Royd keen to start the title celebrations

ROYD Club may well be breaking out the bubbly after tomorrow’s top of the table clash with Stallions as they look to clinch the Division Two title just two years after emerging from the demise of the former Brandy Wine club.

Royd lead Stallions by just one point with two matches of the season remaining. A victory for the Mytholmroyd-based side would mean Stallions would be unable to overhaul them on the final day.

However, Royd could still come under threat from third-placed Triangle who are three points behind after the same number of games, but the Brighouse side have a significantly inferior goals difference.

All three have already secured promotion - but the title is the prize they covet most.

Finishing on top of the pile would mark be a swift turnaround in fortunes for a Royd side whose first season was very much a learning curve for the majority of their newly-formed squad.

A number of players joined from Hebden Bridge Saints’ junior set-up with the 2010-11 season being their first taste of open-age football.

While success this season would be a cause of great delight for them, it will also bring a huge sense of pride and satisfaction to elder statesman Dan Howarth, the club secretary and central midfield stalwart.

“We played Stallions in the first game of the season and were winning 4-1 before they pulled it back to 4-4,” said Howarth. “Obviously it will be another tough game, but we know what we have to do.

“We suffered from an indifferent start but since October we have won 13 and drawn one of our 14 games so we have built up some momentum.

“It would be nice to finish the season with the title. Brandy Wine lost loads of players and when we started up we only had about four or five before quite a few came over from Hebden Bridge Saints.

“We have a predominantly young squad - I think there are only two of us over 30 - and they are all good friends.

“I am sure they will stay around and this could be the start of a successful time for them.”

Stallions are equally up for the challenge after missing out on promotion at the death for the last two or three seasons.

For the last two they had been 10 points ahead by Christmas only to blow up spectacularly in the latter stages. As a result they are doubly determined to get it right this time.

“Promotion is nice, but we want the title,” said skipper Paul Henderson. “We didn’t do ourselves any favours by losing 3-2 against Triangle last week. We need to pull our fingers out and win the next two games to make sure.” Henderson has been sidelined with an ankle ligament injury but is determined to return for tomorrow’s clash.

“It is going to be tough because they are going to come out fighting,” he added.

“They will want it as much as we do.

“We cannot afford to lose.”

FIXTURES

TOMORROW

Barclays Premier League: Man Utd v Everton, Liverpool v West Brom, Wolves v Man City

Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League.

Premier Division: Bradshaw v Halifax Hammers, FC Royal of Pellon v Carrington Rangers, King Cross CB & AC v Mount Tabor, Shoulder FC Northowram v Elland Sports.

Division One: Cock & Bottle v Ovenden Amateurs, Elland Sports Reserves v Hollins Holme, FC Champs v Thornhill Briggs, Halifax Rangers v Queens Head, Lee Mount v Oddfellows.

Division Two: Rastrick Bowling Club v Hebden Bridge AFC, Ryburn Valley v Ryburn United, Stallions FC v Royd Club FC, Stubbing Wharf v King Cross CB&AC Reserves, Triangle v Greetland Goldstars.

MONDAY

npower Championship: Leicester v West Ham.