Town of champions
Updated 12:09pm Friday 18th April 2014 in By Owen Houlihan and Dan Barnes
Dave George (left), the head coach of Bradford on Avon RFC, captain Oli Stacey and top points scorer Dan Bright celebrate the club’s Dorset & Wilts One North title win
BRADFORD on Avon is toasting a week of sporting success after the town’s rugby and football clubs lifted their respective league titles in the space of three days.
The rugby club, based at Ashley Lane, got the ball rolling last Saturday as a 25-0 win at Chippenham 2nd clinched the Dorset & Wilts One North title.
Then on Tuesday night, Bradford Town’s footballers followed suit, wrapping up the Toolstation League First Division title for the first time in their history.
Town won 2-1 at Chard Town to bring home the silverware – and could make it a league and cup double next Wednesday when they take on local rivals Melksham Town in the final of the Wiltshire Senior Cup.
Manager Paul Shanley, pictured right, said: “I’m just delighted for everybody connected with Bradford.
“The chairman (Les Stevens) and his wife set the club up (in 1992) and we’re the first Wiltshire side in almost 15 years to win the First Division (Devizes Town lifted the title in 1999-2000).
“This win is for all of the players, who have been absolutely tremendous this year, my coaches, everyone who works at the club and all of the supporters too. It’s my sixth season with the club and we’ve finished third, fourth and fifth in that time.
“To win the league this time by playing some teams off the park and digging deep in other games is fantastic.
“We brought in players with experience of winning the league but the ones that were already at the club have also done really well.’’
Bradford on Avon RFC head coach Dave George saw his side score four tries in a dramatic last quarter at Chippenham to earn the bonus-point win needed to come out on top in a four-way fight for their title,.
Bradford’s second string also gained promotion from Dorset & Wilts Three North and George said: “We’ve won it before (in 2003) but, for me, this is the one because we have a lot of homegrown players who have come through the ranks.
“This group of players is one of the best I’ve worked with and, with the seconds going up too, it’s a fantastic time for the club.’’
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