LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP FINAL ON BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY

Bank Holiday Monday afternoon sees the final of the 73rd Eastern Counties League Challenge Cup competition.

Newly crowned League Champions and defending cup holders Norwich United take on MIldenhall Town at Diss Town FC, kick-off 3.00pm.

The Planters will be going for a consecutive League and Cup double, something that has not been achieved since Sudbury Town managed the feat in 1988/89 and 1989/90. This could be the Planters last match with the Thurlow Nunn League before they move up to the Ryman League next season.

For Mildenhall Town this is their first appearance in the final of this competition but they have had a very good season, finishing strongly to claim sixth position.

THEY THINK IT’S ALL OVER – IT IS NOW

League Chairman Peter Hutchings was out and about presenting trophies on Saturday with Godmanchester Rovers the first recipients before their match at Ipswich Wanderers. Godmanchester had won the Premier Division Runners-up Shield for the second season running.

Peter was then on to Wivenhoe Town where the celebrations for the home side started once the First Division Trophy had been handed over. It has been a fine season for the Dragons after years of struggle and congratulations go to Mo Osman and all the good people at Wivenhoe.

Runners-up Ely City received the First Division Runners-up Shield from the League’s esteemed former President Malcolm Nunn. Ely beat Halstead Town 1-0 with the Essex side just missing out on promotion in fourth place.

Great Yarmouth Town’s single goal victory over Team Bury on Saturday secured them third place and promotion back to the Premier Division with a renewed league rivalry with close neighbours Gorleston. The Bloaters had narrowly missed out on the final day last season.

Meanwhile Fakenham Town effected the great escape from Premier Division relegation. After looking dead and buried for a good part of the season the Ghosts dug deep and took 13 points from their final 5 games, finishing with a 1-0 win at Walsham le Willows on Saturday. Kyle Plumb scored the all important goal early in the second half.

The three points at Walsham took Fakenham above Swaffham Town and Thetford Town, who both lost their key relegation clashes. After losing their last four games Thetford have finished second from bottom while Swaffham have finished third bottom and must wait to see about the movements between Step 4 and Step 5 before they know if they may be granted a reprieve from relegation.

After a late season wobble the League’s most southerly club, Witham Town Reserves, finally wrapped up their second successive Reserve League title with an emphatic 10-0 win over Lowestoft Town Reserves.

GREAT YARMOUTH PRESENTED WITH LATEST TEAM PERFORMANCE AWARD


Great Yarmouth Town were presented with the latest Team Performance Award at their match with Woodbridge Town on Tuesday evening. The club received a cheque for £150 and the award plate (being presented above to Bloater’s Martin Sinclair by Dax Harding of Thurlow Nunn).

Great Yarmouth’s chosen charity the Anchorage Trust were also presented with a £100 cheque by Thurlow Nunn as part of the award, Below Ben Stones from the Anchorage Trust receives the cheque.

YOUTH CUP FINALISTS KNOWN

Following their victories on Thursday evening it is to be Woodbridge Town and King’s Lynn Town that contest the 2015/16 Thurlow Nunn Youth Cup Final.

Woodbridge won 2-0 at Brightlingsea Regent while King’s Lynn needed a penalty shoot out to overcome Walsham le Willows.

The final is to be played at Diss Town FC on Thursday May 12th, ko 7.30pm.

GODMANCHESTER SECURE RUNNERS-UP SPOT

Godmanchester Rovers made certain of runners-up spot in the Premier Division on a snowy Wednesday evening with an emphatic 7-0 home victory over fifth placed Kirkley & Pakefield. It was Goddy’s 18th win in their last 19 league matches.

The relegation position also became a little clearer with FA Vase heroes Ipswich Wanderers finally able to breathe a sigh of relief after their 3-1 win over Hadleigh United took them clear of danger.

With Whitton United already relegated the other two relegation positions will be filled by Norfolk teams. Swaffham Town hold a two point lead over both Thetford Town and Fakenham Town going into their final matches on Saturday. All three teams are away to Suffolk sides – Swaffham at Hadleigh United, Thetford at Felixstowe & Walton United and Fakenham at Walsham le Willows. Although there are three relegation places there could be a reprieve for the team finishing third bottom, depending on movements between the Step 4 and Step 5 leagues.

Despite going two goals down at home to AFC Sudbury Reserves Ely City made absolutely certain of runners-up spot in the First Division by coming back to win 5-2. The result means that Wivenhoe Town still need a point from their remaining two matches to be First Division Champions.

ELY CITY PROMOTED

League President John Day presented Norwich United with the League Championship trophy after their 3-1 win over Long Melford on Saturday. The title had already been settled following United’s 2-1 victory at Walsham le Willows on Wednesday.

The race is now on for runners-up spot as Stanway Rovers, with only their final match at home to Norwich United to play, lead Godmanchester Rovers, who have three games left, by two points. Neither Stanway nor Godmanchester have lost a league match so far in 2016.

Fakenham Town and Swaffham Town are fighting hard to retain their Premier Division status. Third from bottom Fakenham made it 10 points from the last 4 games after beating Haverhill Rovers 2-0 through two first half goals from Kyle Plumb while second from bottom Swaffham made it 4 points in 4 days after beating Ipswich Wanderers 2-1. The teams just above the Norfolk duo must now be looking nervously over their shoulders.

Ely City confirmed their promotion back to the Premier Division at the first attempt after a 2-1 win at Leiston Reserves. Craig Neal and Alex Theobald scored the goals in Ely’s twelfth successive win. Wivenhoe Town went 4-1 up at home to Great Yarmouth Town before being pegged back to 4-3 and now need just 4 points from their 3 games this week to secure the First Division title.

The third promotion spot remains between Great Yarmouth, who slipped to fourth after their defeat at Wivenhoe, and Halstead Town, who moved up to third after a Marcus Warren penalty was enough to beat King’s Lynn Town Reserves. The Bloaters are one point behind the Humbugs and have two games remaining while the Essex side have only a trip to Ely next Saturday left on their fixture list.

Following two defeats this week Witham Town Reserves will need to win both their remaining matches to retain the Reserve League title. The dropping of any points will see Hadleigh United Reserves, who have already finished their programme, take the title.

Finally congratulations to Brantham Athletic Reserves who lifted the Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup on Wednesday evening, beating Haverhill Rovers in the final. It is the fourth successive season that the winners of the competition have come from the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League.

NORWICH UNITED – LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

Congratulations to Norwich United on retaining the Thurlow Nunn League Championship.

Their 2-1 victory at Walsham le Willows on Wednesday evening was enough to win the title with three matches remaining. The Planters showed they meant business as they raced into a 2-0 lead after just 3 minutes although Andy Wood did pull a second half goal back for the home side.

It is planned to present the Championship trophy on Saturday afternoon after the Norwich United v. Long Melford match.

LEADING GOALSCORERS

Premier Division
35 Mat Blake (Norwich United)
25 Jamie Griffiths (Long Melford)
21 Jamie Shaw (Stanway Rovers)
20 James Hall (Godmanchester Rovers)
20 Michael Hyem (Godmanchester Rovers)
19 Aaron Condon (FC Clacton)
19 Danny Thrower (Hadleigh United)
18 Andy Wood (Walsham le Willows)
18 Sean Gunn (Brantham Athletic)
17 Miles Powell (Felixstowe & Walton United)
15 Ross King (Kirkley & Pakefield)
15 Tanner Call (Walsham le Willows)
14 Joe Jackson (Swaffham Town)

First Division
26 Ray Turner (Wivenhoe Town)
22 Matt Dixon (Stowmarket Town)
20 Mitch Forbes (Great Yarmouth Town)
19 Thomas Winter (Leiston Res)
18 Adam Hampson (Wivenhoe Town)
18 Alex Theobald (Ely City)
16 Jamie George (Diss Town)
16 James Seymour (Ely City)
15 Samuel Cripps (Halstead Town)
15 Matthew Simpson (Ely City)
15 Jack Baker (Leiston Res)

Reserve League
25 Lewis Blanchett (Stanway Rovers)
22 Elliot Bullard (Hadleigh United)
20 Oliver O’Hare (Wivenhoe Town)
18 Joshua Perry (Witham Town)
17 Kyle Cassell (Hadleigh United)
16 Jake McDowell (Whitton United)
16 Joe Dear (Witham Town)
16 Ross McLintock (Witham Town)
15 Ashley Veitch (Felixstowe & Walton United)
15 Harry Mann (Brantham Athletic)

A Lot of Wet Pitches

Only two Premier Division games survived the weather on Saturday but each of them featured 7 goals.

Fifth placed Kirkley & Pakefield confirmed Whitton United’s relegation after a 7-0 victory with Ross Gilfedder scoring five. The other game saw Long Melford beat Newmarket Town 6-1 including a Jamie Griffiths hat trick.

Swaffham Town have been given an extra lifeline in their battle against relegation after it was found that Newmarket Town had fielded an ineligible player in last month’s 1-0 win over the Pedlars. The game is to be replayed on April 25th.

The games involving the top three teams in the First Division were all postponed leaving fourth placed Halstead Town to close the gap to the promotion places with 3-2 home win over Stowmarket Town. The Humbugs came from two goals down after playing with 10 men for most of the match.