Owls v Millers: Five top encounters between the South Yorkshire neighbours

It's August, 2002 and Rotherham's Chris Sedgwick beats Wednesday's  Craig Armstrong to the ball.
It's August, 2002 and Rotherham's Chris Sedgwick beats Wednesday's Craig Armstrong to the ball.
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IT might not quite rate at the top of the Richter scale in the South Riding stakes - that honour forever reserved for the Steel City combatants - but the Owls versus the Millers arguably takes second billing alongside Wednesday versus Barnsley.

While the Millers’ rivalry with the Blades is not as intense as with Wednesday, with links between clubs prevalent in the 80s, Rotherham United supporters like nothing better than to turn over the blue and white half of Sheffield in a footballing sense, with trips to Hillsborough being the first that Millers fans have looked for when the fixtures have been unveiled during the past two summers.

Andy MuCulloch

Andy MuCulloch

Wednesdayites’ loathing of Rotherham - a town with a fair few Owls enclaves - is hardly as intense, but keeping the ‘noisy neighbours’ down would still go down rather well, especially after a few painful defeats at their hands in the past.

Ahead of Saturday’s meeting, which has ramifications at both ends of the table, here are five famous Hillsborough meetings to recall.

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Rotherham United 2, August 24, 2002.

An early-season meeting went the way of the visiting Millers for the second time in six months, following another dramatic last-gasp intervention in a Groundhog Day moment.

Action from February, 2002 as Wednesday's David Johnson beats Marvin Bryan.

Action from February, 2002 as Wednesday's David Johnson beats Marvin Bryan.

The Millers, who hammered Millwall 6-0 on the opening-day of the 2002-03 season with Darren Byfield firing four goals, were dreaming of an encore, but the Owls made the early breakthrough when Craig Armstrong fired home on eight minutes.

United rallied and replied on the half-hour when Alan Lee sent Kevin Pressman the wrong way from the spot after John Mullin had been upended.

Then, in the third minute of stoppage-time, Devonian midfielder Darren Garner scored a sumptuous long-range strike fit to win any derby.

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Rotherham United 2, February 23, 2002.

Rotherham manager Ronnie Moore

Rotherham manager Ronnie Moore

The game is forever remembered for ex-Millers boss Ronnie Moore’s famous 2-1 sign to home fans in the Kop at the final whistle, shortly after a late, late winner from ex-Owl Richie Barker - as the 6,000 visiting supporters deliciously drunk in the moment.

In the first league meeting between the pair at Hillsborough in two decades, Alan Lee drew first blood for Rotherham on 50 minutes in front of a bumper crowd of 28,179.

Shefki Kuqi restored parity with a relieving leveller 20 minutes from time, but the final act belonged to Barker, when he headed home past Kevin Pressman in front of the Kop.

Sheffield Wednesday 0 Rotherham United 1, December 28, 1982.

Joe McBride provided the perfect belated Christmas present for Millers supporters, with a bizarre winning goal at Hillsborough in front of a holiday crowd of 25,024.

The decisive moment of a scrappy goal came in the first half when Bob Bolder looked like beating McBride in a foot race following Gerry Gow’s ball forward.

But the ball evaded the goalkeeper in comical fashion, with McBride able to nab it unhindered before tapping it into the empty net.

Sheffield Wednesday 2 Rotherham United 0, September 8, 1981.

Victory over the Millers crowned a perfect start to the 1981-82 season for the Owls, a campaign which saw them finish in fourth place in the old Second Division and just be pipped for promotion behind champions Luton Town, Watford and Norwich City.

Wednesday came into the game after wins over Blackburn Rovers and Crystal Palace and their dream start to the season continued as they claimed their third straight league victory - each recorded without conceding a goal.

Strikes from Charlie Williamson and Andy McCulloch gave Wednesday the points to move up to second spot in front of a healthy midweek crowd of 26,826.

The Owls followed up with a 3-0 triumph at Kenilworth Road against Luton four days later to move up to pole position.

Sheffield Wednesday 5 Rotherham United 0, February 23, 1980.

After the derby highs of the Boxing Day Massacre on December 26, 1979, Sheffield Wednesday were afforded a tasty side-course after dining out at the expense of more neighbours in the shape of the Millers.

Jack Charlton’s Owls provided a stirring performance against their rivals from across the Tinsley viaduct and secured a magnificent seventh successive win over them.

Wednesday were afforded the perfect start on six minutes when Ian Mellor charged down Paul Stancliffe’s clearance before racing clear and squaring to Andy McCulloch, who made no mistake with his fifth of the campaign.

Phil Henson went close to a leveller before the Owls doubled their lead with less than 20 minutes on the clock when fine work by Kevin Taylor and crowd favourite Terry Curran set up McCulloch for his second when he headed home.

The rampant hosts scented a third with Jeff Johnson and Brian Hornsby going close, while Mick Gooding provided a dangerous moment for the Millers.

The killer third arrived after the break when Curran fired home his 16th goal of the season after being teed up by Taylor and just after the hour mark, McCulloch recorded his hat-trick following Hornby’s cross.

The rout was completed when Jeff King firing home a fifth six minutes from time.