BOLTON Wyresdale are desperate to seal the Division One title this weekend – and have a whale of a time doing it.

The club are on the verge of becoming champions as a season they have dominated the LAL’s second tier draws to a close.

They lead the table by seven points from Chaddertonians but the side in second have only two games to play.

Saturday saw Aamar Ahmed’s young team romp to a 5-1 win against Hesketh Casuals on Ladybridge High School’s artificial surface, a result that guarantees Premier Division football at Inverbeg Drive next term.

And if their youthful exuberance can see them avoid defeat at home to Valley United –the only side with an outside chance of snatching the title away from them – they will go up as champions.

But even a defeat, which would be only their second of the campaign, is unlikely to derail their bid for the bigger trophy as both they and third-placed Valley have four games remaining. But the 11-point gap means Wyresdale have all but etched their name on the trophy.

“We’ve got 48 points, and Valley can only get 49 if they win all their last four,” said manager Ahmed ahead of Saturday’s big match at Ladybridge High School. “We almost had it anyway, they played Chads and they were losing 2-0 – then it got abandoned, so we’ll have to go out and earn it ourselves.

“We prefer it that way anyway, I’ve told them to just go out and enjoy themselves, they just need to do what they’ve been doing and we’ll win and we’ll be the champions. You can’t help but enjoy these games, we know if we don’t lose we’ve won it – we won’t be trying to play for a draw though, too much can go wrong so we’ll play our normal game and we’ll be going all-out to win.

“We want to make it a day that makes all the cold winter afternoons in wind and rain worthwhile. So many days you’re freezing cold, you’re wet through and you get home and you’ve got the kit to get cleaned. Winning a trophy makes all those cold days worth it.

“We’ve had a fantastic season and I’ve told them to enjoy every bit of it because there are good times and hard times so when these good times come along we want to make the most of it. We’re a young side and we’re probably still a bit naive at times because they just want to go charging forward all the time, but they’re enjoying their football.

“We’ve booked the 3G pitch at Ladybridge High School again because we don’t want any more delays in our games. We’ve only played four games this year, two in January and one each in February and March, so we’ve had a few weeks’ delay between each game but we have won them all.

“So we can’t wait to go out and play this game on Saturday, we’re determined to enjoy it.”

The team is leading the way for an unprecedented season of success for the club in its 125th anniversary year, with the reserves still in the hunt for the Division Three title and in the last four of the Reserves Cup, the A team able to confirm runners-up spot in Division Five and the Vets still in the running for the BSF Over-35s League Division Three crown.

Wyresdale’s top side moved to within touching distance of the title with Saturday’s victory, Jack Foster scoring a hat-trick and Kieran Rayner weighing in with two goals.

Though it was played out in what Ahmed called ‘atrocious conditions’ with a number of absentees and a dose of illness running through the camp, the 13 players who did manage to report for duty had too much for Hesketh to cope with.

Wyresdale established a 4-0 lead by the break, with Foster among those feeling under the weather. he had scored twice before coming off at half time. However, with Ryan Smith also suffering in the second half, Foster returned to the fray and scored his third and his side’s fifth.

With his sons Adam and Zak in the squad, Ahmed has seen the vast majority of his team progress through the club’s ranks – eight of Saturday’s matchday squad, plus a handful more who missed the Hesketh game, have been with the club since playing together in the juniors.

“Adam was about 16 when we were in the North West Alliance League and about eight years ago Zak was in our under-11 team that got to a final at the Macron Stadium,” added their proud dad. “Funnily enough, the lad who was in charge at Ladybridge High last week played against us that day for Horwich, so that was a strange touch.

“I’m really pleased we’re bringing these young players through and they’re getting success together.

“We’ve hopefully got more to come as well, we’ve got CMB in the first round of the Hospital Cup. They’re a good club and we’ll look forward to playing them.

“It’s not a competition we’ve done well in, I don’t remember us getting past the first round but we’ll give it a good go because win two games and you’re playing at the Unibol, which would be a nice thrill for them and one they deserve.”

Few other local teams played on Saturday, with the West Lancashire League seeing no action across its five divisions.

In the Hallmark Security League, Atherton LR’s home game with Nelson was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, and Atherton Collieries’ trip to Market Drayton Town in Evo-Stik West postponed.

The only match to go ahead in the top two division of the Manchester League was Bolton Lads and Girls Club’s 4-1 defeat at home to Pennington, while Breightmet United suffered a 10-1 loss at Avro Reserves in the Murray Trophy.