They came into the tournament as rank outsiders but went away as champions of the northwest.
Fishwick Rangers finally ended Coppice United’s grip on the Asian Image Cu after a 2-0 victory. This year’s competition was again held at the Blackburn Rovers Youth Academy over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
This may not have been the Fishwick side we are used too, with no less than seven changes from their league team, but that front line led by Jonty Mcdonald was a real handful for the opposition.
In a tense encounter against holders Coppice United in the final they were quicker and more livelier from the start, and twice hit the woodwork from long range shots.
Coppice for all their endeavours looked slightly off-pace. Maybe the gruelling game against Preston’s Canaries a day earlier might have been the reason. Yasser Farooq must have covered every inch of the pitch the preceding two days and set about it again.
Fishwick used their wide men well throughout the tournament and McDonald and Pillay seemed to get stronger game by game.
It took a goal from Lydon with 20 minutes to go to break the deadlock in the final.
And although Coppice came close themselves this was always going to be Fishwick’s day.
A second goal arrived from Lydon with minutes left on the clock.
They also managed to do something no-one had managed to do against Coppice for six games in this tournament — beat them and stop them from scoring.
Earlier in the weekend Coppice had beaten Blackburn’s Bank Top (2-1) before going on to overcome Preston’s Canaries (5-3). In both games Coppice were tested and answered the call in emphatic fashion.
This time to win the cup they would have to do it the hard way and going forward Coppice remained great to watch.
Quick one-twos on the edge of the penalty area saw them create openings where there were none. And when they were down and out they came back again and again.
But against Fishwick they came up against a team that defended deep and broke as fast as they did.
Fishwick had a very strong midfield that worked to win back the ball and then didn’t waste it. Naylor and McDonald proved to be a combatative partnership throughout the cup with Naylor just pipping Mcdonald to the platyer of the tournament award.