A hat-trick from Nadir Patel saw Bolton United overcome Euro Garages 5-1 and few will argue that they did not deserve the trophy.

EG were in their first final and could not handle the pace and movement of a Bolton side that was high on confidence. 

The game played at Victoria Park, the home of Nelson FC (Sunday July 28) was a culmination of a week of football that saw eight teams compete to be crowned North West Football Champions.

Pictures by Juel Miah Photography

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Bolton had been drawn against triple winners FC Panda (Formerly Halifax Hammers) in a game that lived up to expectations. It was tense, it was high intensity and it was always going to be decided by the finest of margins. 

A contentious penalty in the second-half put away by the impressive Omer separated the sides until Nadir made it 2-0 in injury time. It was the first time Bolton had overcome the Halifax side in this tournament.

In the semi-final Blackburn United pushed Bolton all the way to the final ten minutes until up popped winger Sakeel to send the Bolton faithful wild. 

Up until then both sides had matched each other and a stunning strike from Feroze had cancelled out a Bolton penalty. 

In both games Bolton had keeper Faizal to thank for pulling off two great saves when his side needed him most and for maintaining a level of calm when put under pressure from set pieces.

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EG who had not won a game here before began the tournament by dispatching locals Paak United 3-1. Paak were back into the tournament after a three year break.

They went up against AFC Preston in the semi-finals.

AFC Preston had reached the final four for the third year running and went into the game as marked favourites after beating Bank View Solicitors. The latter having entered the tournament at short notice.

In the semi-finals a stirring first twenty minutes saw EG not only take the lead but stamp their authority on the whole game. Slater opened the scoring before another fantastic free-kick by Hussain secured the tie for EG.

The team spirit and belief grew after that game and they looked a different team altogether to the one that has struggled here in past matches.

However, in the final played during some pretty dreadful summer weather EG simply could not contend with an opening half hour which saw Bolton race into a 3-0 lead with goals from Nadir, Omer and Carter.

The past four years this tournament has had some competitive finals but it seems Bolton were in no mood for any shocks and the tense finishes they had experienced in their last two games.

They added a fourth goal before EG got one back through a penalty.

The likes of Carter, Ayas, Nilesh helped to maintain the stranglehold.

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Despite the weather the crowd was treated to a far better second half from EG who put Bolton under some pressure.

Bolton though already had their lead and Nadir soon got his hat-trick to make it 5-1.

It seems despite their best effort this was a step too far for EG who looked to cause a few problems in parts but Bolton it seems stepped up a gear when they wanted to.

Manager Sal is renowned for running a tight ship and it showed in large segments of their play. Even when they put under pressure the team came together to dig themselves out a victory.

The football was great to watch and played at pace. It has taken Bolton six years to get their hands on the cup and they will be the team to beat again next year. 

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We were delighted to have with us Abdul Basit of Red Str Bengal who presented the cup to Bolton.

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Individual Awards

Player of the Tournament: Ashley Carter (Bolton United)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament Faizal Patel (Bolton United)

Team of the tournament

GK; Faizel Patel (Bolton United) Only conceded two goals in three games and pulled off some great saves when needed.

D/M: Naeem Patel (AFC Preston) A lot of the best play for Preston went through him but could have done with far more support in the semi-final.
D: Callum Charlton (FC Panda) Calm and collected throughout and was able to handle the Bolton pace well.
D: Junaid Hussain (EG) The young defender put in some good displays for his side taking on the central role.
D: Ayas Khan (Bolton United) Couldn’t fault the captain again for leading the back four and maintaining a level of order.
D/M: Maz Jiva (Blackburn United) Fantastic energy from the youngster and defended well.

MD: Mohammed Feroze (Blackburn United) Began the tournament with a bang and never looked back.
MD: Nilesh Patel (Bolton United) Put in a stirring performance against FC Panda and was the unsung hero at times.
M/Forward: Ashley Carter (Bolton United) Started off slowly but his movement and passing helped take Bolton to another level.

Forward: Marc Slater (EG) The busy midfielder/striker led a number of EG attacks and tracked back well.
Forward: Nadir Patel (Bolton United) Four goals in three games and was still a menace to defenders despite not being as quick as he once was!