THIS season the Scarborough & District Saturday League offered up some superb entertainment, culminating in an thrilling winner-takes-all clash for the first division title on the last day of the season.
The first division title was decided after a thrilling clash between Edgehill and West Pier, with Alec Coulson’s Edgehill sealing a dramatic 2-2 draw to secure the title, wrestling it away from holders Eastfield St James.
Edgehill also came close to success on the county front, but couldn’t quite get over the line as they took a large number of fans to Stokesley FC for their clash with Great Ayton United.
Edgehill started the game like a house on fire, Lee Cappleman notching an early goal to put them 1-0 up.
But it wasn’t to be for Coulson’s men, who ended up on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline.
They did, however, bounce back to seal the title, and then the District Cup with a 2-1 win over Eastfield St James, despite falling 1-0 behind with only 20 minutes left on the clock.
It was Ricky Greening who popped up to notch the winner, despite having a quiet game for Edgehill.
Andy Spivey’s Pier side can be justly proud of their efforts this season.
They ran Edgehill as close as possible, and could have even lifted the title themselves had events transpired their way in the last 10 minutes of their thrilling clash on the final day of the season.
Had they not suffered from huge injury problems they may have managed to pip Edgehill at the post, but they missed out on goal difference.
They hit back to end their string of upsets against Ayton to collect the Harbour Cup with a 2-0 win courtesy of two strikes from Paul Provins.
Provins was the difference between the two sides who both struggled to get the ball down for extended periods of time. But Pier edged the tie and deserved some silverware for their efforts throughout the campaign.
Another side who had a good season were Newlands, who had a new manager after a handful of games - Hugh Brown stepping aside for Shaun Mancrief to take charge.
Mancrief immediately made Newlands a strong and resolute outfit. They went on a superb run and missed out on the title by only four points.
They also came out on top of a scrappy affair against Eastfield to win the Coastal Shellfish League Cup.
Both sides could easily have been reduced to 10 men with some late tackles flying in, but referee Paul Wharton was lenient and let the game flow at Mill Lane.
Goals from Sean Exley (above) and Chris Dove secured a 2-1 win for Newlands, who will no-doubt challenge for the title next season.
The two teams out of the top flight who stood out for me were Ryedale and Whitby Fishermen’s Society.
John Reed’s Ryedale side remained unbeaten in their pursuit of a second successive promotion. They also made it to a cup final against the Fishermen, only to lose out against a strong side.
Whitby have had a remarkable season by anyone’s standards.
They romped home to the division three title without losing a game and scoring over 100 goals in the process, and also collected two cup wins from three finals.
En route to their finals they produced a huge upset when beating Edgehill, and were in the end treble winners, just falling foul of a quadruple after losing out to Kirkbymoorside Reserves in the final of the Junior Cup.
They beat Ryedale and Heslerton in two cup finals and look all set to follow Ryedale with two successive promotions to the top flight.
Mark Storr has some superb players at his disposal. Former Scarborough FC and Reading midfielder Steve Swales anchors the midfield and the likes of Karl Storr and Mark Swales have regularly found the back of the net.
I would be surprised if they don’t repeat their successes next term.
There were the usual ups and downs this season. Sherburn and Flixton were relegated from division one, Ryedale and possibly Fishburn Park will replace them.
Snainton and Cayton Reserves were relegated into division three, and will be replaced by the Fishermen and Riskers, who won their last game of the season against Whitby RUFC to seal second spot and promotion.