As we came into the penultimate week of the 5-a-side league, there was plenty to play for as Ingleton took on Carnforth, Light Church faced Crown Lane – who knew victory in the game would help them put one hand on the league title this season, before Wray took on Capernwray at 9pm, who knew that defeat would spell the end of their title ambitions this season, whilst a draw would make a title victory that little bit more difficult. In the other 9pm game, Sam Dennis’ side took on Lune Valley, as the sides battle for a good, midtable finish this season.
In the 8pm game, Ingleton took on Carnforth in what proved to be a cracking game. Both teams threw caution to the wind and went at the game with attacking intent from the off. This drew some good saves from both keepers but neither side were able to make this count. Ingleton soon grabbed a couple of quick goals, through Josh Whitaker amongst others. However, as became the pattern in this game, one side would score a couple and the other side would catch up. Carnforth soon scored a couple as well, through Damien Kitching. This was a back and forth game both sides keeping scoring, making it a pretty entertaining game to watch. John Gorst unleashed a couple of piledrivers that went flying towards the net and sometimes sneaking in as well. Ingleton keeper Derek Palmer made a couple of good saves, including with his face, stopping the ball going in! A thoroughly entertaining game which ended in a 10-8 victory for Ingleton ensuring they don’t finish bottom this season.
In the other 8pm game, Crown Lane took on Light Church, knowing victory would help them put one hand on the league title. Crown Lane started off superbly, going a few goals to the good up within the opening five minutes, through Dan Parkinson and Luke Parkinson. The title charge had started well! Light Church, however, continued to show lots of heart, as they have done all this season, and soon found that they’d grabbed a goal back, through a tidy finish from Josh. Crown Lane added another two to their tally, making it 5-1, before Light Church got another goal through a penalty, converted well. 5-2. Crown Lane scored again, through Keith Townley, making it 6-2 at half time. As the second half begun, Crown Lane started superbly again. Dan Parkinson, who has been the stand out player for Crown Lane – and probably the league this season – added another to his and Crown Lane’s tally for the night. Crown Lane continued to score goal after goal throughout the second half, with Josh Buchanan coming out of nets to score a good hattrick, while each player added a couple to their own tally, making it 18-2 in the end to Crown Lane. Light Church played with heart throughout the game and worked hard throughout it, but Crown Lane were on a mission and any team in front of them during the evening would likely have had the same treatment!
At 9pm, John Gorst spoke. He spoke about 3 prisoners who had just been released from prison after 36 years. He shared how these men had been wrongfully arrested and imprisoned, being sent to jail at 16 and coming out at 52. He then shared another story, speaking about how one evening, he traveled into Lancaster to get fuel, knowing a certain fuel station being cheaper. However, as he traveled through, there were people all over the streets, coming out of the local nightclubs, as the power had gone out. All these people were walking about in darkness. John went onto say how this is much like this world today – it is full of darkness. He shared how Jesus came into the world to be the light of the world and to save those who are walking about in darkness. He challenged all those there to consider where they are in their lives and whether they are walking with Jesus or not.
In the first 9pm game, there was a blockbuster tie between Capernwray and Wray. Wray needed victory in this game to keep the pressure up on Crown Lane, whilst Capernwray needed to win to help them in their quest for second place. Capernwray started off superbly, going 3 goals up within the first five minutes of the half. Wray soon got a foothold in the game, coming back into it, with Martin Huddleston netting well for them. Capernwray added another few to their tally, their endless pressing and running causing real problems for Wray, this being a rare occasion that Wray would likely have been outrun and worked during a game. Coming to half time and Capernwray had gone 6-1 up, a superb performance from them in this first half. Christian had netted a few good goals, amongst others. Wray weren’t taking the defeat lying down however, as they added two more goals before half time, making it 6-3, scoring through James Burr and Martin Huddleston once more. Moving into the second half and it was Wray who started far the better side, quickly reducing the deficit and drawing level with Capernwray, with 3 quick goals through Stephen Wright and Stephen Harrison. Wray were not going to take defeat lying down. Capernwray bit back again though and soon added another two goals to their tally, making it 8-6. It was a back and forth, breathless game! Capernwray added another goal, via Christian, who ran with the ball and fired it past Usher in the Wray net. 9-6! Surely that meant the game was won for Capernwray? Wray needed to get three goals in quick succession to help them stay in the title race….. but they couldn’t find it! The full time whistle went – 9-8 to Capernwray. Crown Lane are champions!
In the other 9pm game, it didn’t quite have the meaning or excitement of the other 9pm game, but it was still a hard fought game, with some good goals and super saves on display. Lune Valley opened the scoring midway through the half, with a good finish from Jonny Sudell getting them on their way. However, much like the Ingleton vs. Carnforth game, when one side scored, the other scored soon after and made it quite an entertaining game. Sam Dennis’ side levelled the scores up a few moments later, before another good goal from Jonny Sudell put Lune Valley ahead once more. This game was end to end, both sides throwing caution to the wind to try and find the next goal. Sam Dennis’ side levelled the scores up once more, making it 2-2, before James Sutton slotted home, making it 3-2 before half time. A good chance to catch a breath as half time came! A breathless half! Moving into the second half, Sam Dennis’ side levelled the scores up, a good finish through Isaac Dennis, making it 3-3. Much like the first half, one side scored followed by the other. Can you guess what happened after Sam Dennis’ side scored? Lune Valley scored soon after! Dan Sudell this time netted well. 4-3. Both sides scored once more, with two more good goals, making it 5-4. Both sides kept at it and as the game was drawing to a close, Jonny Sudell scored once more to make it 6-4 before Sam Dennis’ side added a fifth, making it 6-5 at full time, a good win for Lune Valley.
So there we have it – 1 round of games left but our champions have been confirmed! Crown Lane are this years five-a-side league champions, after finishing in 2nd place for consecutive years. This is the first time for a number of years that a champion has been decided before the final game of the season! A superb season for Crown Lane, who could finish it off unbeaten if they beat Roeburndale Rascals on Wednesday evening. Alongside that game, there are fixtures between Sam Dennis’ side and Carnforth, Capernwray face Garstang and Lune Valley take on Chipping.