This week’s North Devon Gazette Football League round-up
BOCA Seniors have reclaimed the North Devon Gazette Football League Premier division title.
Darren Todd’s side brought the trophy back to Barnstaple after only one season away at Torridgeside, sealing their success with a 3-0 win at Fremington on Saturday.
Boca went into the game level on points with rivals Braunton, but knew that a draw would be enough to decide the title after a 3-1 win over Torrington last Wednesday.
But, as they have done all season, Boca went out and tried to win the match and pulled off a comfortable win to clinch the title with a game to spare.
Boca’s goals came from Ciaron Lishman, Elliot Whitecross and an own goal as they cruised to victory and allowed the celebrations to start a week early.
It was the 27th win in 29 league games this term for a team who only need to avoid defeat at home to Dolton on Friday evening to finish the campaign unbeaten.
Braunton have also enjoyed a terrific season, only losing in their two clashes with Boca and winning 26 league games on their way to second.
Torridgeside ended their title defence with a win over Ilfracombe Reserves on Saturday and a defeat at Barnstaple AAC on Sunday.
They won 4-2 on Saturday, before a 5-0 hammering on Sunday, and now sit seventh, although Appledore Reserves will leapfrog them if they win their final game of the season at bottom of the league Chittlehampton.
Last year’s runners up Bideford Reserves saw their chances of another top three finish dashed last Wednesday, as they lost their final game of the season 2-1 to Barnstaple AAC.
Bideford are level on points with Torrington, but would need them to lose their final game of the campaign by at least 14 goals.
Following their defeat to Boca last week, Torrington will finish their season – and should seal third – when they travel to Shebbear United tonight (Wednesday).
Bradworthy secured a tenth win of the season by hitting North Molton for six.
They won Saturday’s game by six goals to three, thanks to goals from Gary Clarke (2), Lee Clarke, Matthew Carter, Michael Sampson and Jack Walter. North Molton’s goals came via Matt Coombes, Michael Humphreys and Josh Stoneman.
North Molton were then held to a 1-1 draw by Dolton on Sunday, leaving them ninth with one more game to play.
They face Shebbear United on Saturday.
Shebbear were also held in their weekend game, drawing 1-1 at Georgeham and Croyde.
Shebbear still have two games to play, starting with Torrington tonight (Weds).
BRAUNTON Reserves have done everything they can to claim the senior division title by beating chasing Park United – but the league is still in Park’s hands.
Braunton beat Park by three goals to one last Wednesday, with goals coming from Danny Ball, Matthew Hunt and Alan Woodcock, while David Brown was on target for Park.
That game, which was Braunton’s last of the league season, left them 11 points clear of Park – who still had four games to play.
Knowing that they now have no room for error, Park picked up a crucial 2-0 win away at Woolsery on Saturday to close the gap to eight points.
They travel to South Molton tonight (Weds) before a difficult trip to Landkey Town on Saturday as they look to reel in the leaders.
Three wins in five days have left Barnstaple FC on course for a top three finish.
Last Wednesday’s 9-0 win over Morwenstow Reserves was followed by a 4-0 win at South Molton on Saturday and a 3-0 win at Ashwater on Sunday.
Barnstaple’s triple puts them three points ahead of Landkey with a game in hand, and only four points off Park United in second.
They are on the road again on Wednesday night, when they travel to Woolsery.
Shamwickshire Rovers Reserves produced one of their best performances of the season on Saturday to move away from danger at the bottom end of the table.
A James Bateman hat-trick helped them to a 5-1 win over Merton, with Andrew Allan and Harry Logie also on the score sheet.
Landkey look almost certain to finish fourth after the three points were awarded to them in a walkover against Ashwater.
They would need to win their final game of the season, at home to Park on Saturday, and would need Barnstaple FC to lose their final two games, with a twelve goal swing to finish third.
HARTLAND and Woolacombe and Mortehoe were preparing to do battle last night (Tuesday) in a game which would almost certainly finalise the destination of this season’s Intermediate One league title.
A win for either side would see them crowned champions, while a draw would leave Hartland needing to avoid defeat in their final game at home to Barnstaple FC Reserves on Saturday – and could leave the door open for Anchor Chiefs to make it a three-way title fight.
For them to win the league, they would require a draw on Tuesday night, and would then have to beat Pilton in their final fixture while hoping Hartland lose to Barnstaple FC Reserves.
Woolacombe squandered a chance to secure the title on Saturday, when they were pummelled 5-1 by Anchor Chiefs.
Woolacombe had gone ahead in the crunch match-up, but two goals apiece from Ian Keen and Charlie Harding, with a fifth coming from Matt Cloak, kept Chiefs in the title race.
Anchor Chiefs boss Mick Tattersall paid tribute to the club’s management team, including Mark ‘Dub’ Williams, and singled out the efforts of young centre back Adam Randleson in a strong season for the club.
Woolacombe did win last Wednesday, though, with a Daniel Wright hat-trick firing them to a 4-2 win over Pilton.
Meanwhile, Hartland were on the charge, picking up three wins in five days to move within touching distance of the table’s summit.
They beat Hartland 6-0 last Wednesday, with goals from Jack Langford (2), Daniel Slee (2), Richard Davey and Adam Symons.
They then got a walkover against Sporting Barum on Saturday, before a thumping 8-0 win at Equalizers on Sunday.
Last Tuesday night was a bad one for Sporting Barum, as they went down 13-0 at Barnstaple FC Reserves.
Ben Paul scored eight for the home side, with the other goals coming from Kev Shaddick (2), Chris Holding, Mikey Wills and substitute David Beer.
CHIVENOR are this season’s Intermediate Two champions.
The side, in their first season in the North Devon League, secured the title in style with an 11-2 win at Hartland Reserves last Tuesday night.
The win put them 10 points clear of nearest challengers North Molton Thirds, who despite winning the first of their three games in hand on Saturday are now unable to bridge the gap.
Tommy Herd has had an exceptional season for Chivenor, and took his goal tally to 40 in just 26 games with four more in his side’s final game of the season.
Chivenor tore Hartland apart, with 20-goal Timmy Pike also netting a hat-trick, while there were singles for Mitch Evans, Christopher Gaffney, Josh Jarrett and Karl Newman.
North Molton Thirds are on track to finish second, though, after beating Putford Reserves on Saturday.
The Stags won 5-3 to keep themselves three points ahead of Haxton Rangers, with both sides still to play two more games.
North Molton go to Georgeham and Croyde on Sunday.
Haxton will have completed their fixture list by then, as they look forward to a final double header this week.
They travel to Appledore Academy on Wednesday (tonight) before hosting Anchor Chiefs Reserves in their final game of the season on Saturday.
Haxton are guaranteed to finish no lower than third this season, and kept themselves in with a chance of securing second with a 4-0 win at South Molton Reserves last Saturday.
Chittlehampton Reserves launched a last stand as they look to lift themselves off the foot of the Intermediate Two table, beating Anchor Chiefs Reserves 6-2 on Saturday.
They sit on 10 points, having been docked nine points for failing to field a team on a number of occasions this season.
Hartland Reserves are also looking to finish with a flourish, and picked up a 6-2 win of their own on Sunday.
Hartland still have five games to play, including three this week, and sit 13th, but Sunday’s win against mid-table Woolacombe and Mortehoe Reserves will give them renewed belief that they can finish higher.
Woolsery Reserves secured a top 10 finish with a 2-1 against Georgeham and Croyde Reserves on Sunday, and play their final game of the season against Lynton and Lynmouth this Saturday.