HEDON RANGERS under fifteens football team are Sunday league champions! The team achieved promotion from the Drypool League to the Myton League having finished the season with the highest points they have ever achieved; winning 14, only 3 losses and 1 draw. They also had an impressive 100% home win record winning all 9 games.
But the winning statistics don’t really reveal the drama that has taken place during that season. One player, Cam Maltby, broke his leg in two places during a match in November and had to wear a pot for two months!
Obviously such incidents are very rare and “unthinkable” as team manager Darren Walker puts it, but such things do happen! Darren has told us that Cam required surgery to insert pins into his leg, but having recovered he is looking forward to returning to football very soon. Darren said that Cam had made a strong impact within the team and his determination to win the ball and his commitment were factors greatly missed by the team each Sunday.
But the real excitement was in the matches. Darren Walker gives us an insight into the season which we are delighted to republish below:
“This season we are going to push for promotion”, the immortal words all managers say at their first training session of the new season. And we were no different. At that first session we set out our hopes for the coming season, and changes we were going to bring into place from the start. The major change we implemented was to introduce a dedicated fitness training session, boy did the players like that idea!!!
“Pre-season tournaments showed the potential the team had for the coming months, playing great football and being competitive in the games, so far as to be unbeaten in one tournament, although unbelievably we did not progress from the group stage. Hedon Rangers tournament was the perfect opportunity to showcase our new home kit and new shirt sponsor, Fleet Factors. A massive thank you to Dave James for this generous sponsorship.
“So the season began, with a Cup game away to Scarborough Athletic, a Myton League team. The lads showed huge determination and commitment to the game. We eventually lost the game 4-0, but again showed the potential of the team. The players’ performance was complimented on by a Scarborough player’s parent, who was there watching their son. This led to First Hull Trains sponsoring our new training kit (See Hedon Blog: New Hedon Ranger’s kit).
“Our first league game was a home game against Sproatley Juniors, a derby to start the season off! It was a tightly fought match, which we had to come from behind twice to win the game 3-2. We did not allow our heads to drop at anytime throughout the 80 minutes, which proved to be one of our major strengths through the entire fixtures. The winning goal being the last kick of the game, scored with a stooping header to seal the win, with all players never giving up on the game.
“Sunday 17th November brought about one of the most difficult and darkest days we have ever experienced since the team started. We had been drawn in the Plate against another Myton League team, Westella and Willerby Juniors. This would be a major test for the boys, as this team were previous Myton League winners and always finish in the top 3 of the league. For the first 10 minutes of the game, it was a close affair with good passing being displayed by both sides. It was 0-0 when the unthinkable occurred. From a 50-50 tackle, which both players were committed to, Cam Maltby suffered a break of the tibia and fibula of his right leg. The game was brought to an immediate halt, with all players physically shocked from the injury. Medical treatment started straight away, with a paramedic being on site quickly. The game was then abandoned, as it was clear that all players from both teams were too upset to continue. This game was then replayed the following Sunday, although it was a defeat for us, Dave Maltby, Paul Rouse, myself and all parents were incredibly proud of the brave performance given by our boys.
“The league matches then continued, with us putting in strong performances each week and getting winning results. This season, in our opinion, the league has been the strongest it has ever been with the top of the table very tight and any one of 5 teams fighting for promotion. We hit the heady heights of the top of the league at the beginning of 2014, with a fantastic run of victories. Promotion becoming less of a dream and more of a possibility!!!
“After an away defeat to Sproatley, but with other results going our way, promotion was finally guaranteed. Next target, League Champions. This was now between ourselves and Sproatley. All we needed was one victory from our remaining two games to make the dream a reality.
“Our penultimate game was away against Howden Town, who were fighting relegation. Once again our players had proved they had the title spirit within them, as they battled hard against a team who had raised their game when playing us. When the final whistle blew, and the score at 3-2 to us, the dream of becoming league champions became a reality. Although to be honest this is still sinking in for me!!!
“We finished the league on a high with a 6-2 win against Driffield Tigers, leaving the points gap between first and second (Hedon and Sproatley) at an impressive 7 points. This final game also meant we had a 100% home win record in the league, scoring 30 goals and conceding 9.
“For the whole season we scored 46 goals and conceded only 22, being the least goals conceded by any team in the Drypool league. Each and every player in the team has contributed to our success this year, including the 3 new signings who joined us late in the season but have instantly strengthened the squad. Throughout the season the boys increasing fitness levels have proven to be instrumental to winning matches and the title.”
Darren Walker – Hedon Rangers U15’s manager
Darren would like to give his special thanks to:
- The players for listening to us, especially during the fitness sessions;
- The parents for their continued support, and being taxi services to their sons (trips to Scarborough, Bridlington, Driffield and Howden (all Hull Boys League teams!!))
- Fleet Factors for sponsoring the new home kit.
- First Hull Trains for sponsoring the new training top.
- Charlie Ineson for Goal-keeping training for both of our keepers.
- Dave Maltby and Paul Rouse, for without their help, input and support I would be unable to do this on my own.
Hedon Blog says: “Congratulations to the team on their promotion success! Many thanks to Darren Walker for his report.”
Regular reports on Hedon Rangers matches and other local team and sports news can be found in the Eastside Newsletter published by the Eastside Community Sports Trust, who can be contacted via the website.