Amateur Football: Championship joy for Dalton Crusaders

DALTON Crusaders have clinched the Division III title.

DALTON Crusaders have clinched the Division III title.

They joined the League in 2007 and won the Division IV title in their first season.

No other trophy has come their way until a 5-0 win over KKS Sun Inn last Saturday gave them the points they needed to clinch the Division Three championship.

A goal from Simeon Douglas and two each from Joel Franklyn and Dwayne Wilkinson earned them that victory and probably gave them too much confidence when they met the same team in the semi-finals of the Groom Cup on Tuesday evening.

The Crusaders fell behind to KKS but soon equalised, only to fall behind for a second time to trail 2-1 at the break.

Normal service was resumed after the break as they scored four times to open up what they thought was a comfortable 5-2 lead.

So comfortable that they felt they could use their allotted three substitutions. They then suffered an injury and were left to play with 10 men.

This brought about a revival from KKS who pulled it back to 5-4 with five minutes to play, but the Crusaders hung on to keep their hopes alive of a second trophy.

Wilkinson repeated his two-goal feat but Franklyn could manage only one. The others came from Luke Hill and James Whyte.

In the final, they will meet Linthwaite Athletic who beat Upperthong 2-0 on Thursday.

The second promotion place from Division Three rests between Holmfirth Town and AFC Waterloo. Both have one game to play and Holmfirth have a two-point advantage.

AFC Waterloo play away at Upperthong today and it’s a must win game as anything other than all three points will hand it to Holmfirth.

However, should Waterloo win, they will then have to wait and watch as Holmfirth Town play Wooldale Wanderers the following Saturday – a win for Holmfirth and they are promoted, a loss and Waterloo are promoted or a draw and it’s a play-off.

The League Council Meeting on Thursday April 26 could have a major outcome on Division Two.

They have to decide on the outcome of two abandoned matches – Meltham v Royal Dolphins and Shelley v Kirkheaton – and the protest submitted by Scholes against Skelmanthorpe.

On the field, there are four in with a chance. If they all win up, the Dolphins could finish on 52 points, Heyside 44, Scholes 50 and Kirkheaton 48. But the real outcome will almost certainly take place at Greenhill Bank, the home of Scholes. They have all the other three to play at home.

The Division Four title is almost in the hands of Moldgreen Conservative Club. Six points clear at the top and an unfulfilled fixture probably going in their favour, a point is all they need in their away game at AFC Lindley.

For a while now it has looked more than likely that the Division One title would be returning to Hepworth United. A 2-0 win over Shepley on Tuesday has taken them to within a point of retaining the crown and with three games to play, it should be only a matter of when, not if.

At the top of Reserve Division One, it’s either Newsome Reserves or Uppermill Reserves. The former have a three-point lead but both have still five to play, including meeting each other on May 3.

In Reserve Division Three, there is another two-horse race, between Meltham Athletic A and Uppermill B. Uppermill B are three points adrift but have one game in hand.

It could well be a District League first if the results went in Uppermill’s favour in these two divisions as it could result in Uppermill Reserves, Uppermill A and Uppermill B winning the Reserve Division One, Two and Three.

It’s been a good week for Royal Dolphins Reserves. A 2-0 win over Meltham Ath A earned them a Gee Cup final where they will meet Holmbridge Reserves and, on Thursday, a 5-1 win over Meltham Ath B has put them seven points clear at the top of Reserve Division Four and they now need only three points.

 

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