Pontefract Collieries rounded off their strong finish to the Baris NCE Division One season by knocking 10 goals past bottom side Askern Villa .
The 10-2 result confirmed that Colls finished in fifth place, only seven points off a promotion place, and underlined the potential of the squad assembled by joint managers Duncan Bray and Nick Handley.
The only loser for Ponte was recently crowned player of the season Brenton Leister, whose frustration at missing the closing stages of the season through injury was compounded by Steve Lyon taking the opportunity against the weakest defence in the league to draw level on 14 goals and deny the midfielder outright ownership of the golden boot awarded to the top scorer.
Andy Catton started the rout, chesting down a long throw from Gary Lumley before volleying home on five minutes. The floodgates opened and the points were wrapped up within 10 minutes.
Kingsley Wetherald added a second, latching onto a fine pass from Catton, who had in turn been set up by Wayne Brook, and the third was scored a minute later, when Askern keeper Danny Jones was only able to parry a fierce Liam Radford 25-yarder. Brook popped up in the box to pounce on the rebound and smash the ball into the roof of the net.
Radford joined the party, racing onto the end of a fine Lumley header to round the keeper and Ponte were four up with less than nine minutes played.
To the surprise of everyone in the ground Askern pulled a goal back through Ryan Wardle, but Colls soon restored their four-goal lead as Lyon cracked home a first time effort from Catton’s cross.
Again Villa rallied and Wardle netted from close range. However, it was Ponte on the attack again soon after with Wetherald on hand to score after the Askern keeper could not hold Catton’s fierce shot.
They then made it 7-2 at the break when Brook finished off the best move of the match, which had involved Mark Simpson and Radford.
Half-time saw Nathan Perks replace the excellent Brook, the local favourite operating in an unfamiliar deep-lying role, shielding the back three of Adam Robinson, Lumley and players’ player of the season, Michael Staley.
Within seconds Radford struck the bar, but he was soon involved with Catton to set up Lyon for another goal.
Manager Bray abandoned his “other half” Handley on the bench, replacing Simpson with 20 minutes left, and he combined with Luke Durham to set up Catton to make it nine. Wetherald then completed his hat-trick to take the score into double figures.
Tempers became frayed in the closing minutes and Colls had Wetherald sent-off following an untidy, petulant scuffle.
But the red card could not spoil a fine day’s work for Ponte, who have finished the campaign in excellent form. After the progress of the closing weeks next season cannot come soon enough for the Pontefract side.