There was a sense of redemption for Route One Rovers when they won the annual Star Tissue UK championships at the second time of asking.

They came out 4-3 winners against Prestwich Marauders in a game full of goals, missed chances, great saves and a defining penalty. It came 10 months after they lost the same final after being 2-0 with 30 minutes to go. Back then a penalty and a sending off turned the same in their opponents favour.

The Football Championships attracts clubs from across the North West and Yorkshire and this year was played over several weeks at Witton Park 3G Pitches, Blackburn.

In a pulsating first half full of incidents and action it was Route One who started the stronger. Prestwich had a few opportunities to clear the ball but when a low pass fizzed across the goal line, somehow centre back and captain was Mwembie was there to tap his side ahead.

If nothing else the goal seemed to inspire Prestwich who are one of those sides who only turn up when they go one down.

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Route One took the lead early on (Pictures Clive Lawrence)

Their pressure paid off as an acute throw-ball found Obz who sent the Marauders faithful wild with a deft finish. The game was all set for a classic but was turned on its head 30 minutes in.

A wonderful mazy run from the deep by Farooq ended with him being fouled in the box. It may have been a yellow card and a penalty on another day but here the referee saw it as a foul on the last man bearing down on goal.

The resulting penalty put Route One in the driving seat.

Any other side may well have wilted against this Route One side but even with a man down Prestwich, did manage to create some great chances. The never say die attitude was on show throughout the game and despite coming into the game as outsiders they looked the more accomplished for periods of the match.

The banter between the fans was reaching fever pitch but one it the teams were putting great attacking displays.

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Prestwich celebrate their equaliser (below)

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However, despite their best efforts Prestwich couldn’t stop Anees Younis from nicking in to make it 3-1 to Route One. Then Prestwich had keeper Nomi to thank for keeping his side in the match.

Prestwich won a penalty of their own with 25 minutes to go which Zubair emphatically dispatched to make it 3-2. Game still alive. A fourth by Zak Khan put Route One within touching distance of glory but there was still time for Prestwich to hit back again.

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With all the talk on the side of the pitch this image personifies the spirit of football

For Prestwhich they can look back on three games where they were in fine form showcasing an array of talent going forward. Whilst much is made of their attacking capabilities in many ways it was their back line and keeper who should be credited from halting a strong Route One for long periods of the game.

Free-scoring Route One were in many ways deserved champions. They came through this one having got the crucial goals at the right time and will be a force to be reckoned with if they return to defend the title again.

Simni Oyebaji picked up the player award for his perfomances during the tournament.

Presenting the main trophy on the day was the Lord Mayor of Lahore Col (Retired) Mubashir Javed and Mazar Choudrhy who were visiting Blackburn over the weekend. They had earlier been invited to tour Star Tissue UK.

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Commenting on his visit Mr Javed said: “It was wonderful visiting Blackburn and a huge thank you for the warm welcome.

“It was excellent to see the pride and passion the teams and their fans had for the game of football. Very much like people have for cricket in my home city!

“It was also good to see the numbers of young people from all backgrounds getting involved in sport and how level of talent has been developed within these clubs.”