Mid-season review of Central and South Norfolk League
The two biggest talking points of the season to date are the effect of the wintry weather on the November and December fixtures and the number of teams the league has competing this season.
In terms of the former, the league is carefully considering how to manage the increasing fixture backlog caused by this bad weather over the last two months.
Clearly, much will depend on the weather over the next couple of months but, at this stage, it is our intention to complete the league programme in its entirety, as usual.
This will require maximum co-operation from all clubs together with utilisation of all available dates right up to the official end of the season on May 31.
For the first time in the league’s history, the season started with a full complement of 14 teams in each of the four divisions which gave us a record number of competing teams for the season.
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At the end of 2010 the league still has all 56 teams up and standing. That is an excellent position to be in and it would be even better if we get to the end of the season with that position intact. It would also give the league a pleasant problem to deal with when it come to considering applications from new teams at the end of the season.
The enforced Christmas and New Year break provides an opportunity to review the season so far and to look at where the honours are likely to fall. The league table is deceptive given the wide discrepancies in the number of games played.
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In terms of points dropped, the race for the league championship appears to be between five teams — last year’s runners up, Bridgham United, Gressenhall, Shipdham, Tacolneston and last season’s Division Two champions, Thetford Rovers Reserves. Bridgham United and Shipdham are in pole position given that they have both only dropped five compared to the other three which have dropped seven points (Thetford Rovers Reserves) and Gressenhall and Tacolneston (nine points each).
At the other end of the table, the relegation places (if full relegation is applied) are likely to go to Cranworth and Cockers who find themselves already well adrift of the group of teams immediately above them.
Feltwell United have the current advantage in Division Two, having dropped only two points, although it is very much tighter than Division One with up to nine teams still in the race for the two promotion places.
Of the remaining teams, Northwold S&SC have the best record with only four points dropped and they are closely followed by Morley Village and Nostro who have only dropped six points each.
This leading group could still be pressed hard by Shropham United, Hethersett Athletic and Yaxham. The two other teams which appear to be in with a good shout are Castle Acre Swifts and Necton but they have both dropped points in getting to their current position at the top of the table.
At the other end, Hingham Athletic Reserves and Sporle seem to be under most threat although West End and Wymondham Town A will need to keep a careful eye on the situation as well.
North Elmham have to be the current favourites for the third division title as they still boast a 100 per cent record. Methwold Rovers have only dropped three points and have that slight advantage over Wendling and Bawdeswell (dropped five points each), Thurton and Ashby (six) and Breckland Wanderers (seven).
Slightly further off the pace are near neighbours, Marham Wanderers (11) and Narborough Reserves (13). Gressenhall Reserves and Shipdham Reserves are in most danger of relegation at present although Great Cressingham and Stoke Ferry both need to be picking up some points.
Favourites for the Division Four title have to be Diss Town A who go into the new year with the only other 100 per cent record in the league. Their nearest challengers are Tugas United who have lost only once.
Three teams have dropped only six points each — Mulbarton Wanderers Reserves, Colkirk and Rampant Horse. The current leaders, Shropham United Reserves, are a further four points adrift. Bottom place already looks like going to Dereham Cockers United, given that they have no points and have conceded 133 goals in their 11 matches played to date. The other re-election spot appears to be between Scarning United, Nostro Reserves and Tacolneston Reserves.