Seniors on top despite switch

Joseph Bulmer

Pitch problems don’t stop Boca from regaining pole position in the Premier table

BOCA Seniors went to the top of the North Devon Gazette Premier Division table with a 5-3 win at Georgeham & Croyde on Saturday.

The Seniors have been desperate to make up ground on their rivals after bad weather, poor fixture planning and good cup runs put a dent in their title push.

And they were so keen to get it on at the weekend that they agreed to switch venues for the second time in two weeks.

With the pitch at the Tarka Tennis Centre deemed unplayable, Boca upped sticks to Georgeham but still managed to take control of the game as if they were playing at home.

By 25 minutes, they’d waltzed into a 3-0 lead, Scott Sharp (2) and Matt Deakin nailing the early goals past the Hammers.

The hosts hit two back before the break but after a stern half-time talking to, Tom Marsh got his head onto a pinpoint Deakin cross to the restore a two goal cushion at the far post.

Mark Barrow converted from the penalty spot after Deakin was fouled and despite a third goal for Georgeham, Boca claimed a comfortable win.

Despite playing only 11 games, they’ve gone two points clear of Appledore Reserves and have plenty of games in hand on those around them.

The Fishermen were in Brayford Cup action at the weekend, but missed out on a semi-final date after losing at home to Braunton.

The visitors took the lead through James Galliford’s 22-yard low driven shot around 15 minutes into the match at Marshford.

And despite being denied further goals by the heroics of the Appledore keeper, the strike proved enough to take Braunton through to the semi-final with old rivals Boca Seniors on March 19.

Shamwickshire Rovers picked up all three points in what manager Gary Ford described a typically hard-fought physical derby at Putford.

Gary Skinner opened the scoring for Shammy after heading home a Mark Jury corner on 15 minutes.

Sam Schiller thought he’d scored an identical chance for the visitors five minutes later but the effort was not given after the ball hit the cross bar and the goal line before being cleared.

The second goal eventually came two minutes before half-time, Ben Ford swinging his left foot at the ball and smashing it into the bottom corner.

Both sides were unable to add to the scoring in the second half and the game finished 2-0 in Shammy’s favour.

Manager Ford said: “They’re battling for the points at the bottom and we’re battling for them at the top so to come away with a win, a clean sheet, no injuries and no suspensions meant it was a good day for us.”

Torrington played host to Dolton under new joint management team Pete Ellis and Danny Jenkins – and stormed to a 7-2 win at Vicarage Field. Jenkins, who has offered to step in and help Ellis, marked his managerial debut with two goals and there were singles for Kai Dymond, Mark Hill, Carl Mott, Ross McNicholas and Nathan Bate.

In the day’s other premier result, Torridgeside beat Ilfracombe Town Reserves 2-1 at Marlborough Park.

Nathan Walters gave Torrie the lead from a free-kick but the hosts hit back to make it 1-1 with the last kick of the half.

Torridgeside were awarded a penalty 10 minutes into the second half, which was tucked away nicely by Craig Allan.

Manager Barry Paine said: “I was proud of all the lads on Saturday but our front men Martin Boundy and Cory Hynd were the pick of the bunch. They worked their socks off all afternoon.”