West Yorkshire League: Rawdon reach top flight after back-to-back promotions

Mark Ferguson scores for Leeds City at Premier rivals Beeston St Anthony's. PIC: Steve Riding
Mark Ferguson scores for Leeds City at Premier rivals Beeston St Anthony's. PIC: Steve Riding
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Rawdon Old Boys have secured back-to- back promotions and will play in the West Yorkshire Premier Division next season.

The team showed relentless form throughout the season, losing only two games en route to the title.

Leeds City goalkeeper Dec Flowers closes down James Allan. PIC: Steve Riding

Leeds City goalkeeper Dec Flowers closes down James Allan. PIC: Steve Riding

Chairman Ian Whitfield said: “This is an amazing moment for the club.

“A few years ago, we were in the West Riding County Amateur League then Bob Nightingale came in as manager and built a new team of mainly local lads.

“We progressed from there into the West Yorkshire League and now we have secured back-to-back promotions, which is just fantastic.

“We haven’t kicked and scratched our way out of the division; we have played some quality football, so credit to Bob (Nightingale), his assistant and all the lads.”

Beeston's 'Kingsley Wetherald finds the back of the net from the penalty spot. PIC: Steve Riding

Beeston's 'Kingsley Wetherald finds the back of the net from the penalty spot. PIC: Steve Riding

Whitfield believes a few key additions are needed for next season if the club are to continue their incredible rise.

“We need five or six new players to establish ourselves in the Premier” he said. “I have my own views, but it’s down to the management team who they look to sign.

“With the exception of the goalkeeper, we probably need players in defence, midfield and attack, but that’s only because we need depth to the squad.

“We don’t have a reserve side to draw players from, which I would love to do, but that hasn’t worked for us in the past.”

Rawdon kicked off their week in style, recording a 7-0 victory over relegation-threatened Howden Clough.

Chris Softley bagged a hat-trick for Rawdon with Oliver Nightingale adding two more. Tom McMillan and Darren Nichols completed the impressive Rawdon scoring display.

They came up against much stiffer opposition come the weekend in the form of Aberford Albion, who had played out a 2-2 draw against Rothwell in midweek but, with the home crowd behind them, Henry Myers came off the bench to claim all three points and the league title in a 1-0 win.

Whitkirk Wanderers have all but secured second place, while Wyke Wanderers are up to third after they picked up a 4-2 victory over bottom-of-the-table Brighouse Old Boys. Matt Conway, Cameron Day, Karl Fawcett and Michael Stowell were all on target for Wyke.

Things didn’t get any easier for Brighouse at the weekend as they suffered a heavy 6-3 defeat to Featherstone Colliery.

Kyle Pearson netted four for Colliery, with Andrew Burton and Leon Leake also making the scoresheet.

That win proved a quick response for Featherstone after their surprise 2-1 midweek defeat to Wetherby Athletic.

Oxenhope Recreation picked up their eighth win of the season in a 3-1 win over Boroughbridge,.

Howden, meanwhile, bounced back from their drubbing against Rawdon by beating Altofts 3-2, to complete the Division One action.

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There were huge twists and turns in the race for the Premier Division title over the last week.

Carlton Athletic fired the first shot as they recorded a 2-0 Monday-night victory over Leeds City.

Andrew Payne and Anees Younis were on target for Athletic to pick up a vital three points against their rivals. Carlton were left frustrated come Wednesday, however, as they went down 3-2 to fellow high flyers Beeston St Anthony’s in a 3-2 loss.

Fortunately for Carlton, this was in a West Yorkshire League Cup outing, thus avoiding a serious hit to their league campaign.

Come the weekend Beeston and Leeds met in a top-of-the-table clash. Both sides were in desperate need of three points if they were to march on to the title and it was Leeds who held their nerve with an emphatic 5-2 victory.

That win allowed Leeds to move seven points clear of Beeston at the top, albeit having played two games more. Carlton now sit just two points behind Beeston with two games in hand with an eye-watering four games in hand on Leeds, after a 2-0 win over Shelley.

Younis came up with the goods yet again for Athletic, netting both of his sides’ goals.

Ilkley Town’s woeful run of form continued with a 4-0 loss to Knaresborough Town Reserves. The side did, however, feature many of Knaresborough’s senior side who stormed their way to the NCEL Division One title, leaving Ilkley with little hopes of a positive result. Fraser Lancaster was on target twice for Knaresborough, while Colin Heath and Ben Parkes completed the comfortable victory.

Horbury Town had the opportunity to jump Ilkley into third but cmanaged to only move level on points with them after they rescued a 1-1 draw at Headingley. Field are now winless in four after they followed-up on their 2-0 midweek loss to Shelley with a 2-1 defeat at Hunslet Club.

Sherburn continued their remarkable rise up the table, achieving their fourth consecutive win against Hartshead. The result saw them move up to 11th as they continue to make their previous relegation fears a distant memory.

Another side who looked dead and buried were Pool, but they are masterminding their own attempt to escape relegation. Josh Waite’s brace and Josh Wagstaff’s strike completed a 3-1 win over Huddersfield Amateur, giving their side back-to- back league wins for the first time this season.

In Division Two Newsome were the only team in action in what proved a huge result as they took

over as league leaders with a 5-0 win over Ripon City. With only two games remaining for Newsome

they appear to have peaked at the right time, though their final fixture is against title rivals Kirk

Dreighton Rangers, in what could prove a winner-takes- all fixture.