Richmond Buck overcome Mavs to lift Dales Cup

Retiring secretary Keith Jeffrey presents the Dales Cup to players from Richmond Buck Inn.

Richmond Buck won their first ever piece of silverware with a heroic comeback that will live long in the memory of players and fans who witnessed the game.

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Buck were playing in their third Dales Cup final in ten years and were up against a formidable opponent in Richmond Mavericks, dubbed ‘the invincibles’ after their incredible 100 per cent league title winning campaign.

Buck’s task was made doubly tough when Nathan O’Connor flew down the wing and centred for Richie Bastow to draw a great save from Liam Ryan in the Buck goal, only for the ball to deflect back off Bastow and into the net.

Mavs were two up going into the half time interval after Buck centre back Josh Wooff, who has been superb in recent weeks, was robbed of possession when looking to play the ball out of defence. Mavs took full advantage of the gift of a goal.

Half time was the full 15 minutes but it only took Buck managers Luke Pearson and Danny Allen five minutes to rally their troops with some inspirational words along the lines of “you’re not doing too bad actually and we can get back in this, if we can get some shots away”.

Buck were back out of the changing room and back into Storm Hannah to warm up again, but little did Mavs know that ‘storm Buck Inn’ was waiting for them.

Buck were playing with the slope and the wind and began to dominate, with starlet Jacob Tate drawing a good save from Steven Reed and then firing over from another opening inside the box.

Danny Allen got Buck back into the game by following his own advice and shooting from 25 years with the ball dipping viciously over Reed.

Buck were in the ascendancy and soon the scores were level when Stewart Fotheringham’s whipped corner flicked off David Andrew’s head and into the top corner.

Tackles were flying in and yellow cards being waved with regularity and both teams were looking for a late winner, with Nathan O’Connor going close for Mavs.

However it was an unlikely hero in the form of left back Ben McGarrell whose clearance in his own half was taken on the wind to land on the edge of the penalty box and then up and over the keeper Reed, whose attempt to retrieve the ball was in vein.

Wild scenes of celebration ensued as McGarrell was buried under a mob of red and black hysterical bodies.

However the excitement was not over as the game moved into injury time. Mavs won a throw in deep in the Buck’s half and Fotheringham, feeling he was pushed, swatted the ball with both hands inside his own penalty area.

The ref dismissed his claim and awarded the penalty, so it was up to former Buck player Ryan Howe to step up.

Buck keeper Liam Ryan saved the penalty with his legs but the ball went out towards the advancing players.

The ball was attempted to be cleared by Tate, only to be steered into the path of a Mavs player, whose shot went up and over the cross bar.

The final whistle was greeted with jubilation from the Buck lads. Wensleydale League Secretary Keith Jeffery, described the game as the most enjoyable final he had witnessed during his long involvement with the league, presented the trophy to Danny Allen and Andy D’Arcy, who was also celebrating his 40th birthday.