THORNTON-LE-DALE lifted the Beckett League’s Ryedale Hospital Cup after a 1-0 victory over Union Rovers at Kirkbymoorside.

According to league secretary Keith Sales, Saturday’s final was “a real treat of local football - a very good, entertaining, well-contested, sporting game.”

Union had beaten Thornton in the Victory Cup semi-finals last week but a crowd of 115 saw Dale take revenge.

The first half was contested mainly in midfield. Thornton-le-Dale hit the bar after 24 minutes with the ball bouncing down onto the goalline before being cleared.

Eight minutes later Thornton missed a good chance from close range, but they got on top after the interval.

Union had man-of-the-match keeper John Towse to thank for keeping them in the game, making several outstanding saves.

Towse denied Taryn Midgley, and, a minute later, a Midgley corner found Danny Russell whose six-yard shot went wide. Six minutes later, Towse saved from Russell, and he was again to the fore on 64 minutes, saving again after Rory Lancaster did well with a 12-yard angled shot.

The decisive goal arrived a minute later. David Elliot chased a lost cause down the right wing and seemed to be fouled as he won the ball.

Referee Oliver O’Brien played an excellent advantage and Elliot squared the ball to Midgley, who found the net from 10 yards.

Union Rovers’ Sean Willie saw a 22-yard right-foot free-kick deflect over the crossbar, while, at the other end, Elliot received the ball from Midgley but his close-range shot went straight into Towse’s arms.

Union’s Dean Sleightholme had the ball in the net after 85 minutes but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Harry Kenworthy nearly sealed Thornton’s win after a solo run at the Union goal but again Towse made an outstanding save.

Midfielder Craig Sunley was the man of the match for Thornton-le-Dale, for whom Tom Atkinson, Paul Simpson and Craig Barnes also shone.