The university’s football team will play at their highest ever level next year after securing their second promotion in two seasons.
A typically comprehensive 3-0 win against Sheffield 1sts on Wednesday confirmed Durham as league champions of Northern 2B, sealing their promotion to Northern 1A in the process.
The victory means Durham now enjoy an unassailable nine-point gap at the top of the table, and stretches their record in the league to eight wins from eight.
The season began with a trip to York, where the team battled back from falling behind within the first ten minutes to win 2-1.
Since letting in that early goal, Durham have gone well over 700 minutes in the league without conceding in open play.
Sheffield were then dispatched 4-0 on the rubber crumb in the second game, before a heroic defensive effort away at Leeds Met meant a single goal was enough for three crucial points.
Comfortable wins over Leeds and Hull followed before Christmas to leave Durham in the driving seat over the festive break.
York were the first visitors of 2012, and a commanding 3-0 victory meant Durham were well and truly in control of the league.
However, a dangerous Leeds Met side were next up, and with just ten minutes left the West Yorkshire side led thanks to a first-half penalty.
Durham’s sustained pressure finally reaped rewards, though, when an equaliser from Mike Horrocks was followed by a stunning Tom Spurling winner.
It was the moment when promotion was effectively sealed, and the battling fightback typified the team’s winning attitude that has been present all year.
Sheffield were now all that stood in the way of back-to-back promotions, and in terrible conditions Durham kept their customary clean sheet in a dominant 3-0 triumph.
Club captain Chris Musgrave said after the game: “I am extremely proud – winning the league is no easy task and is testament to the hard work that everyone in the entire club has put in.”
More success could be on the horizon for the club as the second team are storming to promotion too following Wednesday’s dramatic 2-1 victory over nearest rivals Sheffield 2s.
Picture above – Back row: Josh Richardson, Oliver Gill, Elliot Kay, Eddie Walter, Dave Howorth, Mike Horrocks, Greg Benson, James Gooder. Front row: Joe Stewart, Tom Spurling, Sam Colley, Spencer Brown, Tom Almond, Oli Salt