SWINTON WMC 4
RING O BELLS RAIDERS 0
GEORGE JOWETT MEMORIAL TROPHY FINAL SWINTON WMC 4 RING O BELLS RAIDERS 0 SWINTON WMC retained the George Jowett Trophy as they passed Raiders off the Green Lane park in a fine 4-0 win.
Premier Division title outsiders Swinton found the conditions at Parkgate FC perfect for their crisp passing game which proved too much for the battling Bells who were left chasing shadows in certain passages of play.
The game began at an electric pace with the middle of the park becoming a highly competitive battleground.
Swinton enjoyed the best of the early exchange and forced a couple of corners with the game still in its infancy before capitalising on the passage of pressure to take the lead on five minutes.
A short corner was initially cleared out but Richard Roden was on hand to head home from close range when the ball was returned into the box.
The goal appeared to wake Ring O Bells and they immediately began to press but were soon shellshocked as Swinton doubled their advantage with less than ten minutes on the clock.
A superb through ball clipped behind the last defender was vollied home by Shane Doocey to put Swinton firmly in the driving seat on the cold evening.
From this point Swinton settled into the game and the crisp passing began, at times tearing Bells apart while they looked comfortable at the back when the Raiders had the ball with the three Wheelers on top form.
Almost constant pressure around the half hour mark had Bells struggling to even make a dent on the game with Swinton missing a couple of chances including a near post header from a corner that flew narrowly wide.
Soon the pressure told when a long throw from the right was not cleared by the Bells defence and fell to Brady Roberts who came away with the ball in a confrontation with a pair of Raiders before reaching the byline and finding Danny Whaley at the back post to tap home past the stranded keeper.
Whaley almost found the net again as he advanced well out wide before blasting a shot-cum-cross towards the far post that not only eluded the goal but a number of players attempting to meet it.Bells forced their second corner of the game shortly afterwards and, after the initial clearance, a superb strike flew narrowly over from 20 yards out.
As Swinton perhaps settled into complacency, Bells began to threaten but with one forward in acres of space in the box, he failed to control a fine ball in and the pressure quickly dissipated.
For all the Raiders pressure, Swinton keeper Tim Whitehouse had little to do as they were foiled by poor control around the box and restricted to long shots.
The opening of the second half was an end to end affair coupled with a dull tale of very few chances.
Roberts was the first to draw a save in the half but his 20 yard effort was easily held before he troubled the Bells defence once more as his deep corner was scuffed in front of goal and trickled towards the back post only to be stabbed away.
Raiders picked up where they left off at the end of the first period and exerted themselves on the contest but again without much joy in the final third.
Any hopes of a Bells comeback was killed off on the hour mark as Doocey cut inside superbly from the right but his effort was blocked only for the ball to spin into the path of Whaley who expertly half vollied inside the near post.
Doocey almost got on the scoresheet himself after receiving the ball in acres of space but failed to trouble the keeper.
Going further behind diluted the Bells attack and left them deflated with little under half an hour to play allowing Swinton free reign over the contest.
Whaley hit the bar with one long range effort as Swinton appeared to go looking for the spectacular with the game firmly in the bag.
As the match entered the dying moments Bells were awarded a free kick around 25 yards out and although well struck, keeper Whitehead proved equal to it with a fine stop and ensured a clean sheet.