Sabden FC crowned champions

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Sabden clinched the Harry Dewhurst Memorial League title with a thrilling away win over championship contenders Great Harwood.

Though both teams were locked on 31 points prior to kick off, only victory would seal top spot for Sabden due to their opponents boasting a better goal difference.

The hosts started brightly and had a goal wiped out in the 10th minute before Sabden stopper Tom Diggins produced a stunning save to prevent Jamie Slater’s attempt from arrowing in to the top corner.

It was to prove something of a turning point as, against the run of play, Charlie Collinge was needlessly floored in the Harwood penalty area.

David Fallon`s 22nd minute penalty was initially saved by Joe Roscow, but Fallon followed up to smash in the rebound.

With their tails up, Sabden stepped up several gears, and three minutes after the opening goal, the lead was doubled. Gari Haslam played Fallon in behind the defence and he ran through to fire left-footed past Roscow.

The home side found a way back in to the fixture early in the second half when Ryan Ellis upended Slater inside the penalty area after failing to cut out a hopeful punt forward.

Jordan Dunn then sent Diggins the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-1.

But Harwood’s joy was gone in 60 seconds when Sabden restored their two-goal cushion.

Collinge controlled a Fallon pass, side-stepped two defenders before launching a 20-yard strike into the top right corner – undoubtedly one of the goals of the season!

With Harwood beginning to tire, Sabden seized control and a 77th minute Astin through ball was chipped over Roscow by Collinge to make it 4-1.

Harwood did score a consolation on 83 minutes, with the rapid Haider Shazad beating the offside trap before slotting home.