Farsley Celtic Juniors retained their Premier Division title with a 2-0 win over Trinity at St Theresa’s School.
Farsley’s comfortable win and the 0-0 draw played out between second- and third-placed Stanley United and Leeds Medics gave Barry Thirsk’s side an unassailable seven-point lead at the top with two games to play.
Despite resting players for last night’s Marflitt Cup semi-final at Liversedge against the Medics, Celtic’s deputies stepped in seamlessly.
Seventeen-year-old Laurence Patterson, brought on as a first-half substitute for the injured Ben Wilson, opened the scoring in the first half before Louis Surtees doubled the lead late on.
Farsley are deserved winners; they boast a goalscoring record of 65 in 18 games and only Stanley have conceded fewer this season.
Their title challenge has been built on their home form, so impressive since their promotion to the top flight in 2014, and the goals of Danny Lyons, who is the top marksman in the league with 29.
The healthy contributions in front of goal from Surtees, Joe Firth and Craig Farrand illustrate their ability to break teams down in a number of ways and has helped throughout a campaign in which they have nursed injuries to key players.
The coaching ability of Adam Thirsk has helped them seal back-to-back trophies, a notoriously difficult feat as the team to beat second time around.
They could yet repeat their double win of last season with the winner of last night’s tie with the Medics going on to face Farnley Sports in the Marflitt final on the May 3.
Farnley pulled off a commanding 3-0 win in their local derby with Grangefield Old Boys at Weetwood.
Joe Cryer got their first on 40 minutes followed by an inspired individual effort from Chris Lee and then by in-form Mike Ferguson.
Scott Horner put the finishing touches to the team that will compete in the final of both the Marflitt Trophy and the Yorkshire Old Boys Shield against St Mary’s Yarm in a few weeks’ time.
Both Stanley United and Leeds Medics might have reason to be disappointed by not finishing top of the table, but they have both enjoyed fine seasons and drew 0-0 in their Weetwood clash.
Naturally, it was a game of high quality but neither Medics goalkeeper Tim Griffiths nor Stanley stopper Nathan Faint were unduly troubled.
Johnny Okwonko came closest for the home side when his header hit the bar, while Andrew Eaton’s outfit had a penalty shout turned down and saw Josh Whiteley fire wide in the 80th minute.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Alwoodley look set for a fourth-place finish after beating Beeston Juniors 3-2 at the Avenue.
Their goals came from central defender Dan McKenna and the reliable source of Dan Whincup, who bagged a brace.
In the Championship, runaway winners Drighlington are two games away from going through the entire league season unbeaten and they defeated Mount St Mary’s 1-0 at the weekend.
St Mary’s have been in the promotion shake-up for most of the season but have fallen away in recent weeks, winning only one of their last five outings.
The visitors gave a good account of themselves, though, pressing the Drighlington defence into mistakes only to tire in the closing stages with no substitutes available to them, and conceding an own goal from a left-wing cross.
The fight for the second promotion place will go down the wire as Morley Town and Leeds Medics Reserves meet on Saturday at Glen Road.
That said, the Medics are, of course, unable to climb into the league above owing to the presence of their first team at that level.
Morley, who beat Thornesians 6-3 on Saturday, are two points behind the Medics with a game in hand, but that comes against Drighlington on the final day.
A Thornesians side affected by cricket call-ups gave Town a mighty scare, however, leading at 2-1 and 3-2.
Cameron Vine and Ray Dobson gave them a chance before hat-tricks in either half from Kevin Mackay and Matt Ibbotson saw the home side take control.
In Division One, St Bede’s drew 1-1 with Huddersfield YMCA but they have a flicker of hope of promotion, still, with unplayed fixtures and registration problems still to be factored in.
Leeds City Old Boys won their fourth successive promotion thanks to a 5-1 win over depleted Sandal Wanderers in Division Two.
Meanwhile, Wheelwright Old Boys beat in-form visitors Woodkirk Valley 4-0.
In Division Three, East Ardsley Wanderers continued their revival story with promotion, beating Leeds City Old Boys Reserves 3-0.