Shotley Rose blossom in final LTL season

FOOTBALL: The curtain came down on the Licensed Trades Football League with a 2-1 victory for Gainsborough Labour Club over Shotley Rose in the final of the Premier Cup.

After over 40 years the Sunday-based league is folding, and as one of their most stalwart clubs Rose were hoping to go out with a bang.

They had already won three trophies this season – and were hoping to make it a quadruple.

“It was not to be,” said Sam Nunn, who is joint manager with Mark Shemming.

“But we can still look back on a good treble-winning season winning the Premier Division for the first time since 1996 and also tasting success in the LTL Plate and the Jean Stone Cup.

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“We’re moving on with mixed feelings – sad to see the decline of a league that has so much history attached to it.

“But pleased to be heading for a new challenge in the Flare Recruitment League, which is now the place to be.”

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After the bad winter, Shotley were playing two games a week in April and early May to catch up with their backlog of fixtures.

The majority of their players come from the peninsular with Nunn saying that he has benefitted from working with Peter Gorham at Ransomes last season.

“I learned a lot under Peter and also working as manager of Woolverstone United’s reserve Saturday side,” said Nunn, who confirmed that picking a player of the season was proving difficult with four players having notched more than 28 goals apiece.

“Stephen Adams, Matt Wilson, Jim Nunn and Kieran Mandley have all scored freely, and in total we have scored 192 goals in all competitions.

“We lost to Ipswich Thistle in the semi-finals of the Suffolk Sunday Cup, and my big aim is to win that competition next season.

“We look as though we’ll play in one of the top two divisions in the Flare League in 2010/11 and are looking forward to that.”

Paul Card is president of the LTL and a former chairman and club stalwart for a Rose club that drew praise from acting league secretary George Debman.

“They are a really well run club, and have been a credit to the league,” said Debman, who will oversee the winding down of the LTL at the upcoming annual general meeting.

“Rose have stayed loyal along with clubs like GLC, and their cup final marked the end of an era.

“I’ve had people come up to me in the street and say how sad it is that the LTL is to fold.

“They were former players and officials, and it shook me the number of comments that have been made.”

While Shotley Rose missed out on the quadruple, four clubs have achieved this feat in the LTL – Masons Rams, GEH, Oxborrows and Silver Star.

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