Express & Star

Liam McDonald delighted with Pics’ Walsall three-peat

Liam McDonald could hardly contain his satisfaction after Rushall Olympic claimed Walsall Senior Cup glory for the third year in a row on Tuesday.


The Pics retained their title, like they did with the Staffordshire Senior Cup last month, beating Chasetown 4-1 at the Bescot Stadium.

After Danny Glover’s opener inside 10 minutes for the Scholars, Jaden Charles drew Rushall level, before Owen Farmer and Ronan Maher netted in quick succession to complete the Pics’ first-half comeback.

And, after captain Kristain Green was on the mark in the second-half, the title headed Rushall’s way to end a memorable season for boss McDonald.

“The players have been amazing this season so it was a fitting way to finish it,” said McDonald. “We’ve exceeded where we thought we would be. When I took over we wanted to establish ourselves as a step three side, and we’ve pushed and pushed with no bigger budget than mid-table teams.

“Our goal this season was to win two cups and stay in the National League North, we’ve done that. We’re really happy.

“As much as it’s been a long season and I’m glad it’s finished, with regards to the loan lads, there have been so many good players and it is sad that it’s over because I love watching us play.

“When we play like we did tonight, we’re a match for anybody and we were too much for Chasetown, and I am delighted for the football club.”

Rushall became the first team to win the trophy three seasons in a row since Boldmere St Michaels’ run between 2006 and 2008.

Sam McLintock was awarded man of the match for his performance in midfield, and McDonald was delighted for the 23-year-old, saying: “I’m pleased for him because it’s been a tough season for him, leaving Boston, coming to us and having a few personal issues, but that’s Sam McLintock, what a footballer, what a player.”

To celebrate their cup double and securing another season in the National League North, Rushall’s players and staff will head to Spain where McDonald plans to have a good time.

“Time to reflect in Ibiza? I don’t know,” said the Pics boss. “I think it’ll be more so drinking. I want to be with the lads and have that nice holiday experience because they’ve been fantastic to me all season, and it’s a reward for all of us. I’m excited to go away, it’s needed.

“We’ve got the opportunity now to go away and have a good summer on the back of two cup final wins and staying in the National League North.

“It’s my 11th season as a manager and we’ve had a lot of success. It keeps coming whenever I think it’s going to be difficult. It’s down to the players, they’ve been outstanding.

“I’m buzzing.”