Falcons target Teesside League after double win

Thirsk Falcons
Thirsk Falcons

AMID jubilant scenes on Tuesday night, Thirsk Falcons reclaimed the Harrogate Premier League title after a 6-2 victory over rivals Bedale.

It was a superb end to the season for George Peirse’s troops who lifted the League Challenge Cup for the third consecutive year two weeks ago.

After an unbelievably successful few years in the Harrogate League, Falcons are looking to better themselves in a higher league.

An application has already been sent in to play in the Teesside League next season.

Peirse is hopeful it will be successful.

“I’m 99.9 per cent sure we’ll be playing in the Teesside League next season,” said Peirse.

“We’ve had a good time in the Harrogate League, it will be sad to go. But it will be like a cup final every week in the other league.

“We won’t be beating clubs nine, ten or 11 nil, they will all be hard games.

“I’ve been manager here for four years now and in that time we’ve won eight trophies.

“But we need to move up and better ourselves.”

Thirsk went into Tuesday’s blockbuster knowing a draw would be enough to secure the title on goal difference.

Bedale simply had to win the fixture to claim a double of their own, after they lifted the North Riding Cup over Thirsk in April.

But it was Thirsk who drew first blood when Stu Rose slammed home in the first half.

Bedale hit back to level the match. But a 25-yard free-kick by Dave Young, before the break, put Thirsk back in the ascendency, before a penalty by Young, right on the stroke of half-time, gave them a 3-1 lead at the break.

In the second period it was one way traffic.

Thirsk banged in three more goals, with Bedale grabbing a consolation, to lift back-to-back title wins.

Thirsk were due to play on Saturday too. But they were awarded a walkover win after opponents Otley Rovers couldn’t raise a side.

“I was chuffed to bits,” continued Peirse.

“After losing the North Riding Cup final we needed to go on and win something.

“And we did that by winning the League Challenge and the league.

“Of course I’m still a bit disappointed we didn’t win the North Riding.

“But if someone would have told me we’d win the league,double at the start of the season I would have been pleased.

“It’s been a great effort by the lads. They saved the best until last against Bedale.

“We played really well and deserved the win. It’s been a tough end to the season and Bedale have pushed us all the way in recent weeks.

“We’re just happy to win it and push on to next season now.”

Peirse is expecting a final decision by the Teesside League in early June.

“I can’t see there being a problem,” he added.

If Falcons are successful in their attempts to move up the football pyramid they will begin life in Division Two of their new league.

This means they will be able to compete in the North Riding Cup again next season.

The Harrogate Premier League, meanwhile, could be all change with rumours Bedale, Kirk Deighton and Harlow Hill are also looking to move elsewhere.

That would mean Pateley Bridge and Kirkby Malzeard, who have finished in the relegation places, would be reprieved.

Keep up to date with Thirsk’s dream to move out of the Harrogate Premier League by reading the Ripon Gazette.