Blackbirds rule the roost

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BLACKBIRDS Rangers lifted the Berkhamsted Sunday Football League Intermediate Cup, consigning last season’s final heartbreak to the history books thanks to a 2-1 victory over Drays Athletic.

A second final defeat in as many seasons would have been hard to swallow, but Rangers’ win was assured thanks to Paul Lelliot’s winner. Ben Fisk scored Rangers’ first as Nick Jackson found the net for Drays.

Having already won the Hertfordshire FA Sunday Senior Cup this season, AFC Boars will now have the cup double in their sights after confirming their place in the Steve Norwood Challenge Cup Final, where they’ll face Sunday’s fellow semi-final victors The Herald.

Boars overcame a Robin Hood side 6-3 in their semi-final courtesy of Jeff Mensah and Jon Davies braces and Curtis Donaldson and Sonny French goals.

However, Hood ensured it was far from plain sailing for Boars and originally took the game to extra-time with goals from James Bushe, Tom Haynes and Lewis Taylor before eventually succumbing to defeat.

As for The Herald, their place in the final was secured thanks to a 3-1 victory over AFC Rovers with goals from Joe Russell, Scott Dennis and Jason Ivory. James Heward replied for Rovers.

In the Premier Division, AC Hemel were dealt another thrashing, this time 4-0 at the hands of Berko Tornadoes. Ricky Shepherd, Chris Thomas, Craig Anscomb and Tom Kelly all scored for the visitors.

Shane Wood (2), Luke Sharpley, Leo Mullet and Dan Holliman strikes meant Comets continued their great form with a comfortable 5-1 win against Flaunden, for whom Ben Gillard scored the only goal.

In other league action, there was only one fixture apiece in the Second and Third Division on Sunday, and each encounter proved to be a closely fought affair.

Division Two sides FC Intervino and Comets Reserves played out a 1-1 draw, with Mike Gray and Dan Field scoring their team’s goals, while in Division Three Danny Donovan and Chris Gillard cancelled out Lee Plowright’s effort for The Three Blackbirds as AC Grapes triumphed 2-1.

Elsewhere, there was further action in BSFL Subsidiary Cup, where three second round matches were played.

Kojo Agyeman’s treble helped Run DFC progress with a 5-0 win over Tring Royals as Nathan Jellow and Sean Bone completed the rout.

Brad Galvin’s solitary effort was enough for Warners End to overcome Apsley Athletic 1-0 as The Steamcoach also qualified for the third round thanks to a 3-1 win over Sportspace.

Graham Aikman, Mike McFarlene and Ryan Campbell strikes were the difference as Dave Reader’s effort proved to be little more than a consolation for Sportspace.