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Rovers claim Lancashire League runners up spot

19 October 2016

Rovers' walking football team ended a fine debut season with a runners-up finish in the Lancashire League Summer Series grand finals.

Lancashire's finest over 50s teams met up for the title-deciding round of games at Fleetwood Town's excellent Poolfoot Farm training ground to compete for the inaugural title as the best team in the red rose county, with Blackpool edging out Rovers by two points over the course of the final four game competition.
 
However, had it not been for Nigel Baker's shot rolling across goal rather than across the line when he struck the post in the goalless draw against the eventual champions, the champions trophy would have ended up in the east rather than the west of the county.

Nonetheless, Baker can still take satisfaction from being the day's goalscoring hero, netting the crucial winning goal in the effective 'runners-up play-off' for silverware in the final group game against Wigan Walkers, and the Rovers goal in the earlier 1-1 draw with AFC Fylde. Billy Legg's team also drew 0-0 with hosts Fleetwood Town Flyers as they ended the day undefeated.
 
Blackburn were present at the finals day by virtue of winning the third of the five previous qualifying tournaments that had been held at Poolfoot Farm over the course of the summer months, and were ever-presents throughout the competition, given the demand for walking football that has grown here in the town over the course of the year.
 
Adrian Ward, who has been part of the founding group behind the walking football team on behalf of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, explained:
 
"A record 27 players attended last week's drop-in session for over 50s at the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre and it has got so popular that we're now actively looking to see how we can offer more chances for everyone to play the game at new times or venues.
 
"A lot purely come for the exercise and the social aspect, but the popularity means that we've got a great pool of players who want to get involved in the squad to represent Blackburn Rovers at a variety of tournaments. We're hoping we can continue to give plenty of players that honour.
 
"The lads that have been playing in the Lancashire League Summer Series have certainly represented us with plenty of passion and play some great football, so we're hoping that there will be more and more silverware to add to the cabinet as we continue to progress."
 
The regular Friday night drop-in sessions are held from 6pm to 7pm at the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre as part of the 'Motivate!' programme from Sport England, with the first weeks free and then just £2 per week thereafter - call 01254 508256 for further details if required. News of new walking football programmes will be unveiled soon, to help cater for the growing demand from local players.

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