Final fair play kings are crowned!

4 months ago By David Watters

Marine, Clitheroe and Kidsgrove Athletic are heading into 2017 as the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League's best behaved sides.

Named as December's Fair Play awards winners at the weekend after topping the final fair play tables of 2016 in their respective divisions, the trio are now in the running for a share of the £5,000 in prize money the EVO-STIK NPL now hands out annually at the end of the season to promote sportsmanship and fair play while backing the Football Association's Respect campaign.

As in previous seasons, the 2016-17 season's winners in each division collect £1000 with the runners-up banking £500 and the third placed clubs £250. Like last season’s overall fair play champions Bamber Bridge, the best behaved club across the EVO-STIK NPL’s three divisions will also be presented with the President's Cup at June’s annual awards night at Blackpool’s Hilton Hotel.

The fair play tables are generated after a totting up of red and yellow cards divided by the number of fixtures clubs have played each month. Clubs must play at least four league games to be eligible and where tied on points, marks awarded by referees for behaviour in the technical area by the EVO-STIK NPL's managers and coaches are taken into account.

Marine manager Sean Hessey and his side posted the top flight's lowest disciplinary points total in December and the best of all 68 clubs in the EVO-STIK NPL, collecting two cautions in four league fixtures to win their first fair play accolade with a score of just 0.50.

Under the guidance of Simon Haworth, Clitheroe posted a score of 1.00 in EVO-STIK NPL First Division North to top the division's last fair play table of 2016 with a score of 1.00, the Blues setting the pace in the sportsmanship stakes for the second successive month at Shawbridge for the five yellow cards they picked up in five outings.

Kidsgrove Athletic manager Ryan Austin has got off to a successful start since succeeding Peter Ward at The Novus Stadium in August. To win their first fair play accolade of the campaign in EVO-STIK NPL First Division South, his side ended 2016 with a score of 0.60 for the three cautions they collected in five league fixtures, two wins, a draw and two defeats.

To view the latest fair play tables click on the 'League Info' button on the home page and then 'Press Releases' under the downloads tab.

Image courtesy of Rob Lock

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