Third Coventry Alliance Premier Division title in four years
PICTURES BY BRIAN DAINTY
Triumphant AEI Rugby are once again champions of the Coventry Alliance Premier Division. In a tense, winner takes all, final game at Kilsby Lane, AEI got the one point required to wrestle back the crown pushing opponents on the day Christ The King into second place.
The last game of the season shoot out was set up by a fantastic win away to Woodlands on the previous Tuesday evening. After trailing by one goal at half time a magnificent second-half performance saw AEI 4–1 victors with a hat-trick by Jimmy Smith and one from skipper Sean Castleton. The win meant AEI needed just one point in the final game of the season.
A crowd of over 250 witnessed the close encounter. A goalless first half saw a great headed chance from AEI’s Andy Gordon shave the post as the only real chance of the half. On 70 minutes AEI took a deserved lead with a fine header from Jimmy Smith, but AEI hardly had time to celebrate before Kings were level setting up a nail-biting close.
Holding out for the draw saw AEI Rugby crowned champions for a third time in the last four years, only losing out last season by two points to Folly Lane.
Manager Tommy Young looked drained but delighted at the final whistle after yet another final day decider. Tommy said: “It is always special to win the league, but it meant more today after losing out on the final day last season. It’s great to have the trophy back in Rugby.”