The last of our 17/18 season reviews before we move to a couple of season previews!
In truth, it ended prematurely! None of the excitement of the D1 or D3 race. We had a runaway twosome, a side left adrift by Feb and 7 teams – from 4th to 10th – split by just 6 points. We did have a great escape however, more on that later…
First, lets check on our prediction…we called South Reading as Champs with White Eagles pulling up in the Top 3. We also did our reviews before we knew FC Woodley were entering, so we like to think we were rather successful (ok, we also called Berks Ressies in Top 3 and they ended bottom, but I’m sure they would be happy to forget that bit).
The Champs, FC Woodley, only lost one of their 20 games in a campaign that the “newcomers” romped. Leading from the front, a title race effectively ended with South Reading’s sticky spell over Xmas where 2 straight losses handed control to the Woodley boys. Yet, games still were won, 99 league goals were scored in just 20 games (averages 5 a game!!!) and it started with a 10-0 back on the opening day! Yup, firepower.
Those SRCC lads had a great term, securing back to back promotions after their previous D4 cakewalk. With Jordan Sawyer & Liam Lewendon 2nd and 3rd in the goal scoring charts – behind a wonderful display from Stefan Allen at Mortimer, 23 goals in 19 game??? – these boys took apart some teams (inc Woodley) but defensive discipline let them down on the big nights – Woodcote & AFC Corinthians away. Still, promotion, hats off.
White Eagles were a way off in 3rd but 3rd it was, losing just 6 games in the process, also earning them promotion (following both other clubs’ demise this summer). A sterling effort given the level playing field in the league, the Eagles will look to build as a tough D1 campaign starts on September 1st!
The rest of the sides just about all beat each other. A little run here and there – notably Woodcote Ressies’ 5 straight wins during April to lift relegation fears and Hurst Ressies winning 5 of their last 7 to avoid the drop, a dramatic escape – there was little to write home about. Some memorable ties perhaps. But no team offering the consistency to join White Eagles on a promotion push.
So, to the awards…
Team of the Season
We’re finding it hard NOT to pick the title winners here this season. It has to be a side that only lost 1 and average 5 goals a game! Yup, FC Woodley.
FC Woodley & South Reading had very good sides, we knew that. So we’re going with White Eagles, who at times in the season, struggled to field teams. On several dates, they played with a bare XI so given they were level with the field, to finish 8 points ahead of that field was a great achievement. Well played.
We liked the look of Marlow Reserves but they really went with Youth, so we can’t say ‘under-performed’ as it’s a learning curve. Great development for the club.
It has to be the D3 Champs Berks County Reserves. So much promise pre-season, to have such a great term, then finish 9 adrift of a pack of teams that weren’t 9 points better than them has to be an under-achievement. We know there were changes at the club, so this is no dig, just a nod to a disappointing season. They’ll be back…this summer has seen big things!
Any 10-0 is WOW but shows oppo had issues so we’ll discount the opening day drubbing by FC Woodley. We have to take notice of the Champs’ only loss…a 5-1 hammering by SRCC and our Entertainers Brimpton (sadly now left the TVPL) didn’t disappoint, a 4-4 draw with Woodley in September was a corker!
Mortimer Reserves’ 6-4 over Hurst was clearly action-packed, and part of Hurst’ revival was a 7-3 belter over those Brimpton Boys, a wonderful achievement.
But we’re going back to October and a classic where one player bagged 4 and another 3…a 6-5 super-game at Cantley between AFC Corinthians & Mortimer, the hosts coming out on top. How can that NOT win???
Sportsmen of the Year
Some gentlemanly teams in this Division but we’re plumping for Mortimer Reserves, who hosting skills and fair play efforts shone through. Thanks chaps!
Moaners of the Season
Not really one to label here, but SRCC did kick up a right stink when they got drawn vs Woodcote on a school night (and got beaten). It wasn’t funny.
What You Up To Award
Berks County. Easy one.
The ‘Aly Us’ Follow Me Award
(this one is getting a bit tedious)
Hurst Reserves – just funny. And their season finale snippets were wonderful. As Pele says, keep it up chaps.
Brimpton – no longer part of our league but offer good fun on social media. Good luck for the season boys, we’ll keep any eye out.
Harchy Hawks – new to Twitter, The Berry Brigade will be much more social after crawling from their cave. Welcome.
So. Done. Sorry it was all 2 months too late. We aimed for the suspense angle but just forgot. Then went away. Sardinia. Lovely it was. Wonderful fish.