Richmond Athletic's Ross Sloan celebrates after scoring a stunning goal as his side went on to beat FC Nelson Locomotive and win the second division on Saturday. Photo: Andrew Board.

Three titles in one day

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Three of the region’s four senior men’s football championships were decided on Saturday, with Richmond Athletic the big winner.

Nelson Suburbs Rovers celebrate after winning the Nelson Bays Football fourth division on Saturday. Photo: Supplied.
Nelson Suburbs Rovers celebrate after winning the Nelson Bays Football fourth division on Saturday. Photo: Supplied.

Richmond won two titles, the men’s second and third divisions, with Nelson Suburbs winning the fourth division competition.

The first division and women’s divisions haven’t been decided yet.Richmond’s second division team was a comfortable three points ahead of its nearest rivals, FC Nelson

Richmond’s second division team was a comfortable three points ahead of its nearest rivals, FC Nelson reserves, when it lined up against FC Nelson Locomotive at Jubilee Park on Saturday.

But a strong second half powered Richmond to a 4-1 win, sparking celebrations on the club’s main pitch.

Richmond Thistle pop the bubbly after claiming the Nelson Bays Football third division title on Saturday. Photo: Andrew Board.
Richmond Thistle pop the bubbly after claiming the Nelson Bays Football third division title on Saturday. Photo: Andrew Board.

A draw would have seen them win the league. But a strong second half powered Richmond to a 4-1 win, sparking celebrations on the club’s main pitch.

It was the second year in a row the club has won that division and coach Toby Gaskin says it was much tougher this year.

“At the start of the year I said to the committee ‘don’t expect us to win it this year’. We only had about four players at the start, but we picked up a few more and the core six or seven players have really held it together.”

He says despite a three point lead heading into the game, there was never a thought to play for a draw.”The decision was that we had to go for the win but Locomotive put us under a lot of pressure. It was 1-1 at half time and it was only in the last ten minutes that we pulled away.”

“The decision was that we had to go for the win but Locomotive put us under a lot of pressure. It was 1-1 at half time and it was only in the last ten minutes that we pulled away.”

In the third division Richmond Thistle hosted FC Nelson NMIT, both teams were tied on 33 points heading into the game but, with a far superior goal difference, all Richmond needed was a draw to have its name engraved on the trophy.

Player/manager Nick Rose says the team was keen to get a good result after the previous fixture against NMIT saw a 4-2 Richmond win reversed to a 3-0 loss after Richmond were deemed to field an ineligable player.”We felt like we owed them, so we were really happy to get a 5-1 win and win the league as a result.”

“We felt like we owed them, so we were really happy to get a 5-1 win and win the league as a result.”

He says that Thistle have been transisting from a social side to one bringing younger players through and that has helped them win the league this year.

In the fourth division, Nelson Suburbs Rovers were another team in the box seat, with a handy three point lead over nearest rival FC Nelson Masters heading into the league’s final game of the year.

Hosting Wakefield at home, Suburbs put the game beyond doubt by half time as they led 5-1. Two second half goals extended the lead. Player/manager Phil Williams says the beer was flowing after the win.

“We played bloody well so I’m rapt we got the win. The last time we won this grade was about five years ago so it was great to win it again. There was a bit of beer flying everywhere and a bit of a sing song, it was great.”