THACKLEY manager Pat McGuire has summed up the 2019/20 season for his side now it is officially over, admitting it was the cup that provided the biggest highlight.

The Dennyboys’ shock 2-1 win over higher-tier Ossett United in February propelled them into a West Riding County Cup semi-final spot, alongside heavyweights Guiseley, Harrogate Town and Farsley Celtic.

Their game against the Celts was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it was a much shorter break from football which McGuire felt derailed Thackley’s season somewhat.

The Dennyboys ended the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division season in 14th and McGuire said: “The way we are as coaching staff, we’re not pleased, as we wanted to build on last season (where they finished 15th).

“It’s disappointing because we hit top early on, and had four wins on the bounce.

“We never expected to get promotion, but we wanted to try for a solid top half finish.

“We beat Ossett on a Tuesday and then Hemsworth on the Saturday. But just after that, we had three weeks off, which killed any momentum, and we dropped down the table with a few defeats.

“14th is not good enough but I don’t think that’s where we’d have finished. With the games we had left, I think we could have come eighth or ninth.

“There are a lot of what ifs, because we had chances in games to be out of sight and ended up losing 1-0 or 2-1.”

Ending on a positive note, McGuire said: “It is not a case any more of teams coming to “low-budget” Thackley and getting an easy win.

“We turned a few heads this season, especially against Ossett, and that’s a result the young players can look back on in the future.

“We’re still learning, and I’d back the players to keep improving. The majority of them are between 19 and 23, so hopefully we’ll keep them for a while.”