Danny Grainger praised his Workington Reds team’s winning mentality after they claimed the Fred Conway Cumberland Cup in emphatic style.

A 9-1 victory over Penrith at Brunton Park added the county senior cup to Reds’ NPL West promotion.

It capped a memorable four-day spell for the Borough Park club, as goals from Obua Mugalula (four), Ben Hughes (three), Lewis Reilly and Lewis Moore clinched the cup.

Grainger’s team were ruthless against Darren Edmondson’s Penrith to lift the Cumberland Cup for the first time since 2017.

The Reds boss said: “After having a good weekend together [after the play-off final], I said the mental approach was the biggest thing – and the players’ attitude was right.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for the competition, and for Edmo and Penrith. That’s why we put the squad out that we did. The boys turned up and put in a performance which got us the result we wanted.”

Workington were 2-0 up inside the first ten minutes as Mugalula starred.

Penrith briefly came back into it when Luke Hunter’s goal made it 3-1 but Reds moved 5-1 ahead before half-time and continued in a similar vein after the break.

News and Star: Obua Mugalula, right, was the star of the final with four goalsObua Mugalula, right, was the star of the final with four goals (Image: Ben Holmes)

“Something we pride ourselves on is always trying to get out of the blocks as fast as we can, putting teams on the back foot,” said Grainger.

“Especially in the first 15 minutes, the way we moved the ball was excellent – the pitch was tremendous and played right into our hands, with a bit of slickness on top of it after the sprinklers had been on.

“When you’ve got pace at the top end of the pitch like we have, it’s always going to cause teams problems. The front three were tremendous and really put them on the back foot.

“I couldn’t have asked for any more. The boys were tremendous.”

Mugalula took the man of the match award in the final – another impressive showing in the competition after he had helped oust Carlisle United in the semi-finals.

“He hasn’t had many minutes for the first team – when he has he’s done ok – and he’ll come back probably in pre-season and we’ll have a look at him again and see where he’s at,” said Grainger.

“We’ve just got to add a little bit more consistency to his game. But credit to him – whenever I’ve asked him to play in this competition he’s been tremendous.”

News and Star: Workington Reds with the Fred Conway Cumberland Cup after defeating Penrith at Brunton ParkWorkington Reds with the Fred Conway Cumberland Cup after defeating Penrith at Brunton Park (Image: Ben Holmes)

Grainger added: “We had three 17-year-olds on there and they brought the same mentality as the rest of the boys – they don’t want to be safe, they’re out there taking risks.”

Penrith manager Edmondson admitted the game dealt some harsh lessons to his side.

The Northern League Division One team briefly threatened to come back into things but struggled to lay a glove on Grainger’s well-drilled side for the most part.

“We had one or two opportunities to get a bit closer but we were isolated a lot – their movement is very good and they’ve got good young players,” Edmondson said.

“They gave us a bit of a lesson in when you’re stepping up divisions, and you’re up against good, sharp players, it’s difficult.

“Through the season we’ve been a very quiet team and you could see that out there. My voice is bellowing all over and probably shouldn’t be as much.

“We’ve got to regroup again in pre-season and talk about team shape and being mentally stronger and communicating a lot better off the ball.

“[The final] is a celebration for Reds but it was meant to be a bit of a celebration for us for getting here and staying up, but we’ve let ourselves and the club down.”