Central & South Norfolk review
The League's season got underway with the traditional playing of the 1st Round of the Birds Sport & Outdoor Benevolent Cup, the League's "Cup Winners Cup".
The League's season got underway with the traditional playing of the 1st Round of the Birds Sport & Outdoor Benevolent Cup, the League's "Cup Winners Cup". The holders Dereham Posties left it very late to overcome Division 4 champions, Thetford Athletic. Trailing to a first half goal, they scored twice in injury time at the end of the game to run out 2-1 winners. The match was played in excellent spirit and very well refereed by Paul Camp. Division 2 runners up, Feltwell Utd. made home advantage pay with a 3-1 win over Division 3 champions, Shipdham. The other game between Wymondham Town A and North Elmham was abandoned because of a heavy thunderstorm just after half time and will have to be replayed. The other 1st round match between Toftwood Utd. and Yaxham will be played on Monday evening. The semi-final draw has paired Dereham Posties with Toftwood Utd. or Yaxham while Feltwell Utd. will meet Wymondham Town A or North Elmham.
The League season proper starts next Saturday with 53 teams looking to improve on last season's performances or make an impact in their first season in the League. The League Championship is likely to be a tight affair with Great Ryburgh having left for the Anglian Combination after taking the title last season. The next three teams from last season, Yaxham, Toftwood Utd. and Redgrave Rangers ought to all be in contention and Dereham Town A and Hingham Athletic could also be there or thereabouts. Of the promoted teams, all five should be capable of making a serious challenge and North Elmham, Feltwell Utd. and Saham Toney could surprise one or two in their first season to the top flight.
Competition in Division 2 is likely to be particularly keen. The teams from last year that should do well include Bridgham Utd. and East Harling Res., Dickleburgh will be keen to make a rapid return to the 1st Division and Wendling will want to improve on their position from last season. All of the promoted teams are capable of making a serious challenge for a back to back promotion season and last season's joint winners of Division 3, Dereham Posties and Shipdham, are likely to lead that pack.
In a new look Division 3, competition could be very tight. Of last year's teams, Watton Utd. A, Hingham Athletic Res. and Mattishall A will all be looking to improve on what they achieved last season. Last year's Division 4 champions and runners up, Thetford Athletic and Foulsham Res., both ought to do well. Of the other promoted teams, Cherry Tree and Bunwell, should also be capable of making an impact.
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As always, Division 4 is the hard one to call because of the influence of the newly elected teams who are largely unknowns. These include Bradenham Res., Brandon Town A, Bunwell Res., Colkirk, Garboldisham, Splitz Utd., Swanton Morley and Thurton & Ashby. Of last season's class, Longham Res., Bintree and Cockers all should be capable of improving on their positions.
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