An impressive 14 wins out of 18 league games landed a Motherwell church squad their first ever Strathclyde Churches League Premier Division title success.
Kings Church, based in Airbles Road, saw off all their challengers by grinding out four points from their final two league matches, which were watched by bumper crowds of 150 and 100 respectively.
They trailed Machan United 2-0 at home with 15 minutes to go in their penultimate fixture, before battling back to secure a vital 2-2 draw thanks to a stunning 25-yard free-kick by Thomas Anderson and Josh Purdie’s brilliant 20-yard shot.
The final match proved to be much more straightforward, with Kings thrashing Avendale 4-1 at home thanks to goals by Craig Tinto, Callum Graham, Taelor Meharry and John Barr.
Centre half Barr (23) told the Times and Speaker: “We are thrilled to be the first Kings Church squad to win the Premier Division.
“We came close last season, when we nearly went all the way.
“So it was good to get it over the line this time. The boys were ecstatic.
“The key to our success this season was the hard work put in during training.
“We trained fairly hard on Wednesday nights.”
Kings Church have been superbly led this season by manager John Barr Snr (John’s dad) and his assistants Paul Jarvie and Alan Foy.
“The members of our management team have put a very good structure in place,” John added.
“They are doing a great job.
“The Premier Division is not an easy league to win.
“We have a big squad of 23 or 24 players which is key to our success.
“In amateur football, people can’t make it to games at the drop of a hat so you need people who can step in.
“We do a lot of running work during our preparations which I think contributed to a lot of the late goals we scored during the season.”
Kings Church’s regularhome ground for matches is at Clyde Valley High School in Overtown, although this was changed to Dalziel Park for their final two league matches of the last campaign.
John, of Motherwell, said that the team always do a group prayer before games.
He added: “Saying a prayer gets us relaxed and it gets us focused to do the best we can in a game.
“We have said prayers before games since the team started 14 or 15 years ago.”