Boroughbridge beat Ripon City to lift Whitworth Cup

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Boroughbridge stormed to triumph in the Whitworth Cup final as they outfought rivals Ripon City 2-1 on Tuesday.

On a glorious evening at Harrogate Railway’s Station View, both teams cancelled each other out for the early exchanges.

Ian O’Hare squirmed an early shot straight at City’s third-choice stopper David King, offered a chance to shine by manager Paul Vincent in the absence of Mark Rimmer.

But the ‘keeper was at fault for ‘Bridge’s opener as Jim McDaid blasted a fierce free-kick from 30 yards straight through his palms.

Daz Ekin’s Blues were unlucky not to have been awarded a spot-kick shortly after when Nick Cressey was seemingly pushed.

From the resultant clearance, City hotshot Duncan Terry latched onto a long ball only to shoot straight at ‘Bridge goalkeeper Josh Donnelly.

‘Bridge could have doubled their advantage but the woodwork saved City when forward Lee Sharrife looked certain to have found the bottom corner.

But they were perhaps lucky to remain with 11 players when O’Hare escaped red for a reckless lunge on the half-way line.

Ripon, in their usual red and black stripes, grew into the game and midfield trio of Joe Knowlson, Darren Simpson and Adam Robinson all produced moments of quality.

Their combined slick passing found Terry in space again and he lashed a half volley past Donnelly to equalise before half-time.

Both sides were good value for their share of the half-time spoils but it was Ripon who soon found the dominance of possession in the second period.

But a long ball from Bridge’s defence found Shariffe surging through and his centre was coolly converted by the hard-working Matt Thompson.

Ekin’s side, buoyed by their relegation survival in the week, threatened to extend their lead but O’Hare headed over the bar when it looked easier to score.

Thompson then raced through the middle but King snuffled the ball from his feet.

City huffed and puffed in search of a late equaliser in the hope of forcing extra time.

Matt McGlinchay was inches away from converting the impressive Simpson’s free-kick before Terry stung Donnelly’s gloves again with a snapshot from the edge of the area.

But Bridge held on solidly, taking the ball into the corner to tick down the clock. Their imperious centre-back pairing of Andy Layton and Liam Healey marshalled the City forwards well and jubilant cheers followed the sounding of the referee’s final whistle.

Skipper McDaid then lifted the trophy to a roar from the strong travelling support as his side left Ripon feeling the blues as runners-up.