Delight for manager batch as Wroxham are crowned Ridgeons League champions

Proud Wroxham manager David Batch hailed his players after clinching the Ridgeons Premier Division title on Saturday with three games to spare.

Proud Wroxham manager David Batch hailed his players after clinching the Ridgeons Premier Division title on Saturday with three games to spare.

Top goalscorer Paul Cook and substitute Ben Jones gave Wroxham the vital victory they needed over Haverhill Rovers as Brantham lost 1-0 at Ely City.

It's the Yachtsmen's first league championship since the 2006/2007 season and their eighth Premier Division title in the club's 120-year history.

'The players have been absolutely brilliant for me and a credit to the football club,' said Batch. 'The title was won in May when the players came back training when every other football club were sitting on holiday - that was the difference.

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'We're the first Norfolk side to go from Step 5 to Step 4 this season and we have to spend a lot less than another Norfolk side that are going for promotion.'

Any title jitters from the Yachtsmen were settled early on when striker Cook headed Wroxham into a dream seventh-minute lead from Gavin Lemmon's corner.

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The hosts controlled the game from that moment on and should have put the game out of sight a lot earlier than they did.

Skipper Graham Challen went close with his stabbed effort finding the woodwork following Lemmon's free-kick into the box, before Jones sealed the points with a powerful drive which goalkeeper Liam Savage should have dealt with better at his near post.

'It was a funny game as it was 1-0 for a large period, but we were so comfortable throughout and Haverhill never had a shot that really tested our goalkeeper,' said Batch. 'Leading 1-0 is always an issue and we had to put the game to bed and Jonesey (Ben Jones) showed good energy and anticipation to get the second goal.'

Wroxham are now waiting to find out which league they will be placed into next season, with the Ryman League and the Evo-Stik League the two options.

Batch added: 'I want us to go into the Ryman League as I think if we get offered the other league I am not so sure if we would be able to take it due to the horrible travelling distances. So we're crossing our fingers and hoping we get into the Ryman League.'

The battle is now on for the minor placings, with Wisbech hot on the heels of Ely and Brantham. They did their chances no harm with a 2-0 win at Felixstowe & Walton United, thanks to goals from Adam Millson, from the penalty spot, and Ollie Pinner.

Norwich United were 3-1 home winners over FC Clacton, but Dereham Town were beaten 2-0 at Woodbridge Town and drop to a disappointing 10th in the table.

One place behind are Gorleston, beaten 2-1 at Stanway Rovers.

Diss Town were beaten 1-0 at Kirkley & Pakefield, whose goal came from Michael Tacon, while relegated Great Yarmouth Town slumped 4-0 at home to Mildenhall Town.

In Division One, Thetford beat March 3-1 and could add the title to their guaranteed promotion when they travel to second-placed Godmanchester Rovers on Wednesday. Thetford are three points ahead with two to play – and a superior goal difference of just one.

Downham earned a point in a 1-1 draw at Stowmarket, while Fakenham lost 1-0 at Brightlingsea Regent and Swaffham went down 4-2 at home to Ipswich Wanderers.

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