second hat-trick in four days as champions FC United lifted the Division One trophy on the final day of the season to spark wild celebrations at Gigg Lane.

The Double-chasing Reds, who take on Curzon Ashton in the League Challenge Cup final on Thursday night, blasted five past Formby without reply in front of 3,847 delighted fans.

The victory means the breakaway club, who sealed promotion to the UniBond League earlier this month, topped the table by 13 points, having struck an incredible 157 goals and conceded just 36 in 42 league matches.

Rhodri Giggs fired the hosts in front before Patterson's 23-minute salvo either side of half-time, with a Formby own goal in between, ensured the prolific Rebels extended their unbeaten run to 25 games in a match where manager Karl Marginson came out of retirement to make a cameo appearance as a late substitute.

There were also five-star displays from the two Atherton clubs as they signed off in style.

Collieries clinched seventh spot - their best-ever finish - after a blistering 5-1 victory against Ramsbottom United, one place below them in the table.

Nick Dyson handed the Alder House club, who had never finished higher than twelfth before, the lead, though the visitors drew level from the penalty spot.

However, Czech hitman Vita Bina grabbed a stunning double in three minutes before the interval, and Seydou Bamber's second-half brace, made it a superb seven wins out of eight in April for Phil Brown's team.

Atherton LR, much improved under new boss Roy Sweeney, also ended a mixed season with a fantastic performance as they ran out 5-1 winners at bottom club Stone Dominoes.

The impressive display means Rovers, who have undergone a remarkable turnaround since the former assistant manager took over from Mark Cox last month, finished in 16th spot after flirting with relegation after Christmas.

Ian Berry proved the matchwinner with a 26-minute first-half hat-trick - only LR's second of the season - while Stuart Wellstead and captain Rick Arnold chipped in with goals after the break.

There was, at last, some good news for Daisy Hill in Division Two as they shocked third-placed Padiham 3-2 thanks to a brilliant Simon Farrell treble. The New Sirs striker struck three times in 23 minutes at the start of the second half to blow away the home side and give Tommy Moore's young side, stuck in the bottom two for long periods, plenty of hope for better things in the future.