RICCALL UNITED want to end more than 35 years of hurt by grabbing the York Minster Engineering League premier division title.

The Selby club last got their hands on the top prize in the 1977/8 season but are ideally placed to make a run for the top after losing just one of their 16 league and cup games so far this season.

That solitary defeat came just before Christmas to Dunnington but manager Gary Collier’s men bounced back in style with a 2-0 victory at Old Malton St Mary’s last weekend.

Collier got on the scoresheet midway through the first half before Wayne Brook wrapped up the victory from the penalty spot.

With Riccall in third place in the table, eight points behind Old Malton but with five games in hand over their division rivals, the omens are promising.

They are also in the semi-finals of the York FA Saturday Senior Cup, where they will meet Wigginton on March 15, and the quarter-finals of the Senior League Cup, and are still in the East Riding County FA Senior Country Cup – playing at Driffield Evening Institute on February 1.

But, for club secretary Liam Bradley, there is one pot he prizes above all. “The league is the priority,” he said.

“We’ve obviously started the season a lot better than we have in many years and, hopefully, we can continue to maintain a proper challenge.

“We finished fourth last year and that was a massive improvement from the year before. We won the East Riding Country Cup last year and, this time, our aim was just to do better.

“We never expected to win our first 16 games, although we had made one or two additions to the squad and were fairly confident.

“We brought in a new goalkeeper and we have Tom Osborne and Daniel Montgomery fighting it out for the place. We also added Chris Coxon and a number of our players have played for various county sides.”

On the most recent win against Old Malton, Bradley added: “I’ve been involved with the club for 16 years and it is the first time I have won on a visit to Old Malton.

“It was a massive day for us. We needed a big reaction because we had lost our last game and that could have gone one of two ways.

“It was a good response. Confidence is pretty high among the lads and, while it would be nice to pick up some of the cups, the league is the priority. That’s what we really want.”