AFC Rushden & Diamonds made it through to a second NFA Hiller Cup Final in 3 years with an eventually comfortable 6 0 semi-final win against Cogenhoe United at a wet Hayden Road on Tuesday night.
A strong Diamonds line-up were off to a flying start with in-form Tom Lorraine slotting home from close range in Diamonds first attack in just the first minute. Despite the early set-back Cogenhoe matched Diamonds in an even and open first half-hour coming close to an equaliser when Ben Heath was forced to make a good diving save from a low effort. The game then swung massively Diamonds way with two more goals for Tom Lorraine in a devastating 3 minute spell. First he flicked a looped header over the stranded away keeper on 35 minutes and then 3 minutes later an excellent chipped cross into the box found him in space to complete his first half hat-trick from close range.
The opening stages of the second-half were an even contest again before Diamonds sealed that Hiller Cup Final following the introduction of John Dean just past the hour mark. First he broke the offside trap on 66 minutes before firing in a low shot that the away keeper parried allowing Declan Rogers to slot home. On 76 minutes he got a deserved goal himself tapping in at the far post after a sweeping move. A 6th goal was added in similar fashion on 89 minutes by Jack Bowen to round off a good night for the home side and the 203 crowd.
Man of the Match: Tom Lorraine
Match Summary: Paul Judd
Diamonds Team: Heath, Reynolds, Brown, Ashton (Collard 81), Dolman, Rogers, Bowen, Farrell, Lorraine (Dean 64), Diamonds, Curtis (Kelly 69). Subs not used: Pickworth, Hicks.