Record for Ryan as Welfare claim crown

Staveley MW champions of the Northern Counties East League
Staveley MW champions of the Northern Counties East League

Champagne corks popped amid scenes of celebration after Staveley MW were crowned champions of the Northern Counties East League Division One.

The showdown at Inkersall Road attracted the Welfare’s biggest crowd of the season of 123 and fans were in jubilant mood as a 2-2 draw sealed the title which will bring them Premier Division football next season.

It has been a fantastic season for the club as they lifted the crown with two league games remaining.

Those two matches are away but Staveley sealed the title in front of their own fans.

Just a point was needed and they banked one thanks to the draw with Louth Town.

Hero of the day was Ryan Damms who netted both of the goals.

They were his 35th and 36th strikes of the season and took his total of Welfare goals to 100.

Damms has been in excellent form this term and his double against Louth made him the first striker in Staveley Welfare history to reach the three-figure mark.

The first goal came after five minutes when Andrew Fox was upended by the Louth keeper in the penalty area.

Damms slotted home from 12 yards and he added another in the 68th minute following a free kick from Fox.

It was played back across goal by Joe Thornton and Damms reacted first to head it over the line.

After the final whistle, NCEL chairman David Morall handed the trophy to Staveley skipper Michael Staley.

The draw puts Welfare on an uncatchable total of 81 points, 12 clear of second-placed Yorkshire Amateur.

Welfare manager Billy Fox, who has expertly guided his men to the title, was delighted after the Louth game when he praised his players.

He said: “It’s all down to the lads, not me. They have been magnificent and thoroughly deserve their day.’’

Welfare could be on course for the double.

Last night, Staveley were due to travel to meet Pontefract Collieries in the quarter-final of the League Cup.

Pictured are the triumphant players with the NCEL Division One Trophy.

They are: back row - Scott Dinnigan, Kyle Fores-Chambers, Ryan Damms, Jordan Eagers, Joe McGuire, Chris Coy, Andrew Fox, Lee Hill, Ashley Foyle, assistant manager Nigel Ransom, manager Billy Fox, physio Dave Tromans.

Front: Aymen Tahar, Joe Thornton, Richard Patterson, captain Michael Staley, Chris Fawcus.