Jubilant Worksop Borough retained their Worksop Sunday League, First Division title after a dramatic win in their last match, which was against their main rivals.
St Josephs kicked off with a one-point lead at the top of the table, needing just a draw to be crowned champions. But Borough triumphed 3-1 to leap above them, despite missing a penalty at a key stage of the game.
The score was locked at 1-1 with about 20 minutes to go when Tom Durrant was hauled to the deck by Josephs’ Perry Jones. Home captain Matt Booth stepped up to take the spot-kick but goalkeeper Sam Jepson was equal to his powerful shot, diving to his left to make a fine save.
The miss increased the tension and as the tackles started to fly in, referee Chris Ward did well to keep a lid on the game. However, the drama took another twist when an own goal by Jones restored Borough’s lead.
In response, the ever-willing Andrew Guest tried his utmost to save the day for Josephs. But as the game became more and more stretched, the hosts clinched the points, and the title, in the dying minutes when Durrant beat Jepson with a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.
The goal sparked scenes of jubilation among the Borough contingent, but left Josephs deflated with despair, and it wasn’t long before Booth was receiving the title trophy from league official Dave Northage in front of celebrating teammates and supporters.
The match had been far from a clssic in terms of quality football, but for commitment, enthusiasm and character, it had been a terrific advert for Sunday football.
After a goalless first half, in which both sides created chances, Borough broke through early in the second period when a neat move was deftly finished off by Scott Stancil.
But Josephs were soon back on level terms when Phil Richardson was put through on goal and converted with aplomb to set up the heart-stopping finale.
Elsewhere in the league, Todwick Villa maintained their push for the Second Division title by demolishing Inter Kilton 9-0. It means that after a defeat for rivals Langold Lakesides, at the hands of Lion Hotel, Todwick need just one more win, against the same Lion team, this weekend.
Meanwhile Rhodesia stepped up their bid for promotion with a 3-0 victory over Woodsetts Welfare, helped by a double from Jordan Moore.
The league’s Challenge Cup and Benevolent Cup finals will be played at Worksop Town on the Sundays of April 23 and 30 respectively.