Salford Handball Club secured the northern league title for the second time in successive seasons with an emphatic 43-14 win over Deva at Pendlebury on Tuesday night.
In their first meeting Deva played the plucky underdogs to run Salford to a closer scoreline than many other more experienced teams in the north. However, Salford clearly weren't going to let that happen again and were well prepared for the return clash.
Such preparation being evident in the final score, with Salford winning the game by a massive 29 goals at 43-14.
From the start of the game the writing was on the wall for Deva. After 10 minutes of play Salford had already scored eight goals with Deva only managing to score one in return.
Once again Salford's defence was to be their biggest asset, making it extremely difficult for the Deva attack to formulate any organised routine. Three late goals in the first half did at least allow Deva to go in at half time only 12 goals down at 20-8.
The second half offered no let up for the Cheshire side. With 10 minutes gone into the half Deva still hadn't managed to increase their half time tally, such was the dominance of the Salford defence.
In the same period Salford had notched up another 9 goals and there was no sign of any let up for Deva either. It was only a strong performance from Tom Robertson in the Deva goal that gave some resistance to the Salford onslaught. Even that though wasn't enough to stop Salford notching up their biggest win of the season so far.
Top goalscorers for the game from Salford were Aden Woodall (pictured), Stuart Latchford and Ste Clarke, all with six goals each. For Deva, Ben Tyler scored five and Ste Jameson three.
Salford coach Bill Baillie said at the end of the game: "The result tonight was tantamount to all the hard work the players have put in from July last year.
“This victory was well deserved, but it’s the continued level of performance and dedication that has been put in since pre-season training last year that has been most impressive. Whilst the title for the north is now secure, there's no time to let up and relax.
“We need to keep momentum and concentration for our remaining games to put us in the best possible position for the playoffs to come. We need to make sure were keep our eye on the bigger picture and our longer term objectives."