Doncaster Senior League: Denaby United defeat rivals to seal Premier Division title

Denaby United - Doncaster Senior League Premier Division champions
Denaby United - Doncaster Senior League Premier Division champions

Denaby United retained their Doncaster Senior League Premier Division crown with a 2-1 win over their spirited local rivals, Denaby Main.

United went into the game needing three points to land their second successive league championship, while Main knew they had to win to keep their own faint title dream alive.

Tom O'Neill for Denaby Main (red kit) against Denaby United. (Buy this photo D2129TS) Picture: Tony Saxton

Tom O'Neill for Denaby Main (red kit) against Denaby United. (Buy this photo D2129TS) Picture: Tony Saxton

The fact that this was the third Denaby derby of the season, played at Main’s Tickhill Square, a former home of United, could have just added extra spice.

But the fact that three of United’s key players - Steve Ellor, Paul Hemmingway and Tony Mullen - turned out for Main’s Sunday side in the Montagu Cup on Friday, shows that this rivalry perhaps isn’t one of the most heated in local football.

Indeed, as United’s Andrew Price admitted afterwards: “Main should have been two up before we scored, but that’s football.

“I thought it was a good advert for local football, with both teams giving 100 per cent and then shaking hands at the end.”

Main’s first real chance of the game came on 16 minutes, when United lost the ball after a quick free-kick. The impressive Aaron Rumble went clear, but his shot went high and wide.

Although both sides were struggling to play quality football, Main were showing a more urgent desire to win the game and Rumble had another good effort saved by United’s goalkeeper Ben Priestley.

Priestley was called into action again to block Tommy Needham’s shot. The rebound fell to Tom O’Neill but his shot lacked any conviction, allowing Ross Petty to clear.

Priestley’s opposite number Craig Pears was tested a minute before the break, when Ainslie Finney fed Ellor down the United right.

Ellor’s ball found Finney again, but his volley at goal was well held by Pears.

United stepped up a gear in the second half, and James Lundy had the ball in the net after being played through by Hemmingway. The effort was ruled out, however, as the referee spotted a nudge in the build up.

The clearest chance of the game so far fell to Main on the hour mark, when a long ball sailed over the United defence and found Ryan Oakley through on goal.

Oakley lobbed the onrushing Priestley, but his effort fell agonisingly over the bar.

Two minutes later, United took the lead with an almost identical lob, converted by James Lundy.

Main drew level after 70 minutes, when Oakley’s cross-cum-shot was saved by Priestley, only for Chris Hancock to level the scores.

United almost hit back straightaway with a speculative effort from Hemmingway, from all of 50 yards.

With ten minutes to go, United did go back ahead from the penalty spot.

Substitute Dan Noonan controlled excellently from Martin Lawton’s pass, and was brought down by Rumble.

Ellor, who was having a quiet game by his standards, stepped up and converted the penalty with aplomb, leaving United to see out the game and celebrate another title win.