Stump are Halifax AFL champions

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Stump Cross made up for heartbreak 12 months ago when they clinched the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL title last night.

They needed to beat Warley Rangers at West Vale in the final Premier Division fixture of the season to overhaul Ryburn United on goal difference and had little trouble in doing so, winning 4-0.

Dean Lawrence settled their nerves with a goal almost from the kick off and Tom Robinson made it 2-0 following a contentious penalty decision after half an hour.

Challenge Cup finalists Warley had plenty of possession but provided little threat and a fine jinking run and strike into the top corner from Robinson made it 3-0 on 75 minutes.

Substitute Josh Hiley completed the scoring to take Stump above Ryburn, who had signed off with a 5-1 win over Warley at the weekend.

It was payback time for Stump, who had been forced to sit and suffer 12 months earlier when they had finished their fixtures and Ryburn overtook them with a 1-0 win over Midgley United on the final day.

Tony Kniveton’s side have had an up and down 20-14-15 season.

They were sitting pretty in the title race until a disastrous run up to the start of April, which included four defeats in five games, left them vulnerable to strong-finishing Ryburn.

However, Stump have won six games in 21 days this month to be champions for the first time since their back-to-back successes in 1997-98 and 1998-99.

Sowerby Bridge beat Halifax Irish Centre 3-2 in last night’s other game. That took them up to fourth in Division One.