Radcliffe have been crowned NPL Premier Division champions following Saturday's 2-1 win at Whitby Town to win promotion to National League North for the first time in the club's 75-year history, writes Kieran Wilson.

First half goals from Jake Thompson and Jordan Hulme helped seal victory and the title much to the delight of hundreds of Boro fans who had made the trip to owbar Express Stadium.

Only needing a point to secure the championship, Radcliffe were forced to kick into the wind for the first 45 as the hosts started the better of the two teams in the opening exchanges.

Whitby's Lewis Hawkins has just one goal to his name so far this campaign, but the midfielder almost doubled his tally in the early stages of the contest. His shot was on target to find the bottom corner from the edge of the box, but Mateusz Hewelt was able to deflect the ball behind for a corner.

Just nine minutes into Matt Sargent's return from injury, the Welsh midfielder found himself on the receiving end of a late challenge that eventually forced his exit from the match in the 14th minute, as he was replaced by the in-form Thompson.

The Seasiders continued to put pressure on the Radcliffe defence as Adam Gell and Jacob Gratton had opportunities to let fly at Hewelt's goal, neither could test the Polish shot stopper in-between the sticks.

Whitby were able to win the ball back in the Radcliffe half and Gratton almost capitalised with a long-range strike that was spilled by Hewelt, fortunately Lois Maynard was first on the scene and was able to put the ball behind for a corner before the attacker was able to pounce midway through the half.

Radcliffe's first meaningful attack resulted in the game's opening goal. After Hulme had won the ball back on the right-hand side, he picked out Anthony Dudley in the box and despite the forward being unable to pull off the spectacular, he did win a corner for the visitors from his audacious bicycle kick.

Whitby failed to clear their lines as Nicky Adams' delivery ended up at the feet of Thompson, who took one touch before firing the ball into the top corner to make it 1-0 with his unfavoured left foot.

However, the Seasiders came back firing and later equalised in the 34th minute, as Hawkins smashed the ball into the back of the Radcliffe net from the right side of the box to restore parity.

Five minutes later, Boro scored what would be the winning goal. A long ball forward from Thornley was brought down well by Hulme, beating the offside trap to catch the ball perfectly on the half volley with a perfect strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the box, putting the scoreline 2-1 in Radcliffe's favour.

A rash challenge from Joe Wheatly put Willem Tomlinson out of action and was replaced by Rick Smith; the defender making his 250th Radcliffe appearance. On the brink of half-time, Thompson went down in a challenge and the visitors were forced into their third and final change, as the substitute was brought off for Luca Navarro.

There was very little goal-mouth action in the second half as the referee struggled to keep control of the contest, heating up the tie which led to a player from each team being brandished with a red card.

Navarro was the first to be sent off as he appeared to put his head towards Max Howells in an exchange down to right channel, before Gell was given the same treatment seven minutes later for an elbow on Maynard, right in front of the man in the middle.

It didn't matter to the travelling fans behind the Radcliffe dugout however, who were already jubilant before the final whistle, then spilling onto the pitch to celebrate becoming champions and being promoted.

Boro play their final home game of the season against Basford United on Saturday which will be an all-ticket game with the newly crowned champions set to receive their trophy to mark an incredible season.

Radcliffe XI: Hewelt, Jackson, Duxbury, Maynard, Thornley, Tomlinson (Smith 45'), Sargent (Thompson 14' Navarro 45'), Adams, Hulme, Dudley, Oyibo

Unused Subs: Morgan, Bange

Whitby Town XI: Bland, Smith, Shepherd, Wheatley, Rowe, Beeden, Hawkins, Gell, Doherty (Walker 61'), Gratton (Mondal 58'), Thomas (Howells 66')

Unused Subs: Haswell, Fewster