Blackburn Sunday League Blue and White Rosebowl final 
Clifton 11
Crown Paints 2

CLIFTON recorded one of the highest winning margins in the Blue and White Rosebowl final in a match that proved to be one too many for giant killing Crown Paints.

For 45 minutes, the Division Two side – who had reached the final against all the odds – were in with a shout of causing the biggest upset of the lot.

Trailing 3-1 at the break and very much in it, the young Darwen team knew they had to sit tight early in the second half to stand any chance of victory.

However, two goals in a minute straight from the restart all but sealed victory for Clifton who won their second Rosebowl in three years.

Liam Hoyle scored four times, man-of-the-match Adam Douglas weighed in with a hat-trick while there were also goals for Gary Smith, Ryan Tobin, Clarke Bradford and Eddie Stanford.

It was cruel for Crown but Clifton’s class told in the end as they made up for missing out on the league title in their winner-takes-all clash with Mill HIll the previous week.

But Crown Paints more than held their own in the opening exchanges and could have taken the lead when Clifton keeper Scott Grant spilled a cross from Dave Pimblett and Conor Gaul fired the loose ball wide.

Grant needed treatment after a heavy fall but after picking himself up, he kicked long and Hoyle held off his marker before beating Paul Browning at his near post.

Stanford, who was a livewire throughout the final, smacked a shot against the underside of the crossbar before teeing up Douglas for Clifton’s second, a sweetly struck effort from outside the box.

But Crown hit back and the combative Scott Patterson had a goalbound effort hacked off the line before Gaul forced Grant in to a flying save from an angled drive.

And from the resulting corner, Patterson rose to head home. Gaul had another goalbound effort blocked by Douglas before Bradford somehow missed an open goal at the other end.

But Clifton’s third goal did arrive just before half time when Stanford fired home a loose ball after Browning had saved Hoyle’s shot.

It was a blow for Crown but they were still in it. However, within 60 seconds of the second half, the match was taken away from them.

Bradford made up for his howler by coolly curling home Clifton’s fourth before Douglas ran in from the half way line before planting his shot beyond Browning.

Hoyle’s second arrived a few minutes later, beating Browning at the second attempt. But Crown did score next when captain Scott Young blasted home from the spot after Tom Jayne was felled by Clifton skipper Smith.

But that was as good as it got for Crown.

Three quick goals took Clifton to the brink of double figures. Tobin headed home a Stanford free kick, Hoyle completed his hat-trick quickly followed by Douglas’ third of the game.

Hoyle hammered home his fourth to bring up double figures before Smith, who had moved from centre back to centre forward, got in on the scoring act, turning home Hoyle’s clever through ball.