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The Duck defeat Hawtonville FC to lift the Newark Alliance Willie Hall Cup at Collingham





Newark Alliance Premier Division side The Duck FC backed-up their fourth-place league finish by winning the Willie Hall Cup on Sunday afternoon, writes Oliver Atkin.

They beat league rivals Hawtonville FC 4-2 in front of a bumper crowd at Collingham FC’s Station Road.

Smiles all round at full-time was an indication of the well-natured, but competitive contest in beautiful spring sunshine , and the triumphant Duck FC certainly did not have everything their own way, with plucky Hawtonville playing their part in a fantastic end-of-season spectacle.

For The Duck FC’s manager Paul Topham, it was the culmination of ten years of hard work and dedication to the club.

“I am absolutely buzzing, I would not be here without the lads, so fair play to them. It’s a massive achievement,” he said.

Topham had seen his side take an early tenth minute lead when Jacob Fenton made the most of a long ball forward to slot calmly beyond Hawtonville keeper Jonathan Walters.

It was Fenton again who then doubled The Duck’s advantage just short of the half-hour mark, latching onto another long ball forward to cut in and once again leave Walters helpless.

Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin

The game looked all but over on the stroke of half-time when Tom Dutton scored the best of the goals, albeit with a slice of luck, when his clearance on the halfway line caught the breeze and looped right over Walters and into the net.

That was not to be the last action of the half though and Hawtonville were handed a welcome shot in the arm a minute or so later, Clownes Steele seizing upon Harry Brown’s mistake to slot in George Sheen who had the simplest of tasks in tapping home at close range.

Sheen had been Hawtonville’s most dangerous outlet all afternoon and he was involved as they forced their way back into the contest, as substitute Joe Brumton finished a fine move with aplomb to really set the game alight.

Within minutes though, The Duck’s two-goal cushion had been restored when captain Connor Thompson headed home Cal Law’s pinpoint cross at the far post – and that is how it was to stay for the final half-hour or so as The Duck FC saw off Hawtonville’s determined fightback to lift the trophy.

Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Action from the Willie Hall Cup final between Hawtonville FC and The Duck. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Captain and goal-scorer Connor Thompson was delighted to finally see tangible rewards for a close-nit squad.

“This squad has been together for about three years now and we have missed out on a couple of league titles, so to final win something as a squad is just such a special feeling and it is fitting that it is the biggest cup in Newark, it is absolutely class.”

Captain Connor Thompson with the trophy. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Captain Connor Thompson with the trophy. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Two-goal hero Jacob Fenton also hailed his teams achievement in front of large gathering of friends and family.

“The difference between Saturday and Sunday football is the whole community feel. Everyone knows everyone, and there are lads celebrating with their kids and their mums and dads, it is great to be a part of.”



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