THEY may be the lowest-placed of our four local clubs in The Championship but they will top the unofficial South Yorkshire League.

Tuesday's 1-0 win at Hillsborough was win No 4 out of the the five local derbies they have played and means they can't be caught.

They already have amassed 12 points and still have a game to play which will be the last of the dozen derby clashes between the South Yorkshire quartet - at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, April 7. Sheffield Wednesday currently lie second on nine points but will lose runners-up spot to United should the Blades beat Barnsley in the final derby.

United have won two of their five matches but currently have the identical goal difference to Wednesday therefore a Blades win would ensure they finished above the Owls on goal difference.

Doncaster Rovers, the current form team of The Championship, will finish bottom of the four.

They may have taken the scalps of United and Wednesday in the past month but suffered a double defeat to Barnsley and had previously lost to both Sheffield clubs.

Barnsley's win on Tuesday meant they concluded home and away wins for them over Doncaster and Wednesday - and it was their first such double over the Owls for 63 years.

The only other double was Wednesday's over United although Kevin Blackwell's team have the chance of going out with a double as they won at Oakwell.

Barnsley's 4-1 home win over Doncaster - achieved with 10 men as well - represents the biggest win so far.

Local derbies are traditionally thought of as tight affairs - well, in the 11 played so far, there hasn't been a single draw!

The Star, 20th February 2009
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Ian Wilkinson

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