Pacey striker Gareth Grant scored a hat-trick as Bradford City's youth team triumphed in the Northern Intermediate League Cup final with a 3-0 win against arch rivals Leeds United in atrocious conditions at Valley Parade last night.

Victory was a great achievement for the City youngsters who thoroughly deserved the cheers of the 1,124 crowd who braved the wintry conditions.

It reflected great credit on youth team manager Steve Smith and his staff and was especially sweet for the 17-year-old Grant who lives in the Chapletown district of Leeds.

City now have a genuine chance of a league and cup double if they can win their matches in hand.

The snow covered pitch was passed fit for play an hour before the kick-off, but, as sleet fell throughout the match, the slushy conditions made it impossible to play good football.

City adapted better to the conditions knocking the ball down the channels whereas Leeds found it difficult to adapt as they tried to play their preferred short passing game without much success.

The first goal illustrated the point as midfield player David Donaldson found Grant with a superb through pass down the middle and he outpaced the Leeds defence before slotting the ball past the England under-18s goalkeeper Paul Robinson to put City in front after 15 minutes.

Before Leeds could recover, Grant added a second three minutes later, taking advantage of a mix-up between defender Tommy Knarvik and Robinson on the edge of the penalty area before sliding the ball into the empty net to put City in command.

Leeds, for whom Kevin Dixon hit the crossbar in the sixth minute, should have pulled a goal back after 21 minutes when Tony Hackworth beat City's offside trap only to shoot wide of the far post with only goalkeeper Craig Bates to beat.

Bates then produced a great save a minute before half-time, turning a shot from Harpal Singh round the post after he had beaten James Nettleton.

City overcame the handicap of losing defender Mark Bower with a thigh injury three minutes before the interval as they defended in depth to frustrate Leeds' highly rated youngsters.

The game understandably became deadlocked in the extremely difficult conditions and Grant put the result beyond doubt seven minutes from the end after a bad mistake in the Leeds defence.

The lively youngster intercepted the ball as defender Matthew Jones tried to find right back John Butler and beat Robinson as the ball just trickled over the line.

A delighted Grant said: "We wanted an early goal to settle things down so I was delighted when I scored two early goals.

"The difficult conditions made a physical match and we won the physical battle."

Skipper Paul Bolland said: "Leeds were not happy with the terrible conditions and they found it difficult. We outmatched them, outfought them and worked well as a team. We have got a great team spirit and everyone worked for everyone else."

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