SCARVA Rangers were crowned Mid-Ulster Division Two champions last Tuesday night following a deserved home victory against Portadown BBOB.
When Tuesday night’s game kicked off the village side needed a single point from their final four games to remove any remaining doubts about the destiny of this year’s league title.
In the end they claimed all three to enable the title celebrations to commence.
It has been a majestic season for Mo Brown’s team, who are very worthy champions, having been indisputably the best team over the course of the long league campaign.
With two games to go they have won 15 games, drawn two and suffered a single league defeat.
Their nearest opponents are nine points adrift of Rangers, a gap that could widen before the season is over, and Scarva’s goal difference is a massive plus 43.
Defensively dominant, they have also been an unstoppable attacking force.
Both sides of their formidable armoury were on display on Tuesday night at Scarva Park, when they rarely looked like conceding a goal and proved clinical when goal scoring opportunities arose.
The hosts led by a single goal at half-time, when Kyle Jennett’s long raking pass released Stephen Hendron, whose powerful run was allied to composure at the crucial moment, rounding the keeper before coolly slotting the ball into the net.
Jennett has plenty of assists to his name over the course of the season with his unerring delivery and he was the architect of Scarva’s second goal of the evening.
His corner had pace and accuracy and midfielder Neil Anderson met it at the near post with an exceptional header which sent the ball rocketing into the back of the net.
It was a game of relatively few clear cut chances and while Scarva didn’t often look like adding to their lead they never appeared likely to relinquish it.
William Morrison headed a Jennett free kick over the crossbar and at the other end Ritchie McGivern, who has been colossal all season in the Scarva goal, confidently saved a late Portadown BBOB free kick to secure a clean sheet.
On Saturday the new champions travelled to Moira to take on Glenavy, a game which ended scoreless.
It was a low key encounter, with few scoring chances. Rod Douglas made a series of crucial blocks in quick succession to deny the home side a lead and close to the end Scarva could have taken all three points but failed to convert two gilt edged opportunities.