Match Report -
By Debbie Taylor

Celtic were in Party Mood and it showed as Burscough came to finish the season off at Bower Fold.

It was obvious from the outset that the Champions of the Unibond League were there to make up the numbers, and not get beaten too heavily. They let Burscough know that they could win it any time they wanted with a number of dangerous balls that kept Taylor in the Burscough nets on his toes all game. However it was Burscough who came away winners, before Celtic paraded the three trophies before a 1500 crowd. The game may have been different if Celtic had anything resting on it.

Celtic took it easy, but when Molyneux fouled Jones, a goal looked a certainty. Filson cut the ball back in for Jones, who laid off Ward. Somehow Burscough put enough players in the way to block the shot.

Scott won a corner off Rudd, and Cooke forced a good save from Taylor.

But Burscough showed what they could do when Birch broke up the flank, and put in a good ball between defender and keeper. If Lawless had been three inches longer in the leg, it would have been a goal.

Celtic used the free kicks that Russ and Nolan were granting them around the box to try and get a goal. Filson was usually behind each of the attempts, getting the lofted balls first, and heading them into the danger area. He did so for Cooke, who again forced a good save from Taylor.

Moments later Jones laid off Parr, who could not quite control it in the box, and it was cleared up to Clandon, who made some space for himself about 40 yards out, and had a shot. Well, why not, it gave Ingham something to do. The ball was thrown to Ward, who brought it up past the half way line, and fed Parr, who could only head wide. Celtic performed a little showboating when they threaded the ball around the whole of the Burscough team, with a series of about 10 passes to bring it up the field. Nolan decided enough was enough and flattened Pickford. The ball in from the free kick was taken quickly, but Ward's final shot was too weak and was cleared up field, where McEvilly fed Clandon, who headed wide. Real end to end stuff, if done at a canter rather than a sprint.

Burscough looked threatening when Locke allowed McEvilly a corner, but Jones cleared up field to Ward, who held the ball well while Jones ran the full length of the pitch to interchange with Ward, before laying off Cooke. Perhaps Jones should have added to his tally himself, as Cooke's shot was too soft to worry the keeper.

The keeper kicked the ball out to the right wing, where McEvilly picked it up. He shook of Scott and powered in on goal, the shot was a good one, beating Ingham with the power.

Even know Celtic did not attack as they have all season, preferring to showboat their way around the field. Intricate little back heals and flicks to put players through. One such move saw Jones putt through after Pickford fed Parr who fed Cooke. The final shot was well saved though. When Cooke received the ball in the middle of the field, he turned with it on his chest, and laid of Bauress, whose half volley brought the best out of Taylor. Minutes later, he fed Jones in the same way, Jones tried a lob, but went narrowly wide.

Considering Burscough were one up, it was Taylor who was the busiest of the two keepers.

Burscough won themselves another corner just before half time. Whilst waiting for it to come in, Filson was elbowed by McMullen, who had some unpleasant remarks to say to the Bear. Martin raised his hands, the referee saw only that and sent Filson off in his last ever game.

Burscough proved their goal was no fluke when, in the second half, Lawless took on Scott, skinned him, and put in a great shot that drew appreciative applause from the home fans when it beat Ingham.

The Burscough defence were still being frustrated by Celtic's apparent easy in waltzing through them, and Nolan and Rudd were constantly conceding fouls to the Celtic midfield and strike force. The only downside was that Celtic were unable to beat Taylor, who was having a good game. First Parr headed a free kick wide, then Pickford's free kick was blocked by Taylor, coming out to Ward, who saw his shot blocked by Nolan. Finally, Cooke's blast was saved and held by Taylor.

Cooke got on the end of another free kick, but his shot was blocked by Taylor, who managed to also claim the rebound.

And when the keeper wasn't stopping them, we defended for Burscough! Parr won a corner, which Crookes blasted goalbound, only to hit Parr on the way through!

Burscough threatened to go 3 up when Lawless (Burscough's best player) hit the woodwork after beating Ingham with a curling free kick, Scott was replaced by Williamson, and that was that for Burscough shots on goal.

Celtic never really turned the screw on Burscough, content to play around the opposition. Jones was felled in one attack, got up, and blasted goal bound, again testing Taylor.

From a corner, Cooke headed in, beating Taylor for the first time, only to see Rudd head it off the line. Was it in? Does it matter? Parr headed the clearance over.

Nolan, fed up with Parr running past him, punched the midfielder. Parr remained calm, and just shared angry words. The free kick was cleared. Celtic did just keep coming though, as if to prove they could. Locke threw a long ball in that was cleared back to him. He put it over the bar.

Jones again found Taylor alert, when the keeper tipped his tight shot around the post. Bauress put it in, and Crookes put it over.

Evans was brought on to give the striker a run out, and perhaps grab a goal just for pride's sake. His first real taste of action was winning a corner off Molyneux, which Pickford blasted over.

As the season ticked away, Burscough had one final chance to get a third, when a corner was difficult to clear for the Celtic defence, however, they did not manage to get a shot in.

Cooke forced a final save out of Taylor after he and Evans interchanged at the edge of the box. With moments to go on the clock, Evans won a corner, and put in the shot from Bauress' curling ball. Rudd cleared off the line again. The final action was a Bauress thirty yard blast that skimmed the grass just by the post.

Season over, queue the band, queue Celtic doing a lap of honour in Treble Winning tee-shirts.