DCSIMG

Boro are the champions

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Scarborough Athletic sealed the NCEL Premier championship on Saturday afternoon to spark huge celebrations around their Queensgate base.

Boro beat Retford United 2-0 in their penultimate fixture of the season, while Barton held second-placed Brighouse 3-3 to wrap things up in the favour of Rudy Funk’s men.

It proved to be the perfect day, as the sun shone down on over 800 fans who witnessed an afternoon that will live long in the memory.

This wasn’t the most memorable of clashes, but Boro did enough to achieve their goal.

In the absence of Pete Davidson and Jimmy Beadle, Tommy Adams and James Bennett filled the holes in midfield. Arran Reid battled on in goal, despite picking up a foot injury in his last outing at Brighouse.

Neither keeper was tested for the first 15 minutes, as the sides toiled away in the centre of the park.

Boro possibly had the better of this battle and they had the opening opportunity when Bryan Hughes swirled in a corner and Paddy Miller nodded it just wide.

The hosts made the all-important breakthrough soon after when some of the neat approach play, that Boro had made trademark this season, was forced to the fore.

An interchange between Tony Hackworth and Ryan Blott allowed Bennett some space, his shot was saved, but Hughes smashed the free ball into the roof of the net.

Retford had clearly come with a game-plan and that was the utilise the pace of striker Reece Thompson. That would have been fair enough if he wasn’t matched up against the Boro centre-back pairing of Matty Plummer and Andy Milne, who placed the striker neatly in their pocket.

In contrast, Boro had a little more invention, though they failed to trouble Retford keeper Ayden Duffy in the remaining minutes of the half.

Hackworth came closest, but he hooked his volley just over the visiting bar.

Things looked rosy at the break as Boro looked on course, but Retford had clearly had words at the interval and the came out a different side.

Meanwhile, Boro were forced to make a change, with Louis Horne limping off from left-back, Robbie Hawkes coming on.

After a succession of corners, Retford defender Brett Lucus rose delightfully and angled a header towards the top corner, but Bennett showed his defensive duties to nod it away.

Boro finally refound their footing, with Hawkes adding a new dimension on the right. He fired in two useful shots, but both failed to bring a save out of Duffy.

By this point Brighouse were holding a three-goal lead against Barton Town, so the fingernails were still feeling the brunt of the nerves.

That was until Blott picked out his strike-partner Hackworth in the box, the Boro skipper wriggling free and crashing the ball home.

At 2-0 the game was dead, as Retford offered nothing in the closing stages. Adams could have made sure with a third for Boro but he was denied by a fine save.

All the action seemed to be happening near the banks of the Humber, as Barton came charging back to level their game up at 3-3.

This news was met around Queensgate by a huge cheer by the Boro fans, who continued to enjoy their afternoon when the ref blew his final whistle.

With the silverware at the ready, Boro lifted the NCEL Premier trophy in front of throngs of fanatical supporters.

The party in Bridlington soon calmed down, but the one in Scarborough looked set to go on well into the night.

 

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