CHAMPIONS OF NW DIVISION 2
Blackpool Men’s Firsts achieved back-to-back division titles as they claimed North West Division 2 with an emphatic 9-1 win over Formby 2nds.
After last week’s setback at Macclesfield, Blackpool knew a victory would guarantee them top spot with a week to spare, regardless of the result in the clash between Colwyn Bay and Bowdon. With the stakes set high, Steve Whitley returned from his ‘season-ending’ injury a fortnight early, and Sam Robinson was recalled to the side, bolstering the Blackpool squad back to full strength.
As the crowd swelled in expectation of a historic win, the home side stuttered on the opening whistle and conceded an early series of penalty corners. No damage was done as Blackpool began to assert their dominance in midfield, creating openings amongst the stretched Formby defence.
The division’s top scorer Dave Morgan opened the scoring on 10 minutes after some well worked play between him and Ian Swaine. Swaine notched up a goal of his own ten minutes later as Blackpool opened up a two-goal advantage, leaving Formby facing an uphill battle against the league leaders. Simon Thomas turned the screw further after a tight finish past the advancing goalkeeper and when Josh Boyne bagged his maiden first team goal with a reverse stick finish moments before half time, it prompted the Blackpool support to crack open their first celebratory beers (albeit 35 minutes prematurely!)
The second half was much of the same as Blackpool enjoyed their cruise home. Morgan wasn’t going to let the opportunity go to waste as he doubled his tally for the day five minutes into the second period. Not to be outdone, his strike partner Swaine grabbed his second to make it six, as the boisterous Blackpool crowd swelled to record numbers in anticipation. The impressive Josh Payne added his name to the score sheet and Morgan completed yet another hat trick in 2015, before Whitley justified his early return with a goal in closing moments. A consolation goal from the visitors did little to dampen the Blackpool spirits as they celebrated a historic moment for the club with captain Nick Rainbow spraying his team in champagne after the final whistle.
Blackpool travel to Bolton next week in a ‘dead rubber’ clash before a short break and then the chance to complete the double in the Lancashire Trophy final against Blackburn Northern.