Park’s points deduction hands title to Traf

Newlands Park FC
Newlands Park FC

Newlands Park’s hopes of retaining their Sunday League crown have been ended by a six-point deduction.

The reigning Division One champions have also been kicked out of the Senior Cup after fielding an ineligible player or players in three fixtures, meaning that Trafalgar can no longer be caught at the top of the table and have clinched the title with a game to spare.

Drew McCoubrey and Jordan Mintoft were both sent off in Park’s 3-2 win over Fylingdales in late February, but due to an administrative error, their dismissals were classed by the North Riding County FA as yellow cards.

With confirmation of the pair’s suspensions not having reached them, Newlands then played McCoubrey during subsequent first division successes over Commercial and Barrowcliff and a Senior Cup semi-final victory over Trafalgar, while Mintoft also appeared against Barrowcliff and Traf.

As a result, the club has been fined £90 and docked a total of six points for fielding ineligble players in two league fixtures, while they will no longer contest the Senior Cup final on May 15, with beaten semi-finalists Traf taking their place.

“I’m disappointed for our players who have worked very hard to win nearly every game that they’ve played this season and reach the Senior Cup final,” Newlands secretary Ken Coatesworth said.

“We were waiting for the suspensions to arrive from the North Riding County FA, but apparently we had been told verbally that the onus was on us to report the red cards ourselves, so we just have to accept the decision.

“The club’s officials have let the lads down, and we should have complied with what we were told to do, but it’s still a shame for the players.

“We do have the option to appeal to North Riding but I think that we would be wasting our time.”

Before the points deduction, second-placed Park trailed leaders Traf by three points with just one game of the season remaining.

Sunday’s clash between the two sides would have been a title decider, with Newlands needing an unlikely victory by eight goals to overtake their old rivals at the summit, but instead, Park’s revised points tally means that Traf are already champions.

Ben Luntley’s Boars do have one chance of silverware left this campaign, with a Scarborough and District FA Sunday Cup final against Traf coming up.