BIDEFORD Reserves have taken the North Devon Football League Senior Division title with six matches left.
Following a 3-1 midweek win at home to Lynton and Lynmouth with a 4-2 win at South Molton on Saturday, unbeaten Bideford are now uncatchable.
With a host of games in hand, Braunton Reserves were the only side mathematically capable of doing so - until they were held to a goalless draw at Northam Lions on Saturday.
Bideford twice fell behind to South Molton in a frantic opening spell. Molton player manager Rob Reed led the way and Daniel Lane netted a second, but each time Bideford came back, to make it 2-2 after just 15 minutes. Bideford grabbed two more before the break, but then the scoring dried up, despite more chances for both sides. Sam Stephens (2), Tom Haynes and Ross Skinner were the Bideford scorers.
A goal from Sam Stephens and two from Sam Grimley gave Bideford their midweek win over Lynton.
Chittlehampton still lead the tight race for second spot following a 3-1 win at Woolsery. They edged in front in the first half, playing uphill and against the wind, James Campbell giving them the lead just before the break. A powerful left foot strike gave Campbell and Chittle their second early in the second half. Woolsery pulled one back from a corner before Jamie Gifford made the game safe for the visitors.
Wrey Arms remain in the mix for the remaining promotion spot, following a 3-1 midweek win at home to Torrington Reserves with another 3-1 result at home to Bude. Simon Larcombe (2) and Dan Dayman netted against Torrington and Simon Larcombe, Paddy Weathers and Mike Knott gave them victory over Bude.
After a 5-0 midweek win away to North Molton Reserves, third placed Park United suffered a 4-3 setback at the hands of Pilton Academicals. They fought back well after going 2-0 down by half-time, but goals by Dave Brown (2) and Mark Hill were not quite enough to counter a hat-trick by Pilton’s Ben Walters and another goal by Kevin Ten-Bokell.
North Molton bounced back with a 3-0 win at home to Barnstaple AAC Reserves, thanks to a ‘perfect’ hat-trick from Daniel Chalk.
Keeper Martyn Bendall saved a penalty to keep the scores level at half-time and Molton’s patience then paid off as Chalk took control after the break.
Ammies had gained a good 2-1 win midweek at home to Pilton Academicals, but are still doomed to relegation.
Shamwickshire Rovers donned their scoring boots to hit bottom team Torrington Reserves 7-0.
But they had to work hard for their win against a battling Torrington, who held them to only 1-0 with 65 minutes gone.
Paul Hayes proved the catalyst for Shammy, netting one goal after he came on as a substitute and securing a penalty after he was fouled in the box, to set Shammy off of a scoring spree.
Ben Sherborne opened the scoring for Shammy from the penalty spot on a day in which he celebrated his 21st birthday and wore the captain’s armband. The others came from Paul Hayes, Adam Copp (pen), Ryan West (2) and Jake England (2).