RCA Grangetown Florists deservedly came out on top in this league encounter against a determined and committed Hylton Castle TWR, by 2-1.
Kicking up the slope, RCA Florists quickly got into their stride, producing a couple of decent openings which they were not quite able to capitalise on and they were punished when after 12 minute the first real threat from Hylton Castle came with a ball over the top into the outside left area which resulted in hesitancy from full back Clark and keeper Harkness which allowed Darren Snowball to nip in and roll the ball home from 18 yards to give Hylton the lead.
Without a home game since November, Darlington called upon the services of ex-RCA goalkeeping legend Gary Ventress to get the pitch in a playable condition. Gary is now working in Bishop at the College and his groundsmanship/green keeping is second to none. He along with about 20 volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the morning to clear the pitch. Although by 4.55pm most of the RCA supporters would have wished they hadn't.
Both teams had a depleted look to them with Spennymoor looking to rest some players ahead of their FA Vase Semi-final 2nd leg match on Saturday and RCA with no fewer than six players cup tied.
The eventful plane journeys to and from Guernsey were the main topic of conversation prior to the match with a few players and management staff still feeling the after affect of the horrendous landings encountered.
Once again SRCA were guilty of missed chances and were punished for two errors of judgement.
Preston, Richards and Shaw were recalled after the mid week defeat by Billingham Synthonia and Gordon started the game on the right wing.
In difficult conditions with a strong swirling wind, both teams served up a fairly entertaining affair with Celtic Nation taking their chances when they came along which proved the difference between the two teams.
It could have been so different given the start that was made by RCA kicking up the slope in the first half. As early as the second minute a long clearance from McGuinness bypassed the Celtic Nation defence and fell to Clarke. Unfortunately he decided to try and beat the keeper with a first time header and Lowson saved comfortably.
RCA Grangetown Florists fought out a fierce battle against Silksworth Paragon in this semi-final of the Joe Holborn Memorial Cup to come out 3-1 winners and book their final spot in May.
Paragon, kicking down the slope, started much the brighter and had at least two great chances in the first five minutes to take the lead, but these were squandered and the game became a tense affair with both sides giving their all. However the deadlock was broken after 23 minutes when a keeper's clearance was returned into the path of RCA Florists' Adam McQuillan and he shot across the Paragon keeper into the bottom left corner to give RCA Florists the lead. More was to follow five minutes later when a free kick found Richy Jordan completely unmarked around the penalty spot and he duly dispatched the ball into the top right hand corner of the net, giving Donnely no chance, to leave RCA Florists 2-0 up after 30 minutes.