Manchester Walking Football December 2018
Manchester Walking Football December 2018 was the final session of the Over 60’s Autumn league. With all three divisional titles up for grabs, it promised to be an interesting day at the Heywood Sports Village.
Fourteen of the thirty fixtures were 0-0 draws, half of them in Division 3. Twenty two goals were scored, ten in Division 1, seven in Division 2 and five in Division 3.
In Division 1, Wakefield Wanderers, who had a three point lead over Rochdale AFC Strollers after the November session, gained another six points with a win and three draws. The Strollers managed two wins and two draws to add eight points to their seventeen in November.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough for the Strollers, two time champions of the 60’s league. Wakefield had won the division by a single point, congratulations to them on a successful campaign. They have supported the league despite the distance involved from their Yorkshire base and it’s appreciated by us all.
One of my favourite teams in this league has always been Chadderton FC WF, always playing some excellent football. Short of fit players, they only gained a point in this session with three defeats and a draw, to stay in third spot.
With both Nash Amblers and AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders level on points and goal difference after the November session, it was all to play for, and who was relegated could be decided on the head to head encounter.
The Amblers stepped up to the plate and with two wins, a draw and one defeat, gaining a valuable seven points. The Seasiders had a win, a draw and two losses. The head to head did prove instrumental with the Amblers winning 1-0 to give them a three point advantage over the Seasiders, who find themselves in Division 2 for the Spring 2019 season.
With only two points separating three teams in Division 2 after the November session, it was all down to who performed on the day. Fleetwood Town Flyers led Chorley FC CT by one point and Chorley had a one point advantage over Bolton Wanderers Walkers.
Fleetwood had one win and three draws while Chorley had two wins and two draws to add eight points to their total. Bolton, like Fleetwood, had one win and three draws. So Chorley took the Division 2 title by one point over Fleetwood and are in the top division next Spring. Congratulations to the Chorley team.
Bury Relics and Roach Dynamos maintained their fourth and fifth spots. The Relics having two draws and two losses, while Roach had one win and three losses. Roach drop down into Division 3.
The biggest mystery of the day was the performance, or more accurately the non performance, of my own team Manchester Corinthians. Leading Division 3 by four points and a far better goal difference than second placed Man City, the Corinthians just didn’t turn up for what should have been a formality to win Division 3.
Three draws and a loss was hardly the form of champions and full marks to Man City who capitalised on this poor display. City, to their credit, won the division by one point with two wins and two draws. Congratulations to them and I will be the first to admit they were far the better side on the day. Such is football.
The much improved Maccabi Old Codgers remained in third spot, while new team Northgate Strollers, a side difficult to beat, finished fourth. Rochdale Striders finished bottom of Division 3. It has to be said that not a lot separates all these teams in Division 3 and in all three divisions to be honest.
The Golden Gloves Award was shared between Keith Burrows of Manchester Corinthians and Ron Blakelely, a previous winer, of Rochdale AFC Strollers, both with three goals conceded in sixteen games. Well done to both of them. The Golden Boot Award went to Ray Richards of Chorley FC CT, the second time Ray has won this award.
Once again a big thank you to all our excellent referees, Barry Woodburn for his registration duties, David Hirst for the photography and of course Paul Gardner for overseeing the days events in this Manchester Walking Football December 2018 session.
The only negative on the day was that the two teams with 13:20 fixtures arrived at the presentation to find all the food had been eaten. In future the buffet won’t be available until all teams are present at the presentation.
All photographs, courtesy of David Hirst, are in the GALLERY
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