RUFC - This Season In South Yorkshire
South Yorkshire was created on 1st April 1974 and has a population of around 1.34 million and, as a ceremonial county has a Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff. There are five league sides in South Yorkshire - Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham and the Sheffield clubs of United and Wednesday - and, to be honest, we haven't done all that bad this season have we round here?
All us Millers fans obviously know that we've done what a lot of people thought of at the start of the season and got promoted. Yes, it was a skin of your teeth sort of thing but it doesn't alter the fact that we went up as runners-up from League Two to League One next season. The new stadium - and I believe we will call it the new stadium for some years to come - has seen thousands of football fans through the doors this year although it wasn`t the fortress we all expected it would be we did win fifteen games there in League and Cup. And, I don`t think anyone will argue that it is the best stadium around these parts.
Doncaster Rovers were also promoted and as Champions of League One and will ply their trade in the Championship next season. Rovers had mostly been in the top five all season and a stoppage time winner from Kyle Bennett at Shrewsbury in the final game of February saw them jump into top spot which is where they stopped until the next to last game of the season when they lost one-nil at Notts County and Bournemouth jumped above them. With the Dorset club getting ready to parade the League One trophy around the seaside town in an open topped bus Doncaster knew they'd got to win away at Brentford. With Bournemouth getting a nil-nil away at Tranmere Jamie Coppinger got an injury time winner to clinch Rovers the top slot.
Barnsley have been wavering near the bottom of the Championship for much of the season - although did get to the dizzy heights of twelfth in September although went into the New Year in bottom spot. February saw them get some good results and rise above the relegation spots but going into the last game of the season they were in the final relegation spot and needing a bit of a miracle to get out of it. Well the miracle arrived and with the Tykes drawing and other results going their way they ended one place in the right direction and stayed in the Championship.
Sheffield Wednesday were much the same although at the beginning of the season they looked like they were actually going to be one of the top sides in the Championship ending the first month in second place. By the end of September without getting any points in five games the Owls had plummeted to one place above the relegation spots and a month later had dropped another place. At the end of November things were looking grim as they were becoming favourites to drop out of the Championship although things picked up in December and they went into 2013 a place above the relegation spots. January and February saw them putting a bit of breathing between themselves in eighteenth and the bottom three and they went into the last game of the season, although not safe, in a bit better position than they might have done. Two first half goals in the first half of their last game was enough to give them all three points and kept them in the Championship ending in eighteenth spot.
A steady start to the season saw Sheffield United in eighth place after the first month and by the end of October they had got themselves in second place on goal average behind Tranmere Rovers. For the next few months they wavered between second and fifth but ended the penultimate game of the season knowing they would be in the play-offs. They played Yeovil and ended the first game with a one-nil win at Bramall Lane but three days later their trip to Huish Park ended in a two-nil loss which meant they would be staying in League One next season.
So there will be some South Yorkshire derbies next season - Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield Wednesday will all clash in the Championship while the Millers and the Blades will fight it out for bragging rights in League One.
Going to be exciting in South Yorkshire isn't it!
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