George IV retain Bird Cup to complete the quadruple
In potentially their last-ever game, George IV from the Burnley Sunday League won the Bird Cup for the second consecutive season to complete the quadruple.
George had already secured the Burnley Sunday League’s Premier Division title and won both the Towneley Cup and the Ray Ryland Memorial Trophy, as well as progressing though to their third final of another highly impressive season.
The tournament sponsored by B-Inspired Training and Consultants Limited, commenced in pre-season with group games being played, and the knock out stages commencing after Easter.
Last years’ winners George IV met Burnley-based Britannia FC, who entered for the first time, in the final.
Britannia started the game much the stronger, putting early pressure on their opponents’ defence and being rewarded with the opening goal after just five minutes.
Alex Grice’s pin point free kick found Dave Lingard at the back post, who finished with a well-placed header to give Britannia the lead.
The pressure continued as Britannia, who continued to dominate possession, attempted to increase their lead, forcing George IV to defend deep.
It became clear, however, that the Bird Cup holders started to settle into the game, especially when influential Michael Morrison became more involved in play.
From the mid point of the first half onwards, George IV enjoyed much more of the ball and started to carve out openings.
They were rewarded in the 39th minute when a brilliant 40-yard pass from Morrison was converted by the excellent Haydn Carrol to equalise with a well-timed finish.
Ben Davies was introduced from the bench at half-time by George IV, and this proved to make a huge difference to the game.
Davies was first to respond to a loose ball on the edge of the box in the 61st minute of the game, and his right-footed drive found the bottom corner of the net.
Britannia responded positively and enjoyed another spell of sustained possession, but could not breach a well-organised George defence, martialed by Nathan Lawless.
With Britannia pushing forward, Davies took advantage to beat the off-side trap and round Britannia’s goalkeeper Danny McNicholas to claim a 3-1 lead for George IV 12 minutes from time and ensure victory for the holders.
Philip Caine, the Chairman of the XLCR Pendle Charity League nominated George’s Davies as man of the match, and presented the trophies to the finalists.