RUNCORN Linnets Junior Football Club's under 13s Sunday Blues team are celebrating major silverware success in what is only their second season.

Less than two years since the team was formed, the Blues graced the Swansway Chester Stadium on Sunday in the Chester and District JFL's showpiece Knockout Cup final.

They were up against a Wirral-based Peninsula Lions side that had not lost all season and have a long list of trophy triumphs to their name.

But it was Linnets who fought like Lions to record a deserved 2-1 victory and stay on track for a league and cup double.

Their determination to lift the cup was summed up by striker Aaron Coxon, who refused to let a shoulder injury sustained in a park the night before stop him from playing a key role in the big game.

He played most of the game and made a crucial contribution despite a post-match trip to A&E revealing that he has a broken collarbone.

Several of his teammates also produced heroic displays on the pristine pitch that is the home of Chester FC.

The young Linnets side played there in the Knockout Cup final last year when they were devastated to lose 2-1 to Blacon Youth.

Goals by Daniel Lampkin and Josh Senior and inspired defending ensured that Linnets were on the right end of a 2-1 scoreline on this occasion.

Daniel latched onto a clever cut-back cross from Callum Turrell to sweep the ball into the far corner of Peninsula's net to open the scoring early in the first half.

Linnets were then inches away from extending their advantage via a header from skipper Luke Smith only for Peninsula to quickly break up the other end of the pitch and equalise with a swift strike from just outside the six-yard box.

Runcorn shook off the setback and continued to play incisive football and go into every tackle as if their lives depended on it and were rewarded when Josh Senior, the smallest player on the pitch, netted with a rare headed goal.

He directed a stunning bullet header into the bottom corner following a precision cross to the far post from assist king Callum.

Peninsula rarely threated Linnets' goal, but they came agonisingly close to taking the game into a penalty shootout, hitting the post at the death following a flowing move.

But Linnets were worthy winners and lifting the cup and enjoying non-alcoholic champagne spraying celebrations was a fitting reward for all their hard work since the team was formed.

Although the league's man of the match award went to Daniel, the coaches' found it impossible to pick out an individual and gave their award to the whole team.

So their men of the match were Daniel, Aaron, Josh Senior, Callum, Luke, goalkeeper Alfie Hayes, Tom Simpson, William Harrison, Kaan Arikboga, Mitch Stewart, Harry Crank, Isaac Evans, Sean Gaskell, Josh Oakes and Jake Hill.

Team manager Kev Lampkin, a former Liverpool FC and Huddersfield FC player, said: "I am so proud of the boys for the vast progression they have made over the past two years as both individuals and a team.

"They are a credit to their parents and to the club and they thoroughly deserve those winners' medals.

"I would also like to thank the people at ASB Bouncy Castle Hire for sponsoring the team when we desperately needed money to buy the boys a kit so that they could play in a league. Without their help Sunday's trophy triumph would not have been possible."