TENBURY Town clinched the Herefordshire County League Division One title on Saturday, rounding off their campaign with a 2-1 victory over visitors Ludlow Colts.
A first-half brace from Alex Bright proved enough to see them secure the silverware and a place in the Premier Division alongside neighbours Tenbury United next season.
Town went into the game full of confidence after a good performance against Wellington the previous week and manager Darren Worthington named an unchanged side.
But it was the youthful Ludlow visitors who saw more of the ball in the opening exchanges and they went close when a long clearance picked out striker Josh Partridge who found himself one-on-one with the keeper but failed to get enough on the ball and Matt Harber saved with ease.
Town eventually managed to get their foot on the ball and took the lead on 27 minutes following some good build-up play from midfield. Mark Boucker picked the ball up on the edge of the box and threaded a pass through to Bright who perfectly placed his shot past the advancing keeper and into the far corner.
Colts responded well and were denied an equaliser when Harber pulled off a magnificent save from Partridge. The ball had been whipped in for the striker whose scissor-kick looked to be heading for the roof of the net only for the keeper to push it on to the crossbar and behind for a corner.
Bright steadied Tenbury’s nerves when he struck his second of the game ten minutes before the interval. Harber’s long wind-assisted punt upfield sent Bright in behind the defence and he steered the ball beyond Kieron Roche in the Ludlow goal.
After a few harsh words in the changing room at the break, the visitors put in an improved second-half performance and alway looked dangerous on the counter-attack.
They pulled a goal back 15 minutes from time when Dan Crowther received a great ball from George Sankey and showed some trickery on the edge of Tenbury box before driving in an inch-perfect cross for Partridge to head home.
The goal ensured there was a nervous edge for the remainder of the game particularly after Partridge went close to levelling the scores only for his effort to lack the pace to trouble the keeper.
Ludlow had more energy going into the final few minutes but Town held firm and saw out the game to seal the title from Kington Town Reserves who still have two games to play but are seven points adrift.
A delighted Worthington was full of praise for his side.
“I would like to thank all the players involved throughout the season for the hard work and commitment they have shown,” the Tenbury boss said. “We hope we can carry this through into the county’s top tier next season.
“Our ambition right from the start of the season was to go for promotion. We put all our eggs in one basket to concentrate on that and it’s been tough at times because we have a small squad compared to others.
“But we’re going to enjoy the summer and maybe look at bringing in a few more to add to the squad and strengthen for next season.”