Stamford AFC watched on as Shaw Lane lifted the Evo-Stik First Division South league title on Saturday to earn promotion into the Premier Division.
How expectations have changed for the Daniels over the season. After a great pre-season Stamford expected to be rivals for the likes of champions Shaw Lane having come down last season,but on Saturday, like far too much of the season, the Daniels were second best losing 3-1 away in Barnsley.
Shaw Lane have made a dramatic rise through the leagues since forming in 2012, winning the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division in 2012/13 to move into the NCEFL Division One which they won promotion from as runners up in 2013/14.
The next season they won the NCEFL Premier Division before missing out on promotion from the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South in 2015/16, coming runners up in the play-off final. Despite their advancements through the leagues there were just 275 at the ground on Saturday to see The Ducks lift the trophy.
With second place Witton Albion deducted three points in midweek, for fielding an ineligible player against Stocksbridge Park Steels on February 28, Shaw Lane were crowned champions before kick off, so Stamford gave the home side a guard of honour before kick off.
On the field Gav Allott gave The Ducks the lead in the 23rd minute but Stamford stayed in the match until the 75th minute when Oscar Radford doubled the lead when he sunk a free kick directly into the Stamford net.
In the 86th minute Stamford skipper Jordan Smith pulled a goal back but just three minutes later Ben Algar ensured the homeside broke the 100 points mark for the season (103) with their 32nd league victory.
In contrast the Daniels finished with 48 points and a goal difference of -18, picked up from 13 wins, nine draws and 20 defeats.
Shaw Lane AFC: Jon Stewart, Neil Austin, Oscar Radford, Kelvin Lugsden, Ryan Qualter, Jonathan Wafula, Alex Byrne, Spencer Harris, Steven Istead, Gavin Allott, Kieran Lugsden.
Stamford AFC Sam Donkin, Curtis Hartley, Liam Marshall (Chris Hollist), Mahmoud Juma (Jack Oldham), Delroy Gordon, Sam Hill, Laurie Wilson, Jake Duffy, Jon Challinor, Jordan Smith, John King (Rogan McGeorge).