Bedale AFC victory over Colburn in Mark Ward Memorial Cup

The Mark Ward Memorial Cup took place between Bedale AFC (North Riding Division 1 champions) and Colburn (Wensleydale League champions).

This game kicked off under cloudy skies on a warm Sunday morning in Bedale.

An early shot from Stuart Murray brought an easy save from Bedale’s keeper, then a searching cross from Craig Teasdale found no-one to get on the end of it.

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A Tom Sweeney corner was headed over by Nige Cole, then Sweeney had a fine shot from outside the area tipped over.

Next it was Murray’s persistence down the left winning Colburn another corner.

First 20 minutes had been all Colburn, but then Bedale produced a sucker punch.

A ball forward should have been dealt with comfortably by Dean McCormack, but he dallied and was dispossessed.

Goalkeeper Tim Bishop rushed out to close the attacker down, but he squared the ball for a teammate, who shot home into the empty net. 1-0.

This was Colburn’s first pre-season game, and Manager Hammy was of a mind to give as many players a runout as possible.

A system of rolling subs had been agreed by the two teams, and Colburn made two changes at this point, Josh Crisp replacing Sweeney and Shane Parkinson coming on for Murray.

There followed an even period, where possession was spread between the two sides.

Bedale were playing some tidy football, but Colburn weren’t out of it, and when Teasdale played a fine ball across, Crisp was unable to keep his shot down.

Colburn made two further changes on the half hour, bringing on Connor Weatherbed and Charlie Piechniczek for Rory Wallace & Teasdale.

But then, just before the interval, Bedale claimed a second goal, this time rather more fortuitously, when a ball deflected off McCormack, and found its way into the net.

And so it was 2-0 to Bedale at Half Time.

To be fair to Colburn, all the substitutions had unsettled them, and they had not played their best in the latter part of the First Half.

At Half Time, Colburn brought off the McCormack brothers, Luke & Dean, returning Sweeney & Murray to the fray.

The Second Half began quietly.

Parkinson won a corner, but nothing came off it.  Mark ward memoriWallace came back on for Crisp.

Bedale’s midfield were slicing through Colburn like the proverbial hot knife, and they had a series of misplaced shots.

A shot from Weatherbed over on the left wing, fizzed right across the goal, when a better option would have been to play Parkinson in, who was on his own in the middle.

Teasdale and Luke McCormack now returned, in place of Piechniczek and Brandon Bishop.

The pressure was still all coming from Bedale with no end result.

Cole came off and Dean McCormack took his place. There followed a Colburn revival for the last ten minutes.

A Luke McCormack shot drifted wide.  Then a Sweeney freekick was well saved.

Murray then went very close, set up by a clever Parkinson header, then Parkinson himself twisted and turned in the box to make room for a shot which was straight at the keeper.

But the whistle went with the final score 2-0 to Bedale.

Colburn had had a good workout, with all 15 squad members getting minutes in their legs.

There were plenty of promising signs as the new season approaches but Bedale FC were deserved winners of the Mark Ward Memorial Cup.

Thanks go to John Havelock who refereed in entirely the right spirit for a game of this nature.