Rugby Union: Wetherby clinch Yorkshire Three championship with game to spare

The Wetherby RUFC team celebrate after beating Stocksbridge (Photo: Guy Roberts)

The Wetherby RUFC team celebrate after beating Stocksbridge (Photo: Guy Roberts)

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Red hot Wetherby secured back to back league championships in clinical style on Saturday, racking up 63 points to ease past Stocksbridge at Grange Park.

The simple bonus point victory confirmed Wetherby’s status as champions of Yorkshire Division Three and ended the spirited challenge of second-placed Thornensians.

With one game of the season to play, the Reds now have an unassailable 13-point lead over the South Yorkshiremen and will receive the trophy at a presentation following Saturday’s final game of the season against bottom of the league Rotherham Phoenix.

“To win back to back championships is amazing,” said head coach Mike McHugh-Hick.

Wetherby have been the front runners in the county third tier all season and won a crucial clash against Thorne’ 28-23 earlier this month.

In securing the title, the Reds have scored more than 1,000 points for a second season in a row and have only one partial blemish to their name, a 10-10 draw against Goole.

Touch down: Wetherby were at their brilliant best in racking up 40 points in the first half against Stocksbridge (Photo: Guy Roberts)

Touch down: Wetherby were at their brilliant best in racking up 40 points in the first half against Stocksbridge (Photo: Guy Roberts)

But despite wrapping up the championship, McHugh Hicks admitted the squad were still reeling from the National Junior Vase semi-final disappointment against Buxton two weeks ago.

“Losing the cup game has been a big blow to everyone but winning the league definitely softens it.

“The league is great. We can’t lose sight that we have had one disappointment in two years.

“Everybody would have taken back to back championships, that’s the consistency whereas the cup was a one-off. To go unbeaten for two years is pretty amazing and probably never been done before.

Wetherby complete their season against Rotherham Phoenix (Photo: Guy Roberts)

Wetherby complete their season against Rotherham Phoenix (Photo: Guy Roberts)

Wetherby will now concentrate attentions of becoming the first team to retain the Yorkshire Silver Trophy and in doing so, complete a double double of league and cup successes.

Northallerton or Wensleydale will await in the cup semi-finals on May 7 before a possible final classic against Thornensians on May 14.

“We will be doing everything to go out in style and win the double double,” McHugh-Hicks added.