Meath display championship pedigree to edge title decider
Meath United were crowned Premier Division champions for a second successive season after overcoming title rivals Inter Lucia in a winner-takes-all showdown on Sunday. The Bow outfit recorded a 3-1 triumph to establish an insurmountable fi
By PHIL RAVITZ
Meath United were crowned Premier Division champions for a second successive season after overcoming title rivals Inter Lucia in a winner-takes-all showdown on Sunday.
The Bow outfit recorded a 3-1 triumph to establish an insurmountable five-point gap over long-time leaders Inter and retain their crown after a double from Paul Linger and a late effort from Chrissie Baker settled the title decider.
Meath took the lead midway through the first half when Linger slotted home, but Inter hit back to draw level minutes before half-time.
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The Bow side continued to play the better football after the break and regained the lead after 51 minutes when Linger added his second.
The prolific forward could have netted a hat-trick when Meath were awarded a penalty after Danny Bradshaw was felled in the area, but Linger put his spot-kick wide as the pressure began to affect both sides.
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But Baker settled the nerves seven minutes from time as he chipped in from the edge of the box to seal the outcome and confirm Meath's second straight title triumph.
The Division Three title will also be decided by a top-of-the-table clash this weekend when championship contenders New North Rangers and William Fitt Tigers meet at the Jubilee Sports Ground, Chingford.
The pair have dominated the division this season and warmed up for their decisive clash with comfortable wins in the Division Three Cup semi-finals as New North overcame Chettle Court Rangers 9-3, while William Fitt were 3-0 winners over Acorn.
The Dick Coppock Cup clash between Division Two rivals Concordia and Springfield provided more entertainment as the two sides reached the end of extra-time still locked at 2-2, before Concordia won the shootout 6-5 in sudden death.
In Division Two, Arbour Athletic's faint hopes of snatching the title from Stepney rivals East Moore were finally extinguished in a 1-1 draw with Leyton Trades. East Moore increased their lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 win over Reama following a double from Ricky Field.
EFY returned to the summit in Division Two after leapfrogging former leaders Adriatiku with a 2-1 win, but Stoke Newington remain favourites for the title. The Hackney side, who are just two points behind EFY with four games in hand, meet Adriatiku this weekend.