Last game defeat relegates Pontefract Collieries

Kane Reece, whose goal proved in vain for Pontefract Collieries.
Kane Reece, whose goal proved in vain for Pontefract Collieries.

Pontefract Collieries took their fight to the very last game, but were relegated from the Toolstation NCE Premier Division after losing to second-placed Handsworth Parramore on Tuesday night.

The game should have taken place last Wednesday, but had to be postponed because of vandal damage that left a power cable exposed and no power at the Pontefract ground.

Engineering Building Services Ltd came to the rescue with the repair work carried out and Colls were able to reschedule the game for this week.

Results last weekend left them needing a win to stay up and they raised hopes when going ahead on 24 minutes through Kane Reece.

But Handsworth showed why they have gone so close to winning the championship as they hit back within five minutes, Kieran Wells netting.

At 1-1 at half-time the great escape was still on for Ponte, but after Simon Harrison put the visitors ahead on the hour they became desperate and left gaps at the back, which were exposed by their opponents.

Wells added his second then the floodgates opened with Handsworth going on to win 6-1.

Alex Rippon, Harrison again and Jon Froggatt, with an 86th minute penalty, completed Colls’ misery.

Pontefract had given themselves a chance of avoiding the drop when winning their previous two games and keeping clean sheets in both.

They followed up their 1-0 win over Clipstone with a victory by the same score last Saturday when they travelled to play a Staveley MW side that have finished in eighth place.

It was a battling effort with Mark Whitehouse scoring the only goal on 27 minutes.

But Ponte were not helped by other results, which left them third from bottom and that is where they have finished.

Their points tally of 39 meant they finished above Nostell MW and Brigg Town, but one behind Armthorpe Welfare and three behind Athersley Recreation and Parkgate – and they return to Division One just a year after celebrating promotion.