Churwell edge out Clough in dramatic final shoot-out

Churwell Lions Under-15s winners of the HW Blackburn Cup
Churwell Lions Under-15s winners of the HW Blackburn Cup

Churwell Lions lifted the Blackburn Under-15s Cup following a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory over Howden Clough at Liversedge FC last Thursday.

The Blackburn Cup final is one of the highlights in the junior football calendar and another healthy crowd turned out on a bitterly cold night to watch some of the best juniors in the Heavy Woollen district.

Churwell went into the game lying third in Garforth League Division One, while Clough were third in the Huddersfield League Division One so there was little between the sides.

Churwell started well but were thwarted by the Clough defence and it was the Birstall side who opened the scoring from a corner.

Nuno Pereira made a surging run into the area where he was hauled down and Tyler Walton stepped up to convert the spot kick and equalise.

Clough took a grip on the game after the break and two further goals put them in control.

It remained 3-1 with just two minutes of normal time remaining. Corben Pankhurst gave Churwell a lifeline when he pulled one back before Pereira bagged a last minute equaliser to send the final into extra time.

The sides couldn’t be separated and no further goals followed, so the final was decided on penalties.

Goalkeeper Chris Myers saved three of Howden Clough’s five penalties, while Churwell goals from Jordan Lee Mullins, Bailey Rawson Spink, Pankhurst and Tyler Walton was enough to see the Lions triumph.

They have now won two league titles and two district cups, together with 13 mini gala victories, as the Under-15s cemented their legacy as one of the most decorated junior teams in the 30 year history of Churwell Lions.

The triumphant Churwell squad consisted of: Jake Bell, Brandon Byrom, Daniel Crook, Samuel Dalziel, Martin Devine, Abdoulie Duanda, Charlie Hutchinson, Corey Jenkins, Jordan Mullins, Christopher Myers, Seth Nothers, Corben Pankhurst, Bailey Rawson-Spink, Ben Stead, Joseph Thomas, Tyler Walso and Nuno Pereira. Manager was Lee Mullins and assistant Darren Hutchinson.