THE local football season reaches a climax on Friday night at Radcliffe’s Neuven Stadium, when Daisy Hill face Tempest United in the final of the Bolton Hospital Cup.

The competition, first established in 1930, raises money for local charities, and this season’s finalists have experienced very different routes in progressing to the final.

Tempest United progressed with three penalty shootout victories in all three of their ties, seeing off Prestwich Heys, Old Boltonians and CMB, while Daisy recorded wins against Elton Vale, Bolton Wyresdale and Hindsford, scoring 14 goals and only conceding two.

With Daisy’s North West Counties League status being one level above Tempest’s position in the West Lancashire League, they will start as favourites, but Tempest manager Ross McNair is confident his team will give a good account of themselves in a competition he knows well.

“We’re probably the only side to get to a final without winning a game, with three games and three penalty shootouts to get through to the final. But we’re not bothered, we’ll take that,” said McNair.

“I have got fond memories of the competition myself, I’ve always loved playing in it.

“It’s a great competition for local football and we are made up to be in the final.

“I won it three times as a player with Atherton LR and once as a manager at Tempest, when we beat LR in the final.

“We know all about Daisy, where they are at and the way they finished the season. We don’t fear anyone, but we respect Daisy.

“We will be underdogs but we don’t mind that. We’ve been underdogs earlier in the competition against Prestwich Heys, and got through.

“No one expects much of us, but I like it that way. We’ll turn up, give it a good go, and what will be will be.”

Meanwhile, Daisy Hill manager Leighton Mills insists his side will be well prepared and won’t treat their opponents lightly.

“We treat every team seriously, we don’t ever show disrespect to anyone,” said Mills.

“We just let football do the talking.

“I know what Tempest have got in their ranks, they can play but they can mix if they need to as well, they’ve got some big lads.

“But they do have some quality, and I am not expecting it to be easy for us.

“We knocked Hindsford out, one of the favourites, in the semi-final and we will go into the game with a good mindset, and it’s up to us to see what we can do on the night”.

The game kicks off at 7.30pm, and will be played to a finish on the night, with penalties deciding the winner if the teams are tied after 90 minutes.

Admission prices are £6 for adults and £3 for under-16s.