BRACE ace Shaun Watson bagged a brilliant double but his Ivy Hotel were forced to hang on for dear life before lifting the Sports Council Cup on Saturday.

The strike star’s double appeared to have handed Ivy the silverware, especially when they went into a 3-0 lead.

But the Premier Division champions went to sleep in the closing stages and Witton surged forward to set up a dramatic conclusion.

The first-half at a sun-drenched Griffin Park offered little suggestion of the excitement to come as Ivy made most of the running without really threatening a breakthrough.

That in itself was largely down to Witton’s Brett Duxbury bossing the strikers with an assured display, while in midfield Andy Preston was the dominant force.

And it was Witton who went closest to a goal first - and it would have been a cracker as Carl Fletcher’s spectacular cross was met by Anthony Dewhurst’s overhead kick.

But keeper Kirk Russell saved to keep the scores level.

Fletcher again tested Russell with a thunderous shot from a narrow angle five minutes before the break but again the keeper was equal to that effort. It seemed at that stage Witton were getting on top but Ivy showed they were anything but a spent force on the stroke of half-time when John Fairbrother’s run and shot forced the best out of Witton keeper Phil Clark.

Clark, however, was helpless two minutes after the break as Ivy went in front thanks to Watson.

He was afforded just enough time in the corner of the area to turn and curl a beauty into the top corner for the opening goal of the final. And within nine minutes Watson struck again to break Witton’s spirit - and again it was a cracking strike as he showed great technique to glide a 20-yard shot high into the net past a full-stretch Clark.

Ivy were now turning on the style that saw them crowned champions and it was no surprise when they shot into a 3-0 lead with half an hour left.

Again it was a smart strike as Danny Stafford darted down the right before crossing for Gary Smith to sweep home with a flourish.

But Witton picked themselves up off the floor and Preston pulled a goal back as he dribbled through the Ivy defence before bravely going in where it hurts to roll home.

Fletcher just failed to connect at the back post as Witton pressed and Ivy were starting to hang on as they defended deeper and deeper. And they conceded a second deep into stoppage time when keeper Russell came a long way for a long ball only to be beaten by the faintest of touches from Gez McNulty and the ball trickled over the line. There was time for Fletcher to fire over from distance - but before Witton could regroup for one last blast, referee Michael Hoole called time to bring cheers to Ivy.