HYLTON CW are excited about tomorrow’s Durham County Trophy final against league rivals Coundon & Leeholme at Eppleton CW (10.45am kick-off), writes IAN McCASKILL.
Jamie Owens and Ian Peary’s side take on their Durham Alliance League colleagues in the biggest game of the club’s two-year existence.
Coundon outgunned a depleted Hylton 6-1 in a midweek match early in the season, and edged home 3-1 with late goals in a much tighter clash on Wearside in October.
Now secretary Peary hopes it will be third time lucky for Hylton.
“The lads have been looking forward to the final for a while,” said Peary.
“For some, it’s their first big final and it is exciting.
“Plus, we are going into the game as underdogs, and the players are relishing that.
“Coundon are a good side, with a good reputation down the years, but hopefully it can be our day.
“They slaughtered us in a midweek game, but we only had the bare 11 available, but back at our place it was a very tight game and they only sealed the win in the last 10 minutes or so.”
The Hylton team began in the Wearside Combination League under their full name of Hylton CW Juniors, keeping alive the old colliery welfare’s prolific junior team.
“It means a lot,” added Peary. “Jamie was part of the juniors in his playing days and we were determined to keep the name alive.”
Owens should have a full squad available for the biggest match of the season, with no reported injuries, and Castletown is getting behind the team.
“There’s a bus running from the Billy Hardy Complex and the village of Castletown,” said Peary, “and there will be others making their own way to Eppleton.
“It’s great to have the support behind us. With a bit of luck, we can hopefully bring the trophy back for them.”
Peary paid warm tribute to manager Owens, who proved his credentials with success at Sunday League level with Myers, taking them through the divisions and landing the Premier Division title.
“Hopefully he’s echoing that success here,” added the Hylton secretary. “We were sixth last season, our first in the Alliance, and we’re progressing. Jamie’s ambitious and he’s got us on the right road.
“There was a big difference for players stepping up from the Combination, a step up, but they’re finding their feet.”
Hylton may hope to have the edge on match fitness, having won 4-3 at Coxhoe United in the league last week, and having a run-out against Murton the previous week, while Coundon have not played since March 2.