Rarely can a trophy have been won in such emotional and emphatic fashion.
Godmanchester Rovers were crowned county champions courtesy of a terrific 3-0 trouncing of Yaxley on a highly-charged Friday night at Jubilee Park in Huntingdon.
There will be no prizes for correctly guessing who provided the goals as helf-centurion Tom Meechan helped himself to a Hunts Senior Cup final hat-trick to underline why he is the hottest shot in these parts.
But this was no one-man show. Rovers’ complete performance was a fitting farewell to not one, but two managers at the end of the best season in the club’s history.
While Neville Nania’s exit as long been in the public domain, co-boss Matty Haniver confirmed in the wake of cup success that he too will not be at the helm next season.
On this evidence – and that of the past 10 months – they leave behind a seriously impressive set of players.
From start to finish last night the runners-up in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division bossed the fifth-best team in the United Counties League.
Such was Godmanchester’s superiority, their goalkeeper Niall Conroy’s only noteworthy contribution was an assist for their second goal. He was never required to make a save as Yaxley failed to register a shot on target.
It took only five minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Jamie Alsop’s sweet free-kick delivery was helped on by Charlie Bowen into the path of Meechan and he doesn’t miss from five yards.
Rovers had the ball in the net twice more – a Taylor Parr header and a classy James Hall finish being scrubbed out for the slightest of fouls and the tightest of offside calls respectively – before eventually doubling their lead five minutes before the break.
Conroy’s monster free-kick was helped on into the path of Meechan who danced around Yaxley goalkeeper Mark Osborn and tucked the ball into the empty net.
There already appeared no way back for a dis-organised and often ill-disciplined Yaxley side and that judgement was confirmed just before the hour when Meechan completed his treble.
A cute Hyem pass split an all-at-sea Yaxley defence and as they appealed in vain for offside Meechan coolly fired past Osborn before indulging in the sort of celebration Louis Smith would have been proud to call his own.
It was a 53rd and final goal of a spectacular season for a frequent headline-grabber who is already on the radar Cambridge United and Alloa Athletic. Plenty more clubs will surely have a look in the coming weeks and months.
Rovers could, and probably should, have had more goals as they tormented their beaten opponents for the final half-an-hour.
Man-of-the-match Meechan turned provider for Hall who steered a shot against the legs of Osborn when having the goal at his mercy before himself dragging a finish wide from a tight angle after lifting the ball over a defender.
But the damage had long been done. Rovers played so well it almost made the £8 admission appear value for money!
Godmanchester Rovers: Niall Conroy, Taylor Parr, Jamie Alsop, Charlie Bowen, Tom Moran, Tom Spark (Ben Yeomans), Michael Hyem, Jack Watson(Austen Diaper), James Hall, Jamie Blackwell (Sam Brookes), Tom Meechan. Unused: Lewis McDonald, George Berkes.