AFC Rushden & Diamonds were able to celebrate winning the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division as they were presented with the Championship Trophy at the Dog & Duck after their penultimate game of the season.
UCL Vice Chairman George Whiting acted as Master of Ceremonies, and he started with a vote of thanks to league sponsor ChromaSport & Trophies. He then paid tribute to the Diamonds rise from their initial Step 6 starting point in the UCL, before handing over to United Counties League Chairman John Weeks to hand out the winners’ medals and the impressive trophy, complete with a base that recorded the names of league winners throughout the seasons.
After a “champagne shower” and a variety of appropriate chants from both the players and the fans the team moved to the strains of “We Are The Champions” to in front of the Peter De Banke Terrace to have photos taken in front of the club sponsor Hevey Building Supplies signboard. There was then still time for a few “selfies” with the fans, noting that there will be a further opportunity for a lap of honour with the Trophy after the game against Cogenhoe United next Saturday.
A set of pictures recording the presentation, courtesy of Mal Swinden, can be found below, with more at http://malcolmswindenphotography.instaproofs.com/store/
The Diamonds had secured the title a few days earlier with a win at Northampton Sileby Rangers, and they reached 98 points for the season with a game remaining as they defeated Newport Pagnell Town.
The Presentation Ceremony also saw Diamonds Manager Andy Peaks presented with the UCL Premier Manager of the Month award for March 2015.
As well as their final league game on 25th April against Cogenhoe United (where they will be trying to reach the century of league points), they have a chance to achieve a League and Cup Double when they face Potton United in the UCL Knock Out Cup final on Monday 4th May in a match to be held at Leading Drove, Yaxley (kick off 3pm).
The Diamonds will now wait until the meeting of the FA Leagues Committee in mid-May who will decide which Step 4 league the Diamonds will play in next season – either the Southern Football League Division One Central or the Northern Premier League Division One South. That decision will then be ratified at the Annual General Meeting of the league concerned – which are usually in mid-June.
Pictures courtesy of Malcolm Swinden Photography (click on the link to access the Diamonds Photo Gallery for more picture from the presentation as well as other Diamonds’ images and ecommerce options). Copyright Mal Swinden ©2015