|Taking in two Premier Division Cup games this morning at Beacon Hill School and the Thornton Sports Centre. A place in this season's semi-finals was the prize.|
You're probably aware that I'm not much of a fan of the Premier Division and Division 1 Cup competitions for a number of reasons. The smallest football league in the world is the Isles of Scilly Football League that only has two teams, the Garrison Gunners and the Woolpcack Wanderers. They play seventeen Sunday league games against each other a season as well as three Cup competitions. Apart from the BFSFA Premier Division and Division 1 Cup competitions these are the only known Cup competitions on the planet where you don't get the opportunity to take on a team that you wouldn't ordinarily face in league action.
In addition, there are only ten teams in Division 1 at present due to Bispham Juniors FF FC and CTK FC folding and as a result this has allowed one of the teams to reach the semi final without kicking a ball. Therefore, the two competitions don't hold much interest for me and the few other neutrals out there. Even a number of clubs in the Premier Division often refer to it as the Consolation Cup. I'm not deliberately trying to be controversial but maybe it's time for a re-think.
At the Thornton Sports Centre Hydronics FC were hosting Red Rose Catering FC. The teams have already fulfilled both league fixtures against each other. The first match finished 2-2 but the week after Red Rose beat Hydronics 6-1. Quilligans FC aside Red Rose have the best Cup record in Sunday football in recent seasons. In 2004/05 they won the Division 2 Cup and in 2005/06 they won the Division 1 Cup. In 2006/07 they reached the final of both the Gledhill Cup and the Premier Division Cup and last season they again reached the final of the Premier Division Cup. This season they've reached the last eight of the Gledhill and this morning they were again attempting to reach the final of the Divisional Cup for the fifth season in a row.
At Beacon Hill High School the Devonshire Arms FC were in Cup action against Poulton SFC who won this competition in the 2006/07 season. As of writing both of these teams are joint favourites to take the Premier Division title if they hold their nerve as its in their own hands. The teams had met once in the league back in late August when Poulton beathe Devvy 7-4 so the home side had something to prove this morning. Coming out of this tie with confidence still high was perhaps just as important as progressing through to the semi-finals.
At 7am it was ovecast with heavy drizzle, by kick off time we had clear blue skies and despite the temperature still nowhere near ten degrees it was good to feel the warm sun on your face once again.
I started off at the Sports Centre watching the first half of the Hydronics v Red Rose tie before moving on to Beacon Hill High School for the Devonshire Arms v Poulton game. Here are a few pictures from both matches.
Red Rose in the yellow kit.
Phil Forbes back in action for Hydronics.
Hydronics FC player/manager Chris Matthews in full flow.
Referee Mark Ayre once again in front of the camera.
Red Rose manager was absent at the Spurs v Man United Carling Cup final leaving Mrs Manning (Right) in charge. A sluggish start be Red Rose who struggled to get the bare eleven out this morning.
On 25 minutes the ball was dinked over the heads of the Hydronics' defenders for the striker to hit a volley on the turn past the dive of Romeo Littlewood. 1-0 to Red Rose.
1-0 was how it ended up and once again 'Cup Team' Red Rose Catering FC reach the semi-final of the Divisional Cup. It was then a quick dash to Beacon Hill High School to see 40 minutes of the second half between the Devonshire Arms FC in the tangerine and Poulton SFC – also in the Divisional Cup Quarter Finals. As I arrived I was just in time to see Poulton bring it back to 2-1 from the penalty spot not long into the second half.
Chris Morris tries to change the referee's mind on a corner decision. It didn't work.
Danny porter (Left) and nervous expectant father Tim Kinley on the right.
A good block from short range by 'Arrows'
Devvy manager Danny Rossi on the right with a covert Quills' scout on the left keeping an eye on Poulton for the forthcoming Prem battle.
Interested spectators watch from the North Bank.
One minute the ball bounces dangerously in the Devvy area and literally fifteen seconds later it's in the back of the Poulton net. A ball through the middle was missed by the defender and lee Feehan poked it past the onrushing Kevin Kennerley. Tom Porter's chase is a hopeless one as the ball rolls into the net. 3-1.
Referee Mr Dave Holloway.
Luke on the ball for Poulton SFC
Young Spedding practices his Tai Chi moves.
Devonshire Arms FC keeper Mark Arrowsmith.
A shot comes in from a Devonshire Arms FC. Poulton keeper Kennerley has to keep hold of it or Feehan will make him pay.
He spilled it and Feehan gleefully finished it off. A goal-keeping weekend to forget for the usually reliable Kev Kennerley. 4-1 and game over.
Carl Eastwood (Left)
Antony Stayte with the tackle on Danny Morris.
Poulton sub Rob enters Mr Holloway's notebook after a couple of over-enthusiastic challenges.
The final whistle.
Red Rose Catering FC will now play the Devonshire Arms FC in the semi-final on March 29th.