Blackburn FC became the first side since 2017 to retain the AMT Lawyers North West Championship trophy.

The final played at The Anchor Ground in Darwen ended 5-2 to Blackburn Kinetic Law FC who came up against a well organised and well drilled Daneshouse side from Burnley.

The Burnley side had come through wins against Bolton United and Blackburn Elite to reach the final in their first attempt during the tournament played over three weekends. Only two other sides had managed to replicate the feat in the 22 years history of the tournament.

Blackburn meanwhile won their local derby against Blackburn United, comfortably, before going up against Bolton’s Cube FC in the semi-finals in the game of the tournament.

Blackburn had taken to the pitch wearing t-shirts in memory Junaid Dalal who has passed away earlier year this following his battle with cancer. Junaid's father Salim attended the final and presented all the awards on the day.

All the first round and semi-final pictures: 2024 North West Football Championships

In the early exchanges in the final, it was difficult to see which side were the reigning champions and which were team were hoping to dethrone them.

Badr opened the scoring for Blackburn with a brave header which led to a delay as he recovered. But Daneshouse were back in it with a well worked goal from Zohaib Zaman to send the Burnley faithful wild.

Daneshouse did look dangerous again as they moved down the left side and could have added a second before the second half.

But Blackburn Kinetic Law FC were in no mood for any favours.

Curtis Poole who had terrorised Cube in the semi-final was back on the score sheet rounding the keeper to put Blackburn 2-1. Two more quick goals, one from Hepple and another from Poole put the game out of reach by half-time.

The scoreline though was a little flattering at this stage and Daneshouse did look the better side for short periods of the game, despite then going on to concede a fifth. Blackburn appeared to take their foot off the peddle late on but testament to Daneshouse for continuing to press.

After three weekends of football, fans had to wait until the 85th minute of the final for the goal of the tournament. Azan Shafiq scored a wonderful bicycle kick which gave the keeper no chance.

(Image: Clive Lawrence) Badr opens the scoring

(Image: Clive Lawrence) Whittingham grabbed the goalkeeper award

(Image: Clive Lawrence) Poole puts Blackburn back into the lead

Blackburn’s win was never in any doubt after they went 3-1. They went through three games scoring more than 15 goals and never really looked in any trouble apart from a period in the semi-final, which turned when Cube were reduced to 10 men in the second half.

They did however prove to have match winners coming across the midfield and attack. 

Poole and both Hepples had the skill and guile to turn the game in their favour when they appeared to be under pressure. Poole’s hat trick in the semi final was the performance of the tournament.

Ahmed Seedat and Shakeel Butt who had featured in the final back in 2006 lifted the trophy once again alongside Azeem Hafeji.

(Image: Clive Lawrence) A great goal by Shafiq

(Image: Clive Lawrence) Salim presents the player awards

(Image: Clive Lawrence) Blackburn Kinetic Law celebrate

Daneshouse can be proud of their first tournament and won over a lot of fans with the young side impressing over the three matches. None more so than in the semi-final when they beat a very good Blackburn Elite.

They put on a star display in the second half with the defence and goalkeeper playing heroically to get them over the line. 

Cup final Man of the Match: Mo Wasah (Blackburn)

Goalkeeper Award: James Whittingham
Young Player of the Tournament: Fawaaz Miah
Player of the Tournament: Brandon Barski