Hardwick sweep the board
AGAINST strong odds Teesside Sunday leaguers Hardwick FC completed a clean sweep of honours.
Not only did they win the Stockton & District Sunday League at a canter, manager Andy Westwood and his squad - a number of whom are part of the Northern League Second Division champions, Stockton Town - cleaned up locally winning the Alex Westwood Charity Shield (against Thornaby Village), Ian Gorman Memorial Trophy (against Thornaby Othellos), Durham County Sunday Cup (against Newton Aycliffe Locomotion) and, in spectacular fashion at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane, the coup de grace, the All England Sunday Cup (3-1 on penalties against New Salamis).
Initially it was the County Cup the Hardwick lads wanted, the one local trophy missing from the cabinet, before belief sunk in during that fabulous run to All England glory.
“The County Cup has been rather heartbreaking for us over the past few seasons,” explained Andy Westwood.
“In fact, it surprising when we’ve the statistic that all local sides winning the All England have lost to us the following in the County Cup, and there’s been some successful sides in recent years.
“The All England though, we’ve only been in it ourselves the past three seasons and reached the quarters a season ago, losing to the previous seasons finalists.
“It wasn’t until we reached the quarters again this time around that I believed we could maybe go on and win it.”
Hardwick, Sunday League’s history-makers