March 31, 2013 by Elliott Tunstall
Date: 1/4/13 Venue: Cantilever Park Kick-Off: 11:00am
Easter Monday provides Greenalls with the opportunity to get their hands on the much coveted Warrington Guardian Cup as they face Warrington Premier division leaders Runcorn Albion FC in the final of the competition.
Greenalls, who compete in a higher ranked division than Runcorn, have an excellent record in the Guardian Cup having reached the semi-finals last season after winning the trophy the season before. Runcorn Albion, however, are in fine form at the moment and are on a winning run which stretches back seven games, one of those wins coming in the form of a semi-final victory over last year’s winners, and Greenalls rivals, Eagle Sports.
The most recent meeting between the two sides was in the 2010-11 campaign as Greenalls came out 3-1 winners in the semi-final of the same competition. Despite going a goal down to a Conor Taylor strike after just 4 minutes, Stephen Dowsett, Ben Slater and Robbie Hanley picked up a goal each to guide the Greens into the final. GPSO went on to win 4-0 against Windle to lift the trophy.
In selection news, it is looking increasingly likely that manager Dave Bush will have a full strength squad to choose from. The only definite absentee will be midfield playmaker Mike Evans who was ruled out for the rest of the season last week after suffering an injury to his knee ligaments. Quicker than expected, forward Robbie Hanley looks to have recovered from a dislocated shoulder that he suffered in the semi-final victory over Rainhill Town – providing GPSO with a timely boost.
Manager Dave Bush had this to say. “This occasion is great testament to the effort the lads put in each and every week. We’re very fortunate to have such a good group and one thing I can guarantee is that their preparation and commitment will be exactly as it should be. We’ve had few setbacks this season, especially towards the end of 2012, but the players have stuck together and this final is a fitting reward for the way they’ve bounced back. If we can produce anywhere near our best performance we will give ourselves every chance”.
Cup finals don’t come around too often and with Greenalls in the midst of a rollercoaster season the chance to taste cup success is one that must not pass them by. There is a challenge that lies ahead which will test their strength, character and committment but the reward at the end is worth the blood, sweat and tears.
GREENALLS SQUAD: Craig CLARE, Jack HYNES, Scott OWEN, Paul DOBSON, Jon SHAKESHAFT , Gareth JOHNS, Glen PERCIVAL, Chris LATHAM, Mark HUGHES, Danny TOPPING, Lee HUGHES, Paul BENNS, Robbie HANLEY, Danny WILCOCK, Craig HOYLAND, Ben SLATER