Ripley Rangers under 13s secured the league title at the weekend with a 3-0 win over Darley Dale.
Last weekend, the lads won promotion (although the News’ headline jumped the gun by claiming the title was already won, so apologies for getting ahead of ourselves!) but they knew they could be going up as champions if they beat Darley Dale.
Dale kicked off and looked like they were up for it as a win for them would see them have a chance of clinching third, but Rangers were also up for it and looked strong from the first whistle.
The Dale keeper looked in fine form and his handing had been great when dangerous balls came into his box from a few corners.
It was from a corner that Rangers took the lead on 20 minutes when Max Didcock took control and fired an unstoppable shot into the far corner. The rest of the first half saw Danny Bain and Didcock start to take control.
After the break, the game became end to end and Ben Rose, Chester Norman and Sam Clifton were all calmly on hand in the Rangers defence to keep Dale at bay.
Rangers extended the lead when Didcock scored his seco nd of the game, rising above everyone else to power a header into the far corner with 15 minutes left.
With five minutes to go the game was properly made safe when Joe Martin went on a brilliant run to go past three Dale defenders and then unselfishly square the ball to Archie Paskin, who had timed his run perfectly to fire the ball into the net for 3-0.
It was a brilliant end to the game with the final whistle blowing soon after, bringing with it wild scenes of celebration.
Rangers had been top of the league all season and deserved to be champions. They had done it in style with a fantastic all round team performance.
MOTM was Sam Clifton for a brilliant defensive display and the match was sponsored by Stringfellows Trade Outlet, Nottingham Road, Ripley.