FINAL WHISTLE BLOWS IN 2011/12 SEASON
The Hummersknott Arena was the last stop for the DSIL as The Deacon traveled to play Railway Institute on the 3g.
The visitors enjoyed playing on the futuristic surface and took the lead when Wayne Turner was on the end of fine Pearson cross. Despite being in control with some neat play, the home side were not overwhelmed by The Deacon and responded well. After fashioning some good openings they were thwaterd by the superb form of stand-in stopper James ‘Young’ Brown. However, their persistence finally paid off when Daz Walker kept his cool to finish off a fine passing move and level things up before the break.
A draw would have been enough for the Deacon to grab the Division 2 runners up spot in their last game, but they turned on the style in the second half to go out with a bang. Using the surface to their advantage and imposing their passing play on their hosts, the visitors dominated proceedings and Lewis Henry proved a class apart to regain the lead with a superb goal. After beating two men, he cut in from the right and curled in a fantastic left footed effort into the top corner that gave Dan Brown no chance. Henry followed that up with by going on mazy run before slotting home.
RI never gave up but could not match their opponents silk and steel, typified by Goundry and Man of the Match Pearson who pulled the strings in the middle. Mitchell Brown smashed in before Henry completed his hat-trick fit for a king as The Deacon eased home 1-5 winners.
HAUGHTON AT THE DOUBLE
Haughton Grey Horse signed off the season in style by bagging the Technocopy Cup after pipping Allstars 4-3 in an action packed encounter at Blackwell Meadows.
John Nimmo, Justin Rawlinson and Cristian Holiday all netted as Grey Horse looked to be galloping away. However, Michael Richardson pulled one back before Holliday saw read. Allstars made the numerical advantage count and
completed his hat-trick to draw his side level. Richardson
The DSIL Cup Finals have proved tough to call this year and this final also had a late twist. With extra-time looking likely, up popped Captain Jamie Bowman to head home the winner with only mins to go.
After loosing to their ‘noisy neighbors’ in the inaugural Charity Cup at the start of the Campaign, the win will be extra sweet for Ronnie Coleman’s side who can rightly claim bragging rights as DSIL ‘Top Dogs’. It has been a record breaking season for Grey Horse and it will be a brave man who bets against them in 2012/13.
The curtain falls on the 2011/12 season as Railway Institute welcome The Deacon to the Hummersknott Arena in their rearranged fixture. Spectators are welcome, kick off is 10.30am.
If you fancy getting involved in the action next year, why not join the DSIL who are looking for new teams for the 2012/13 season. For further information see the league’s website, www.dsil.org.uk and contact the League Secretary by phone or email.
HAVELOCK GET THEIR ARMS ON THE CUP
The Deacon suffered more heartache after suffering an agonizing Division 2 Cup Final defeat by Havelock Arms. The Branksome boys blew their title chances last time out against the Middleton lads who killed their cup dreams on Sunday after some late drama at a rain soaked Blackwell Meadows.
Despite the weather, a good crowd gathered to watch both teams cancel each other out in a nervy first half that struggled to get going. The Havvy tried to impose their direct style but the threat from Weston and Kemp was dealt with by the Deacon’s defence. When they did get their chance, Jack Howden blazed over. At the other end, despite some positive build there was no finish from a shot-shy Deacon.
With the wind in their backs after the break, the Deacon started strong, but it was Havelock who took the lead. However, it was in controversial circumstances when Barnet’s free-kick was headed out of play for what seemed to all in attendance, including the linesman, a Deacon corner. Referee Farrell decided otherwise, Havelock broke quickly and Weston crossed for Kemp to gleefully head home.
As conditions worsened, the drama intensified and the Deacon tried to level. With the clock ticking, it looked as though Havelock had held on. Then substitute Gary Hill popped up to expertly finish off a goalmouth scramble with a minute to go.
A rejuvenated Deacon took the advantage in extra time when Fred Huscroft dived in to head home a Barnet cross. This should have put his team’s name on the trophy, but it is often said, a team is vulnerable as soon as they have scored. The Deacon proved this when they dithered in midfield and Weston raced clear before coolly slotting home. It was anyone’s guess who would win it as both teams threw caution to the wind, but it was Weston who grabbed the winner with 10 mins to go when he headed home. A disappointed Brown reflected on the result ‘We’ve missed out again, but on the bright side I’m very proud of the lads and the effort this season. We’ll enjoy the summer break and go again next year’.
WAM, BAM, THANK YOU SAM!
Sam Richardson was the hero as his last min goal was enough for RFC to beat Shuttle and land the DSIL Division One Cup. The two teams finished 2nd & 3rd in the league, both had a win a piece from the previous meetings, so it was always likely to be a close game. And so it proved to be as nothing could separate them during normal time, each side drawing blanks in an even but well supported, enthralling contest at Blackwell Meadows. However, with only 47 seconds left to go
broke free of the fullback, rounded keeper Moorhouse and held his nerve to slot home the winner. Richardson
Alan 'Evergreen' Rusk was delighted with the win, 'It may be my last season with the team, so I'm delighted to see us win something and it's a nice way to say goodbye'.
A disappointed David Robinson reflected on the result, 'I thought we could have had it wrapped up in normal time, but credit to RFC they took their chance.'
Allstars will face Haughton in the Technocopy Cup Final after dispatching Argos/DHL. The crowds were also out in force at the
and they saw the irrepressible Jack Johns give the home side the lead before Kes Smith hit back from a corner. With the game on a knife edge, the turning point came when Michael Richardson netted from the spot and Allstars never looked back. Man of the Match Moses cut in from the left to fire home the third, there was shades of Hatem Ben Arfa from Richardson who scored a wonderful individual goal for the forth before impromptu striker Bob Varyo finished the scoring. A typically un-phased Garry Mann looked forward to meeting Ronnie Coleman's League Champions at the end of season showpiece on May 5th, 'It was an accomplished performance. Hopefully we can take that form into the final and the 'noisy neighbors' will have something to shout about over the fence!' Education Village
GRANTS ARE CHAMPIONS AS THE DEACON FLUFF THEIR LINES
Grants Gym are the winners of the Division 2 title without having to kick a ball as the only team who could catch them, The Deacon, went down 0-2 against Havelock Arms at Carmel. The result means even if the Deacon win their remaining fixture against RI they will only reach 40 points, 1 short of Grants. The loss will be a bitter pill for The Deacon after coming so close, but they can console themselves with a guaranteed top three finish, Technocopy Cup Semi Final appearance and not to mention the upcoming Division 2 Cup Final, all in their first season from a team less than a year old.
With their destiny in their own hands, The Deacon were masters of their own downfall against a spirited
side. The home side knew a result of any kind was required, but that task was made even harder when after a nervy opening, Captain Steve Howden, rose unchallenged to power home a header from a corner within the first 10mins. Despite not being able to challenge for the title themselves, the Havvy were in no mood to do their hosts any favors and the game struggled to get a consistent flow as the two sides cancelled each out. Even when the Deacon got sight of the visitors’ goal, Sam Pybus was on hand to shut them out. However, at the other end Denham made sure he gave his side every chance by proving an equal antidote to the free scoring Weston and Best. As the game wore on, The Deacon tried to force there way back into contention, but couldn’t find the final piece in the jigsaw and with the clock ticking, Dale Johnson delivered the fatal blow after scrambling home from a corner. The home side did mount a late challenge, but it was not to be. Archie Brown said he was proud of his players, ‘Obviously I’m disappointed to miss out on the title, but the upside is that we have been promoted at the first attempt. I’m already looking forward to and making plans for the challenge of Division 1’. Havelock
Huntsmen Goodfellas waved goodbye to the DSIL and signed off with a 3-1 win over ACE Cars at Tommy Crooks. The popular Aycliffe side are off to pastures new for 2012-13 and will be a sad loss. Goals from Lee Gray, Shaun Mackintosh and Daniel Stones ensured they leave on a high and finish in 4th spot after leapfrogging Harrowgate Hill.
With league business wrapped up, the Cup competitions take centre stage from now on and RFC face Shuttle in the Division 1 Cup final this Sunday at the Rugby Club, Blackwell Meadows. It’s likely to be a close affair with two teams finishing second and third in the league so a good one for the neutrals to go along and watch. Kick-off is 10.30am and entrance is free. Meanwhile, Argos/DHL take on Allstars at the
in the Technocopy Cup. The winner will face Haughton in the final. Education Village
THE GOOD, BAD AND THE UGLY FROM HUNTSMEN
It was an up and down week for Goodfellas whose promotion dream was on and then possibly off again. With a lock out at Carmel, they traveled to Tommy Crooks to face fellow challengers The Deacon in the midweek game. Despite being down on numbers and a changed line up, the ‘home’ side created the early openings only to be let down by poor pass in the final third and some wayward finishing. Winger Chris Hope soon changed that though after tricking his man, he delivered the quality they had been missing for Huscroft to head home. Perhaps it was the unusual evening KO, but this failed to light the touch paper as the game struggled to get any consistent flow. However, The Deacon again gave the fans something to admire when Eddie Pearson latched onto a superb Goundary through ball and calmly slotted home. This should have been game over, but credit to Goodfellas they raised their spirits and Dave Neale started the fight back on 84mins with a 25 yard free-kick. With their tails up, the visitors went all out for an equalizer and their persistence paid off when they were awarded a penalty which Sheldon smashed home. Caretaker manager Sedgewick said he was proud of his player ‘We battled and showed fighting spirit to get back in the game, we just need more consistency and commitment because we are not far away but I’m delighted with that result’. It seems his players may have taken his comments about fighting spirit a little too literally as all of their good work was undone on Sunday after they were beaten 1-2 by Slaters in a fiery contest. The visitors started well and took a deserved lead when Paul Horsley curled home a free-kick. The game then exploded, when following off the ball incident, Williams was given his marching orders and it got worse for the home side as MOM Davey James kept his cool to finish off a lovely move. Goodfellas rallied after the break and Musgrave gave the 10 men hope with a well taken finish. However the lifeline was short lived as Foggin saw red with 20 mins to go. James Gilby was pleased to finish his campaign with a win, "I was very impressed with our performance today, we worked hard, kept our discipline and looked strong as a unit. When we play the big teams we raise our game, it’s just a shame we couldn’t do this all season". Meanwhile, The Deacon immediately got back in the groove after their midweek disappointment to hit Harrowgate Hill for 6 at Carmel. The visitors could only muster 10 men for their final game, but gave a decent account of themselves and after being 2-0 back to 2-2 at one point. However, they couldn’t hold on as Deacon made their superiority count. Lewis Henry returned to the line up and his pace was a welcome addition to the attack and he used it to devastating effect as he hit a hat-trick. Freddie Huscroft scored his 10th goal in 9 games whilst substitute Mitchell Brown put the result beyond doubt before Tom Smalley smashed home late on. Man of the match Mikey Weston capped a tireless performance with a cool finish whilst Rob Harland powerfully headed home the Hills goals.
LAVELLE ON THE DAY BUT RFC PIP ALLSTARS TO A TOP THREE FINISH
The Division One business was wrapped up on Sunday with RFC confirming a highly respectable third place finish in their first season the top flight. They faced Allstars at Blackwell Meadows with the two teams sharing 8 goals in a high scoring draw. RFC went into the game in 3rd spot and a point clear of their rivals so the result was enough to ensure they stayed there after 90mins. Twin Mike Lavelle was at the double whilst Matty Davison and Dean Thomas also netted for RFC whilst Allstars scorers were Thompson, Goodwin and two from Richardson. Elsewhere Haughton ended their Championship campaign unbeaten after a 2-0 over Brinkburn Lions who bow out of the DSIL after a 14 year association with the League in various different guises. Former player and Secretary Neil Jollie said he was sad to see the end of an era, ‘It’s a shame, especially as the team could only field 10-men in the last game on Sunday. Some of the older lads are hanging up their boots, the manager is moving on and no one wanted to take the reins so alas the Lions shall roar no more.’ Jollie said he will treasure the memory of being part of the clubs sole success when they won the 2005 Division 3 Cup, ‘We were underdogs on the day and nicked it on penalties. There was dancing on the streets of
Darlington that night!’
It may be all over in Division 1, but it’s far from being done and dusted in Division 2. Grants Gym have played all of their games and laid down the marker by beating Slaters in the midweek game. A solitary John Wood goal was enough which means Grants finish on a total of 41 points and only The Deacon, who have 4 games to play, are capable of catching them. Slater’s boss, James Gilby, said he was disappointed not to get a result against the leaders, but was pleased his side made amends at the weekend with a 1-0 win over ACE Cars, ‘I thought we deserved something out of the game against Grants, we were so unlucky on the day. Then after dominating against ACE Cars it takes an own goal to get us the result, that’s football I guess!’ Meanwhile Goodfellas late promotion charge continued after they hit Croft for 6 at Moor Lane Park. Mackintosh poked home the opener and Michael Rippon managed to steer home a Durr cross to make it 2-0. The visitors pulled one back, but Carl Dixon curled home to make it 3-1 at the break.
bagged his second after the restart whilst Durr and Gilham combined on two occasions to ensure a comfortable win for the Aycliffe lads. Dixon
THE DEACON FALL AT THE LAST
Haughton booked their place in the Technocopy Final after beating The Deacon 2-1 at
Eastbourne. After a frantic opening, the Division 2 got their noses in front when Lewis Henry exploited the space down the left and played in Huscroft whose cross was bundled home by Michael Barnett. The home side looked to hit back, but were frustrated in their efforts despite keeping stopper Denham busy with some with well worked set-pieces. With half-time approaching, Haughton equalised when Jamie Hind’s arrow like dead ball cannoned off the post and Nimmo was quickest to react. Following the re-start the temperature continued to rise on, and off the pitch as both teams fought for their place in the final. Grey Horse gradually took control, pegging their visitors back and gained the advantage when a partially cleared corner was smashed home. Despite a late rally, including Barnett hitting the post, Haughton held on for the win. Ronnie Coleman said he was proud of his players efforts, 'We were missing a few players and credit to The Deacon they gave us a good game, but I think we deserved the win in the end.' With the title already in the bag, Coleman was hoping to make it a double, 'We've already beaten both Allstars and in the League so hopefully that will give us an advatage whoever we face in the Final'. Argos
In Division 1 action, Craig Lavelle and Sam Richardson were fighting over the match ball as they both grabbed hat-tricks in RFC's 8-0 demolition of CBMI who will be glad to see the back of this season as they finish bottom. RFC move up to third but their final game against Allstars this week will decide who finishes in that spot.
In Division 2, a five star showing from Slaters kept their feint promotion hopes alive with a win over struggling Croft. They still have fellow chasers Huntsmen and also contenders Grants still to play but if lady luck is smiling James Gilby's side could still be dark horses for a top 3 finish. Meanwhile, ACE Cars Man of the Match, David Waters, did his best to stop Max Rees' Havelock Arms making it 3 on the bounce but his 2 goals weren't enough as the Havvy ran out 5-2 winners at Tommy Crooks. Finally, Goodfellas ended Harrowgate Hills’ title dream in a 9 goal thriller at a sunny
Moore Lane. Lee Gray opened the scoring with a glancing header which was cancelled out by a headed Harrowgate equaliser. Gray smashed in a 25 yarder but Harrowgate quickly replied again. However, Musgrave, Stones and Mackintosh gave the home side breathing space before the Hill staged a late rally with another header and a penalty, but the Pizzaboyz held on to take the 3pts. Harrowgates' Neil Atkinson said his makeshift team did their best, 'Obviously I’m disappointed and it's a shame as I wanted to finish a good season strongly, but we literally down to the bare bones; i had to play and I need a knee operation plus one of the lads played his first game in 18 months so given the circumstances I can't really argue with the result'.
JENKINSON LANDS SHUTTLE PLACE IN FINAL
RFC will meet Shuttle in the Division One Cup Final after the semis were settled on Sunday. A Sam Richardson strike, a penalty from captain Matty Davison combined with an own goal saw RFC run out comfortable 3-0 winners over Brinkburn Lions at the Rugby Club. Meanwhile, Mark Jenkinson scored the only goal of the game for the Shuttle who beat a disappointing Allstars in the
derby. The evergreen Alan Rusk was already looking forward to seeing RFC compete in their first final, 'I've had some great times being involved with the team over the last few seasons and I'm hoping it's our year as it would be smashing to win something.' Education Village
In the Division Two competition, a second half hat-trick from Fred Huscroft helped The Deacon book their place in the final after beating Harrowgate Hill at
. The game exploded into life for all the wrong reasons within the first 10 mins when both teams had a man sent off for fighting on the touchline. However, it was the visitors who came off worse as the home sides’ guilty party was an unused substitute at the time. After referee Mark Waldock had dealt with the side show, it was back to the action on the pitch and following good work from El-Khayat, the home side got their noses in front when the mercurial Lewis Henry squeezed his shot under stopper Ward. Despite their numerical advantage the Deacon failed to build on the lead and the visitors will have been pleased to go into the break only 1-0 down. The home side took control after the restart when Huscroft hit his first from close range despite the visitors protests who claimed the ball had been handled in the build up. It was then the home sides turn to complain when the Hill hit back as appeals for offside were ignored and Rob Harland slotted home. It was all academic in the end though as Huscroft completed his hat-trick with two composed finishes and despite Harland’s late penalty, which was again disputed, the Deacon were deserving 4-2 winners. Their opposition in the final will be Havelock Arms after Jack Howden, Adi Weston, Chris Thompson and Jake Laverick all scored in their 4-1 win over Hunstmen Goodfellas. Goodfellas talisman, Sheldon, netted the consolation. Carmel
Back in the league, ACE Cars pulled away from the bottom three with a 3-1 win over Croft at Tommy Crooks.
IT'S A LATE, LATE SHOW FROM THE DEACON
In the Technocopy Cup, a 3 goal extra time blitz from The Deacon against Division 1 side, Shuttle set up a semi-final showdown with newly crowned champions Haughton Grey Horse. The Second Division side looked to be doing it the easy way after a first half Lewis Henry double, one a wicked corner and the other coolly slotted from the penalty spot after Hope was upended, had set them on their way. The visitors did pull one back, albeit with a mighty slice of good fortune, through an own goal but the home side were good value for the 2-1 lead at the break.
The visitors made a fist of it in the second period and put their hosts under sustained pressure only to be denied by some stout defending and the excellent reactions of stopper Denham. With the clock running down, it looked like Shuttle wouldn’t make the breakthrough, but their direct style finally paid dividends and deservedly drew level when Adam Wilson nicked in to head home a corner set up the extra half hour.
Maybe the game hadn’t been one for the purists, but within a minute of the re-start the Deacon were again in front courtesy of a goal worthy of any stage. The excellent Eddie Pearson drove from midfield, played in Barnett who cleverly replied with a back heel, and without breaking stride hit a superb left foot shot from 25 yards that gave Moorhouse no chance. Barnett then bagged a scrap book effort of his own as he picked up the ball in the centre circle, beat two Shuttle defenders before rounding Moorhouse and gleefully slotting home to give the shell-shocked visitors no way back. Substitute Stuart Cottam added the final sheen when sneaked in to head home a clever Andrew Jinks pass to make it 5-2 at the finish.
Despite a Stuart Goodwin goal, Rolling Mills Allstars didn't spoil newly crowned First Champions' Haughton's party as Andy McLeod, John Nimmo and Christian Holliday scored to start the celebrations with a 3-1 win. CBMI had another day to forget as they could only field 10 players and Argos/DHL showed no mercy as they beat them 8-1. Robert Lodge scored Cockerton's consolation.
In Division 2, a Joe Millar hat-trick and defender Michael Rippon's first of the season helped Goodfellas to a 4-2 victory over ACE Cars at
Moore Lane. The result sees the Pizza Boyz overtake Slaters into 5th as they play catch up in the race for promotion. At the other end of the table, RI beat Croft 2-0 in their penultimate game of the season and they are now on course for their best ever league finish.