UYWAFC Firsts have secured promotion as champions of Northern 3B, beating their closest rivals Northumbria on Wednesday. A 1-0 victory, with Ellie Whittaker scoring the only goal, saw them surge 11 points clear of the second place team, an unassailable lead with two matches still to be played.
After drawing in the first game of the season, the ladies have gone on a six game winning run which has seen them race to the top of the league and stay there.
Promotion in such sensational style was always likely for this squad, captained by Sophie Jermy. They had not lost a match on 22 Acres for approaching three years until their extra-time defeat by Durham in the cup last week, and still defend an unbeaten home record in the league. Such dominance on home turf has been matched by imperious form away from home, with only one draw- at Leeds in their opening game- and no losses in this year’s league whilst playing away from the 22.
Characteristic of their campaign was their unbelievable goalscoring run, beating Leeds 7-0, York St John 6-0 and Bradford 11-1 in consecutive matches. The Black and Gold’s potent front line has been led, more often than not alone, by talismanic striker Anty Cole.
This has been coupled with an impressive defence- marshalled effectively by the likes of Rhiannon Roy and goalkeeper Anna Cook- that have conceded just 4 goals in 7 games. This combination has ensured they will be plying their trade in the division above next season, alongside the team that broke their unbeaten home record – Durham seconds.
Last year’s captain and this year’s UYWAFC President, Ellie Whittaker, spoke to Nouse following her club’s promotion. Whittaker said that the club’s recognition as a focus sport made them believe they were on the right track: “When we became a focus sport, it reaffirmed the belief that this club is special. With new coaches, and a lot of talented new players across both squads, the club has thrived and progression is unlike anything seen in any other club in York.
“It has been an honour to lead such an incredible, talented and hard-working club and I can’t wait to see them continuing developing for years to come.”
Fittingly, the UYWAFC firsts finish their campaign with a home match against Bradford. Having beaten them 11-1 away from home earlier in the season, the ladies will be hoping for a similar result to cap off a highly successful campaign in fitting style.