Lingdale clinch dramatic title decider

The Eskvale and Cleveland League was still in the melting pot going into last Wednesday’s game between Lingdale United and Lealholm with both sides knowing a victory would hand them the title.

A draw would mean the onus was on Lingdale to win their final game of the season against Great Ayton United.

The first half hour saw both sides playing a little bit cagey especially given the circumstances.

Lingdale were awarded a free kick on 34 minutes when Mike Woodhouse was brought down and as Andy Smith floated the ball into the Lealholm penalty area Anthony Jones rose high to head home.

Lealholm tried to get straight back into the game but Lingdale were defending well and on 40 minutes the ball was played into the feet of Wayne Skelton and he turned and curled his shot left footed into the corner of the net to extend the lead.

Lealholm tried hard to get back into the game but things were not going for them.

The second half started with both sides still battling, Lealholm to get back into the game and Lingdale wanting another to settle the issue.

Five minutes into the second period, Lingdale grabbed a third goal. James Swann picked up the ball on the left and his shot was blocked but it fell for Skelton to drive home a third goal.

Lingdale were in the ascendancy as Lealholm looked deflated and a long ball forward saw Breckon lift the ball over the onrushing keeper but it also cleared the goal.

Skelton went looking for his hat-trick and a shot was just wide before the keeper clawed another Skelton effort away for a corner. Lealholm kept battling but the nearest they came was when a Crooks free-kick went straight to the keeper.

Lealholm had another couple of efforts but they rarely troubled the home keeper and the title was sealed with three minutes to go when Swann picked up the ball before rounding the keeper to tap in a fourth.

The win saw Lingdale pick up the league title to go with the three cups they had already won as Lealholm finished runners-up despite only losing twice all season.

In the final, rearranged game of the season, Lingdale celebrated by hitting Great Ayton for double figures in a 10-3 victory.

In the final of the Eileen Hodgson Bowl, Loftus Athletic beat Boosbeck 4-2.