Stop the arguments. The best Sunday side in Nottinghamshire resides right here in Hucknall.
T8’S, named after a High Street bar/cafe and formed only six years ago, have been crowned champions of the Notts Sunday Morning League’s Premier Premier Division.
And given that the honour followed their Notts FA Sunday Senior County Cup success last month, the superiority of Reece ‘Raj’ Jackson’s side cannot be disputed.
T8’s, beaten only three times in all matches this term, sealed the top title with a 6-2 victory over Hucknall derby rivals, GREEN DRAGON, last midweek.
Ironically, the result could help to relegate Dragon. But that was of no concern to Jackson’s troops as a hat-trick from Chay Bettridge signalled the popping of champagne corks.
Bettridge opened the scoring in the first ten minutes, hammering home from 15 yards after neat play down the right by Greg Conn and Damian Mann.
Ten minutes later, Jack Allen turned home a rebounded shot from Mann.
To their credit, Dragon fought back, halved the deficit, enjoyed good possession and also started the second half brightly.
But Bettridge’s second goal stopped them in their tracks as he latched on to a loose backpass. And when he completed his treble on the 70-minute mark with a tidy half-volley from 15 yards, the game was over.
Substitute Danny Gamble made it 5-1 with an unstoppable goal-of-the-season rocket into the top corner. And after a Dragon consolation goal, T8’s had the last word when Allen tapped home a Gamble cross.
T8’S LINE-UP: Northmore/ Conn, Brooks, Hayes D., Murray, Short, Hayes G., Ryan, Mann, Allen J., Bettridge. Subs: Gamble, Peberday, Hunt.
T8’s completed their season in fitting style last Sunday when a cracking, late goal by Jackson clinched a 3-2 win over Gedling Inn that opened up a seven-point gap at the top.
Jackson went on as sub as his side threw away a 2-0 lead after goals from Allen. And deep into stoppage time, he fired a 20-yarder into the top corner for a remarkable winner.
Sadly, it was a different story for Dragon, who failed to lift themselves off the bottom of the table when crashing 9-4 to Trentside in their last match.
Now they must wait to see if the league opts to demote them after one season in the top flight. They might earn a reprieve because there are currently only teams, rather than the full quota of 12, in the division.
Dragon’s hopes were high when Matt Lucas gave them an early lead with a lovely finish.But only half an hour later, they were 6-1 down!
Goals from Luke Brandley and man-of-the-match Jack Matthews threatened a miraculous comeback before Trentside turned the screw again to make it 8-3.
Josh Haskey netted the locals’ fourth, only for the home team to strike again.
Defiant Dragon boss Norma Hatfield said: “I keep the faith and categorically state that we will bounce back next season.”