Those are the basic facts. What this doesn't explain is the extraordinary drama of the Marlborough weekend and of a division that has been so tightly fought that nine of the 28 matches ended in draws (including five of the eight Marlborough games).
As Coventry and Hucknall prepared for their crunch meeting, they shared the lead with nine points, but with Watford Saxons and the Army, who had completed their matches, also on nine. We knew that:
If Hucknall won (and they almost did right at the end) they would have been champions, with Watford Saxons second, the Army third – but Coventry missing out on promotion altogether.
If Coventry won, they would take the trophy, with Hucknall and the Army also going up but leaving Watford out of the picture.
In the end, the draw that took place was good enough for Coventry, but only by virtue of a small superior overall goal difference. The Army only made third because their goal difference throughout the Championship season was just one better than Watford’s!
Coventry will think they should have won the final game. They were 8-4 up and looking comfortable but then perhaps made the mistake of trying to slow the game and run down the clock. Hucknall took full advantage, eventually levelling at 9-9 through a man-up strike from Iain Greig less than two minutes from the end. What a finish!
Earlier, Watford blew their chances of a guaranteed top three spot when opponents Caledonia Storm (to a roar of approval from the watching Army squad!) scored with 45 seconds remaining to force another 9-9 draw.
Photos (Trevor Hyde): Above - Coventry, with coach Ian Elliott floored, celebrate their win. Players (L-R): David Lambie, Sarunas Beleckas, Mike Aish, James Bushell, Remmy Gorton, Luke Rostron, Mike Linney, Sam Goodwin, Matt Elliott, Dan Hannah, Jayson Bent, Ashley Keen, Rob Williams. Below: Coventry score past Hucknall goalkeeper Tom Wall.