RADCLIFFE remain on course for promotion after progressing to the Evo-Stik West play-off final with an emphatic 3-0 win that ended local rivals Ramsbottom United’s hopes.

Scott Metcalfe’s first-half header, followed by strikes from forwards Tunde Owolabi and Ben Wharton sent Radcliffe through to Saturday’s final, to be played at the Neuven Stadium against the winners of last night’s other semi-final.

Radcliffe made the brighter start to the game, creating numerous chances to open the scoring but Owolabi headed two early opportunities wide.

At the other end the visitors had their first sniff of goal with Luke Thompson rising above the Boro back line to throw himself at a cross, but his header went the wrong side of Ollie Martin’s post.

Radcliffe finally opened the scoring on the 40-minute mark.

A first-time cross by Prince Haywood, after Craig Lindfield’s free kick had been half-cleared, floated perfectly onto the head of Metcalfe at the back post, who directed it past Sam Ashton into the top corner.

Though the Rams’ Nic Evangelinos fired a volley narrowly over two minutes after the restart, it was Boro who started the second half the sharper, with right-back Kyle Harrison forcing Ashton into a fine fingertip save with a sweetly-struck curling effort.

But when the next chance came to the division’s player of the season, Owolabi, he made no mistake.

It was Radcliffe captain Kingsley Williams who slotted him in and once he had rounded Ashton he made it 2-0 and took Boro a step closer to the play-off final.

Owolabi twisted and turned his way past defenders to create a shooting chance moments later but Ashton kept Rammy in the tie with a fine save.

The Rams pressed in their bid to halve the deficit and, after Jason Carey saw his attempt parried away, substitute Iyrwah Gooden fired off-target.

Then, with 13 minutes remaining, Boro’s third goal sealed their passage to the final, Wharton racing clear of the United back line and producing a cool chip over the head of Ashton to seal victory.

Though Jamie Rother and Evangelinos had efforts on goal the danger was cleared by a fairly comfortable Boro defence as they saw out the win that gives them the right to host Leek Town or Colne on Saturday, hoping to return to the Evo-Stik Premier for the first time since the 2002/03 season.

Rammy, meanwhile, ended their season in disappointing fashion but it was their first away defeat in league action since Chris Willcock took over as manager, and their form since he was installed gives them hope they can go one better next season.