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Sport / Ness Utd league victory ‘a long time coming’

NESS Utd have won their first official league title following a 0-0 draw with Lerwick Spurs on Monday night.

The draw at Boddam took Ness Utd to 32 points for the season – five ahead of nearest rivals Lerwick Celtic.

The team were regarded as overall champions back in 1966 by virtue of winning the most cups that year, but Ness manager Craig Leslie said the league trophy was only introduced in the 1970s.

The Ness boss said he was “delighted” to clinch the league one with game remaining.

“I’m thrilled for everyone at the club. It’s been a long time coming and has been a huge effort from so many people involved at Ness.

“The players have been fantastic but our committee, our junior and senior coaches, our volunteers and our long term sponsors Ness Engineering have all done an incredible job supporting us and it’s as much for them as us as players and managers.”

He said a key factor behind the success was consistency – with the team only suffering defeat in the league once.

“The players have been excellent all season long and shown a great team spirit and will to win that has gotten us over the line,” he said.

“Ness Utd have never won the Association Cup (a league trophy) which was introduced in 1972, but the team in 1966 won all the cup competitions but one that year so were regarded as champions that season which was a huge achievement.

“For us to win the A league this year in Ness United’s 70th year anniversary means a lot to us as a club and I’m sure the 1966 team will still claim the bragging rights but they will also be delighted for the current team as well.”

Shetland Football Association president George Smith, a former Ness player, said he was “delighted” for his old club.

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“It is the culmination of a lot of years of hard work by the coaches in the club working with the age groups right up to the senior squad, the committee members, the sponsor Ness Engineering and many others who have supported the club,” he said.

“Ness have been the most consistent team over the season and thoroughly deserve the Ocean Kinetics Premier League title.

“This has been a very competitive season with each cup being won by a different team so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the remaining competitions.

“All credit though to Ness in winning what many will see as the major competition for arguably the first time in their history.”

Earlier this season Ness also picked up the Highland Fuels Cup.

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