HOCKEY: Brigg seal Yorkshire Premier league championship

Brigg Hockey Club Mens 1st team are champions of the Yorkshire Premier League after a last minute goal gave them a point from a draw against main rivals Driffield.

Brigg progressed into the penultimate game of the season with the understanding that a win or a draw would confirm them as champions and return them to North League 2 next season, 13 years after being relegated.

It was a big day for long serving Brigg defender Adam Marks. He said:“I was in that side that was relegated 13 years ago and it is great after that long wait to be getting promotion back again.”

An additional incentive for victory was to maintain the unbeaten record at The Pods, a record that extends back nearly two years to when the new pitch was opened.

Furthermore, the opponents Driffield, arrived knowing that only a victory would keep alive their chance of promotion.

The game started with both sides exchanging passages of play and creating chances. Andrew Morris found the ball in the Driffield circle but pulled his shot wide.

As the game progressed the Brigg mistakes sometimes were magnified by a stubborn Driffield team who seemed at home on the slick surface.

Several times Brigg gave the ball away when advancing up the pitch and had to be rescued by stout defending from Adam Marks and Simon Dixon, both had to clear shots off the line to deny Driffield.

The break though came for the visitors after Brigg had been disposed of the ball and a Driffield attacker latched onto a diagonal pass beating Colin Lattimore.

Brigg raised their game and a slick passing move down the right found Joe Hastings in the circle, who lifted it over a Driffield stick and was unlucky to hit the keeper from close range.

Andy Reid also missed a chance to level later on but both opportunities gave Brigg hope that they could achieve the point they needed.

With time running down in the second half, Andrew Dixon made a penetrating run down the left, off-loading to brother Simon on the top of the Driffield circle.

A reverse stick pass found the reliable Andrew Morris who wasted no time in directing the ball into the right corner of the Driffield goal with a crashing drive that dipped over the ‘keeper’s left foot.

The elation around the ground was tangible and the relief was clear to see on the faces of the Brigg players and supporters.

Driffield responded by a final bombardment of the Brigg goal but Morris’ strike left the visitors with too little time to respond.

At the final whistle victory may have eluded Brigg but they were delighted that the league title would be secured at the expense of Driffield. Brigg celebrated the achievement in fitting style and the support, which was excellent on the day, allowed the players to share in their delight.

It was a proud moment for Brigg skipper Andy Dixon, a former colt with the club who went away to University in Chester and played at the higher level of North League 1 before returning to the area and taking on the club captaincy.

This Saturday Brigg entertain Bradford in the season finale - 2pm at the Pods.