Lower Hopton celebrate after clinching Premier Division title

Lower Hopton players and committee celebrate winning the West Riding County Amateur League Premier Division title for the first time.
Lower Hopton players and committee celebrate winning the West Riding County Amateur League Premier Division title for the first time.

Lower Hopton celebrated clinching the West Riding County Amateur League Premier Division title following a 1-1 draw against second placed Newsome on the final day of the season.

Hopton have been members of the league for 49 years but this was the first time they have won the top flight crown and an official crowd of over 360 people gathered at Wood End Road to witness history.

Hopton went into the game on the back of a 16-match winning run and knew a draw against their closest rivals would be enough to clinch the title.

The game did not live up to expectations as a dour battle ensued in which free flowing football was at a premium.

Most of the action was played out in midfield as both sides looked nervous and subdued, a far cry from a feisty league cup clash played a few weeks before.

Hopton looked to have taken the lead in the first half but a diving save from ex-Hopton goalkeeper Nat Moorhouse-Kelly kept out Antony Brown’s shot on the turn to keep the score level.

Newsome worked their way into a good attacking position and won a corner from which unmarked Stephen Marshall scored with a header, which went in off the underside of the crossbar as the visitors led 1-0 at the break.

The second half continued the same way with defences snuffing out any attacking threat.

Hopton eventually ventured forward and Brown was dragged to the floor inside the penalty area as he tried to shield the ball.

Brown sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty as he equalised and the home side played out the remaining minutes without further threat.

As Newsome pushed for a late winner, Hopton looked to hit them on the break but although they were unable to score again, the final whistle was greeted by jubilant scenes as they clinched a first Premier Division title in the club’s history, which was reward for the hard work the Hopton players, management and committee had put in.

n The West Riding County Amateur League are awaiting a decision from the FA and the WRCFA regarding the abandoned game between Hunsworth and West Horton played on March 18.

Hunsworth are bottom of the table but just a point behind Westbrook YMCA.