LEISTON have finally got their hands on the Omni Freight Services Suffolk Premier Cup.
After four previous final defeats the Bostik League Premier Division side defeated Bury Town 3-0 in Wednesday night’s showpiece occasion at Portman Road before a four-figure crowd.
They were given a helping hand by the dismissal of Bury Town skipper Ollie Fenn, who received a straight red card just before the break.
Leiston were already two goals to the good through Matt Blake after 15 minutes and Christy Finch’s 44th minute strike.
Although the ten-men of Bury kept it competitive and had chances of their own, it was Finch who added a third to complete the scoring with 16 minutes remaining.
Bostik League North Division Bury started brightly and took the game to their opponents, but found themselves a goal down after quarter-of-an-hour.
Skipper Tom Bullard picked out Finch on the left and his low cross was converted at the near post from six yards by the alert Blake.
Leiston doubled their lead a minutes before half-time with Chris Henderson, who has now won appeared in six finals and won five with three different clubs – Bury, Lowestoft and Leiston – the architect.
Henderson, who oozed class on the ball throughout, slipped the ball inside full back Ryan Yallop and Seb Dunbar’s low cross was swept home by Finch off the far post.
Two minutes into time added on, Fenn and Byron Lawrence landed on the edge of the edge of the Leiston penalty area after contesting a header, and Fenn reacted angrily by grappling with his opponent.
Referee George Laflin pulled the red card out of his pocket and sent off Fenn, with Lawrence, who was sporting a bruised and cut ahead following the incident, receiving a yellow card.
Leiston, not surprisingly, had the bulk of the chances as they cruised through the second period at times, with the time and space to knock the ball around.
But Bury made them work hard and created chances of their own, with Tevan Allen firing over after his first effort had been blocked.
Finch struck the base of the far post in the 65th minute, but did not have to wait too long before pouncing on the loose ball to rifle home his second after Patrick Brothers’ free-kick was blocked by the Bury wall and fell into this path.
Finch (centre) is pictured above being congratulated after scoring the third goal. Photograph courtesy of Paul Voller.
Cemal Ramadan’s shot almost squeezed through Marcus Garnham’s legs, and the Bury striker then smacked a shot against the post, while Ryan Jolland twice went close in the dying stages.
The cup was presented by Roger Osborne, who 40 years ago to the week scored the winning goal for Ipswich Town in the 1978 FA Cup Final, and the medals were presented by Shaun Rudduck and Andy Wilding of competition sponsors Omni Freight Services.
Bury Town: Luis Tibbles, Ryan Yallow (sub Joe Yaxley, 65 mins), Ryan Jolland, Ollie Fenn, Joe White, Kyran Clements, John Kennedy (sub Tommy Robinson, 56 mins), Noel Aitkens, Cemal Ramadan, Ollie Hughes, Tevan Allen (sub David Cooper, 87 mins). Unused subs: Jed Wigley, Ben Mayhew.
Leiston: Marcus Garnham, Kyle Hammond (sub Joe Marsden, 76 mins), Seb Dunbar, Jack Ainsley (sub Dominic Docherty, 76 mins), Joe Jefford, Tom Bullard, Byron Lawrence (sub Patrick Brothers, 71 mins), Chris Henderson, Jake Reed, Christy Finch, Matt Blake. Unused subs: Rob Eagle, Charlie Beckwith.
Referee: George Laflin.