MONKTON Swifts won the Division 1 title for the first time since the 2006/07 season as they earned a comprehensive 5-3 win over Merlins Bridge on Wednesday night (Apr 24).
Going into the game the Wizards sat just a point behind the Swifts who knew they would need to win to claim the title while Merlins Bridge knew they would need to win to take the title fight to the last game of the season.
After an even start it was the Swifts who went ahead when Tom Powell sent James Russell through and the striker scored to make it 1-0 to the home side.
With 25 minutes gone the Swifts made it 2-0 as Ben Nicholas fired in from just outside the box.
The Swifts were clearly up for it as Dylan Davies then came close to adding a third but Bridge keeper Gary Thomas kept his side in it with a good save.
That looked to be a crucial stop as moments later the Wizards were back in it when Laurie Haworth set up Adam Hawkins to score and reduce the gap.
It remained 2-1 until half time with the Swifts on course for the title while the Wizards knew they would need a big second half to turn the score around.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Swifts restored their two goal lead as Paul Miller, only on as a sub minutes earlier, tapped in from Blake James’ cross.
Davies then came close again for the home side but he saw his header go just wide of the post.
Richard Hughes then came close for the Wizards but he saw his header saved.
The Swifts looked to be edging towards the title as with twenty minutes to go they scored a fourth when Miller cut inside and fired in off the post to make it 4-1.
They continued to put the pressure on and with ten minutes to go they made it 5-1 as sub Ryan Griffiths score to all but put Monkton’s name on the League trophy.
Will and Laurie Haworth both scored late on for the Wizards to add some respectability to the scoreline but it wasn’t going to stop Monkton taking the league title.
On Saturday (Apr 27), Merlins Bridge will finish their season away to Hakin and Monkton will look to finish their season with another win when they host Goodwick United.