BAY Athletic are West Riding County Amateur League champions for the second season in succession.
And even with one match of this campaign still to play – at home to derby rivals Meltham tomorrow – the Huddersfield side are already planning for a hat-trick bid.
That feat hasn’t been achieved since 1977, when Bradford team Dudley Hill Athletic dominated, and it’s only been done twice in the last 50 years (Thackley reigned supreme between 1961-63).
Bay needed only a point from Saturday’s meeting with Kirkburton to dash Ovenden WR’s hopes of pipping them to the county amateur crown.
But Richard Spychalski’s determined side sealed the trophy in style with a 3-1 win sealed by goals from Paul Pike, Freddie McGillivary and Kitson Gayle.
That took their total to an impressive 101 in 29 games, 19 more than Ovenden, and clinched the club’s third title of the year after the seconds won the County Amateur League Reserve Division honours and the thirds took the Huddersfield Works League title.
And with other clubs undoubtedly taking note, Bay secretary Kevin Burns believes that strength in depth could prove crucial.
“I noted a number of other managers, including Wakefield FC’s Ronnie Glavin, on the touchline on Saturday, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if offers are made to some of our players,” said Burns.
“Obviously we would prefer to keep them, but you can’t stand in the way of someone wanting to get to as high a level of their sport as possible.
“It works the other way as well, because we get players wanting to come to us, and the fact that we have such a big pool can only be of benefit.”
Burns also believes Bay’s use of Syngenta is a big help when it comes to recruitment.
“The pitch and facilities are excellent and we have a good relationship with the people down there,” he added.
Now Bay, beaten only once in the league, will aim to end the 30-game season in style by chalking up a 25th win at the expense of Meltham.
Then it will be all systems go for 2009-10, with Burns confirming: “We’ve won the title three times in the last four years, but three times in a row has a great ring to it.
“It won’t be easy, and there certainly won’t be any complacency, but it’s a great challenge.”
Kirkburton are now seventh in the Premier Division while Golcar are fourth after a 3-2 home defeat by Wibsey. Adam Johnson and Simon Ollershaw scored.
Like Bay, Burton and Golcar have one game left, with all three still to play Meltham, who drew 1-1 with Storthes Hall on Saturday, when Jon Newiss and Hall’s Robert Mitchell netted.