PRESTWICH Heys lifted the Kenyon Cup for the first time in their history with a superb 3-1 win against holders Walshaw at Bury’s JD Stadium on Tuesday night, writes Stephen Howard.

Goals from Jon Lyons, man-of-the-match Erike Sousa and Danny Eyres helped put the smiles back on Heys’ faces after Saturday’s disappointing news that the Football Association could not ratify the £50,000 ground-grading recommendation, therefore ruling out any potential promotion to the North West Counties League.

Walshaw had won the trophy in the previous two seasons and they forced the first chance of the night in the opening minutes with Rob Sadler forced to save low down.

However, Heys, fielding five teenagers in their line-up, began to find their rhythm and produced some fine fast-flowing football to put their opponents on the back foot.

Sousa was proving a real threat with his pace and he drew a save with an angled shot in the 15th minute.

However, in the 21st minute Heys did take the lead. From a free-kick close to the touchline Lyons curled in a wicked effort the keeper got his fingertips to but couldn’t prevent diverting into the roof of the net.

A timely block tackle by George Powell preserved the lead as Walshaw illustrated they were capable of posing but the real danger came from Heys.

Sousa was denied one-on-one with the keeper and Greg Wills flashed a shot wide of the far post as Heys asked all the questions.

However, on the stroke of half time Walshaw hit them with an equaliser in somewhat controversial circumstances. Heys should have had a free-kick after a late tackle on Woodcock but the referee waived play-on to then award a free-kick to Walshaw just outside the box.

From the quickly-taken kick Heys were caught napping and Mike Crompton flashed a super shot into the roof of the net.

Any designs Walshaw had on pushing on from there were smashed in the opening minutes of the second period as Heys regained the lead. Darius Photiou, who did a great job all night in dealing with Walshaw’s key man Lee Chapman, provided the pass to release Sousa who burst into the penalty area before going round the keeper and slotting home.

Bursting with pace and energy Heys continued to pin their local rivals back and in the 57th minute they increased their lead. Eyres got in behind the defence to go on and provide an assured low finish.

Sadler pulled off a close-range save shortly after before Eyres hit the outside of the post for Heys.

Powell pulled off a last gasp goal-line clearance in the 75th minute to preserve the lead as Walshaw pressed but Heys saw the game out with relative comfort.

Heys have one more game to play next Thursday when they face either Howe Bridge Mills or AFC Monton in the Atherton Charity Cup Final at Atherton Collieries FC, kick off 7.30pm.

n Heys finished their Manchester League Premier Division campaign on a winning note on Saturday with a 1-0 win against East Manchester at Adie Moran Park. A 58th-minute, Phil Woodcock strike proved decisive in a largely mundane affair of few chances.

Heys Reserves were crowned Manchester League Division Two Champions last week and will receive the trophy on Saturday in their final home game against Elton Vale, kick off 2pm.