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Linton Granta manager Lee Miller calls on team to 'finish with pride' after losing out on Kershaw Premier title

Lee Miller admitted it is ‘tough’ to have to play out the season after falling short in their Kershaw Premier title challenge, but has called on Linton Granta to ‘finish with pride’.

Great Shelford were confirmed as champions on April 20, as they wrapped up their season out of reach of closest rivals Linton, despite Miller’s team still having two matches to play.

It meant the Step 7 side went into Saturday’s visit from Hemingfords United playing for second place in the league – securing it via a 6-1 victory.

Kershaw Premier Cup final between Linton Granta (white) and West Wratting at Newmarket Town....Linton manager: Lee Miller Picture Mark Westley. (9469087)
Kershaw Premier Cup final between Linton Granta (white) and West Wratting at Newmarket Town....Linton manager: Lee Miller Picture Mark Westley. (9469087)

Simon Newnes scored a hat-trick while Simon Greathead and Callum Harrison scored a goal apiece. Linton also benefitted from an own goal.

Their final match on Saturday, at home to eighth-placed Comberton United (3pm) is all but a dead rubber, with neither team gaining much from the tie.

But, having lost both times against Comberton this term, there is a score to settle.

“It’s tough, we’re all so disappointed to have missed out on that title,” said Miller. “So it’s hard to get in the right mindset to see out our season – it’s also so late to be playing into May, I don’t see why it’s been scheduled like this.

“Saturday’s game was a bit subdued and I think this weekend will be too. But we want to finish with pride and end on a seven-match winning streak.

“It’s important to finish as close to Shelford as we can; I want to see us show the great character I know we have, and then we can hold our heads up.

“We have done so well and I’m proud of the lads and the effort from everyone, both on and off the pitch.”

Linton spent the majority of the first half of the season at the top of the table and seemed the team to beat, but a bad run at the start of the year saw Shelford overtake them in the standings.

“The league title was in our hands and that’s something that’s going to hound me for a little while to be honest,” Miller, who is understood to be considering a number of offers from other clubs, added. “It’s still been a great effort from everyone, it’s the highest we have finished since we won the league nearly 10 years ago, so it’s definitely an achievement.

“But there’s a lot of disappointment as well. I feel torn about it, I’m gutted but also know there’s nothing to regret – we gave it our all and that’s the crucial thing.”

Greathead currently sits second in the league’s top goalscorers this term with 25 goals, and would need to score four to top the standings on Saturday, while Andy Palmer has also had a goal-heavy season, with 23 to his name.

Between them, they netted almost half of Linton Granta’s 97 goal tally.

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