Heys celebrated another glorious night in this increasingly remarkable season by winning the Bolton Hospital Cup at the Macron Stadium. A superb 30th minute Paul Tierney strike was ultimately enough to sink pre-match favourites Atherton Collieries and add the trophy to the Championship crown won two weeks ago.
However, it was very much a team performance built on hard work, strong defensive play and some good football to leave the North West Counties League Premier Division side frustrated. In short Heys were superb all over the park.
Heys began to settle to their task and find openings in the Colls rearguard and they took the lead on the half hour.
Tierney broke down the middle but looked like being caught by the chasing defender but the Heys striker checked inside and then dinked a superb shot over the ‘keeper into the top corner.
Looking increasingly comfortable, having blunted the Colls attack, Heys began to play their football and with a little more composure around the box might have added to their lead.
The second half saw Heys maintain the high standards of the first as they continued to thwart Colls efforts to get back in the game.
Indeed on the break, Jon Lyons’ men were sharp and a great passing move ended with George Powell heading just wide from a Max White cross before Tierney then found space but lifted his shot just over.
Colls pressed and probed and there was a stroke of luck for Heys in the 70th minute when a Mark Battersby header came off the inside of the post and out.
However, it was a rare opening for Colls against a Heys defence determined to ensure a sixth successive clean sheet.
The greater threat still came from Heys and they had a chance to settle matters in the 80th minute when White released Greg Wills but the latter’s angled shot drifted agonisingly wide of the post with the keeper beaten.
Despite finding themselves increasingly pushed back in the closing stages Heys continued to deny Colls any real openings and after four minutes of added time the celebrations could start.
Prestwich Heys: Sadler, Reece, G.Powell, B.Lyons, Wood, Foster, M. White, D.White, Tierney, McLaughlin, Wills Subs: Hilton, Sousa, Hickford
Atherton Collieries: Adam Reid, Kristian Holt, Chris Pauley, Sam Freakes, Callum Jones, Josh Messer, Jonathan Hurst, Dave Sherlock (Ben Hardcastle), James Kirby, Jimmy Ball (Mark Battersby), Justin Pickering (Mark Ayres): Substitutions: Kyle Haslam, Ben Hardcastle, Ahmed Sullay, Mark Battersby, Mark Ayres
Match report by Prestwich Heys