THE Accrington and District Primary Schools Cup is one of the oldest of its kind still played for but you could be forgiven for thinking it was the private property of Belthorn Primary School.

The cup, which dates back to 1906, was resurrected in its curr-ent format five years ago – but for the last three, it has been Belthorn who have lifted the old trophy.

But they were made to work hard to make it a hat-trick of triumphs, only reaching the final after a dramatic semi final sudden death penalty shoot-out with Baxenden.

With the match level at the end of normal time and then 3-3 after the five alloted spot kicks, Belthorn eventually won through 5-4 despite the best efforts of Baxenden keeper Miles Clarke.

The other semi final was equally as tight and just as tense with Mount Pleasant beating Peel Park with the only goal of the game.

Having had one lucky escape in the semi finals, Belthorn upped their game in the final and they had to against a fine Mount Pleasant side with both teams playing some attracting football.

Sam Chadwick made the all important breakthrough with a well struck shot to open the scoring. But Mount Pleasant were in the match right up until the closing stages until Mason Brandon sealed victory with a second goal.

“They are a fantastic team,” said Belthorn manager Liam Noon after seeing his side win for the third time. “I am really proud of them.”

The comp-etition including 18 schools – the best turnout since its return as a borough wide contest. Split in to four groups, the top two progressed to the knockout stages.

There, Peel Park beat Moor End, Belthorn defeated St Annes with St Joseph’s, and Baxenden and Mount Pleasant got the better of All Saints and Hippings respectively.

Other teams to take part were Green Haworth, St Mary’s Clayton, St Mary Magdelene’s, St Charles, St Peters, St Andrews, St Mary’s Oswaldtwistle, St John with St Augustine and Woodnook.

It was held at Hollins Techn-ology College and run by Yr 10 GCSE students. The cup was rejuvenated by Gary Lee, school sports coordinator at Hollins and Simon Airey, a teacher at Rishton Methodist.

“It’s incredible that so many schools turn up to the competition each year,” said Lee. “This year has been the biggest yet. We are proud that we are able to host it and hope it continues for years to come.

He added: “The students who have refereed and organised the event are a credit to the school.

“They did a great job and showed a lot of confidence and maturity, which can be difficult with teachers and parents getting over excited!”