Photo gallery: Cup joy ends remarkable campaign for Norwich United
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Two trophy celebrations in three days made for a memorable Bank Holiday weekend for all-conquering Thurlow Nunn League champions Norwich United.
The Planters were awarded the Premier Division Trophy after their final match of the season on Saturday, having finished 26 points clear at the top of the table.
The icing was then added to the celebration cake yesterday when Walsham le Willows were beaten 3-0 in the final of the Challenge Cup at Diss Town's Brewers Green Lane stadium.
Goals in the first half from Ben Thompson, skipper Andy Eastaugh and top scorer Matt Blake – scoring his 45th goal of the campaign – set the Blofield side on their way to victory, to the delight of manager Damian Hilton.
'I thought first half we were excellent really. Second half we dropped off the pace a bit but we'd already won the game, we were really dominant in the first half and the goals we scored were at really good times and were good goals,' said Hilton.
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'The lads deserve full credit, they've been fantastic, the work rate from them all has been fantastic. We really dominated the first half, 3-0 didn't flatter us at all, it could have been more.
'The delivery of set-pieces and corners, and Thommo's (Ben Thompson's) finish, that just shows what quality we've got in the side as well as the work rate really.'
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Thompson's emphatic strike kicked off proceedings in just the third minute, lashing home an angled drive into the top-right corner of the net from 25 yards after being teed up by fellow midfielder Adam Hipperson.
The lead was doubled in the 22nd minute when Eastaugh rose to head home a corner from the excellent Hipperson.
Goalkeeper Duncan McAnally – facing his former club, as was full-back Andy Cusack – made an excellent double save in the 37th minute to keep Walsham at arm's length.
Blake then nodded home at the near post from an inswinging corner from the right from Cusack, to effectively end the tie as a contest.
It was a remarkable 46th win from 55 games played in all competitions by Hilton's side this season, during which the Planters have scored 135 goals and conceded just 35.
'It's been a long season and it's great to get the trophies and testament to how good we've been this year,' the Planters boss continued.
'I'll be looking forward to the break and a few weekends off and then we've got the majority of the squad signed on already but we're aware we need to add a few faces, which we'll do over the next couple of months.
'I think people will look at how good a season we've had, not just on the pitch but off the pitch. It's a good group and we've got a good atmosphere and I'm sure other people will see that and want to get involved, so hopefully it'll be easier signing players.'
Norwich Utd: McAnally; Speller, Shipley, Crane, Cusack; Thompson, Daniels, Eastaugh (Lemmon 73), Hipperson (George 68); Cook (Bennett 57), Blake. Unused subs: Wright (GK), Carus
Goals: Thompson 3, Eastaugh 22, Blake 45
Walsham: Pacey; Sim (Ross 71), Clarke, Morton, Agricole (Hammond 62); Driscoll, Easlea, Robinson, Musgrove; Webb, Wood. Unused subs: McConnell, Bolton, Last
Referee: Josh Smith