TORRIDGESIDE are the Premier Division champions after winning a midweek goalfest to put their noses in front of title rivals Bideford Reserves.
Both teams knew victory in their final league games of the season was not enough, but the number of goals was vital.
Bideford’s 7-1 win away at Shamwickshire would, in most circumstances, have been enough. But Torridgeside turned in a 10-0 win away to a Putford side that has been battling hard to get away from the bottom of the table. After 28 matches the rivals finished level on points, but with Torridgeside having an 84 goal difference compared to Bideford’s 79.
“We knew we would need goals. We went all out in attack from the start and it paid off,” said Torridgeside’s Barry Paine. Their goals came from Marc Bettis (3), Rob Holland (2), Mike Headon (2), Kyle Paine, Jamie Bright and Steve Reed.
Bideford’s Sam Stephens said: “We thought we might have done enough.” Their scorers were Will Nicholls (3), Phil Kelly, Ben Ford, Anthony Moyse and Joe Grimley. Shamwickshire replied through a Ben Evans-Loude free kick.
The two protagonists now await their meeting this Saturday in the final of the Brayford Cup.
Last season’s champions Boca Seniors have all but consolidated third place after a 3-0 win over North Molton midweek and a 4-0 win against Putford on Saturday.
Fourth-placed North Molton returned to winning ways with a 3-1 result at Appledore Reserves on Saturday.
Appledore sprinted out of the blocks and were in front within 10 minutes with a neat backheel from Joe Kelly. But Molton levelled through Jamie Gifford by half-time and went ahead courtesy of goalkeeper Joe Tickle, who was keen to take a penalty chance and made no mistake from the spot. Tom Marsh’s third made the game safe.
Braunton hit five without reply at home to Shamwickshire on Friday, their goals coming from Ross Maynard (2), Sam Box, Dave Mason and John Shurry.
A game of two halves, made difficult by the wind, saw Barnstaple AAC run out 3-2 winners in a potential relegation six-pointer at home to Georgeham. With a strong wind at their backs Ammies were 2-0 up by the break and pounced on a defensive slip to make it 3-0 soon afterwards, with goals by Aaron Yeo (2) and Charlie Logie.With the elements in their favour Georgeham pulled back with goals by Chris Barrow and Chris Gaffney, but could not find an equaliser.
Nico Pfieffer struck twice to give Chittlehampton a 2-0 midweek win at Dolton, but they failed to reply to Tudor Placinta’s strike for Bradworthy on Saturday which gave the home side a 1-0 win.