Manchester Walking Football June 2023
GMWF 60s League
The final session of the 2023 Spring League saw three teams in contention for the Division 1 title. Going in to this session one point separated Bury Relics, Club Kingsmaid and Wakefield Wanderers, so the head to heads could be the deciding factors.
The first one was Club Kingsmaid v Bury Relics and the former came away with a 1-0 win to take them four points clear of the Relics. In the same time slot Wakefield Wanderers drew with Rochdale AFC Strollers, which saw them three points adrift of Kingsmaid.
Wakefield then beat Manchester Corinthians Reds 1-0, while Kingsmaid had a 4-1 victory over the Strollers. Bury then drew with the Corinthians, which made their prospects of winning the division virtually impossible. It now looked to be a two way battle for the title. In the strongly contested head to head, no side was giving any quarter and a great shot in the top corner of the Wakefield net gave Kingsmaid with a 1-0 victory and the title within their grasp.
Kinsmaid then drew with the Corinthians, while Wakefield beat the Relics, meaning Kinsmaid won the division by four points over Wakefield. Certainly these two teams would be a match for any team in the country.
Manchester Corinthians, although good defensively cannot score goals and in this division that is paramount, however they remain in Division 1 with a five point advantage over bottom placed Rochdale AFC Strollers, former champions who will play in Division 2 in the Autumn league.
In Division 2 a similar situation arose, this time with two teams battling for the title. Fleetwood Town Flyers had a two point lead over Bolton Wanderers Blues going into this final session. The first fixture in the division was the head to head and the Flyers came away with a 1-0 win, meaning they now had a five point advantage over the Bolton side.
A further victory over Manchester Corinthians Whites, while Bolton only drew with Carlisle SOA inceased that lead to seven points and with two fixtures left they couldn’t be caught. In the remaining fixtures the Flyers picked up one point while Bolton collected four, so the Flyers won the title by four points and return to Division 1 after being relegated last Autumn.
Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders had the biggest points haul of the day in this division, collecting eight and finishing third. Carlisle SOA finished fourth gaining three points today while bottom placed Manchester Corinthians Whites added two points to their total of six and are now relegated.
Divisions 3 and 4 were played on 8th June. This was only the third session played due to the March fixtures being cancelled through snow. Last month Purple Panthers led the table by four points in Division 3 but could only add another five today and are now top on just goal average from second placed Rochdale AFC Striders who collected nine points.
Preston North End Senior Whites had a good day grabbing eight points and are now two points behind the leaders. Burnley Clarets are in fourth spot while Garstang WFC lost all their four fixtures and are in bottom spot and are almost certainties for relegation.
In Division 4 Salcom had the best points haul of the day with five but still remain in bottom spot. Winstanley Walkers are the new leaders with Moston Brook dropping to second spot on goal difference. Bolton Wanderers Whites are third, one point behind the top two. Any of the top three could win this division when the final round of fixtures are played on 29th June.
The final sessions of Divisions 3 and 4 were played on 29th June. With only two points sepatating the top three teams the heads to heads could be crucial. The first head to head was Preston North End Senior Whites versus the leaders Purple Panthers. The Panthers won this one 2-0 to give them a five point lead over the Preston team.
Second placed Rochdale AFC Striders now faced the Panthers and were beaten 1-0, while the Preston team had a win over Burnley Clarets. The Panthers drew their third fixture while Preston won and the Striders lost. The Panthers had a three point lead over the Preston team going into the final fixture but with a slightly better goal difference. Both teams won meaning that Purple Panthers were the champions and Preston North End Senior Whites were the runners up.
Rochdale AFC Striders came third and Burnley Clarets, who collected seven points today, were fourth. Garstang WFC finished fifth and despite wining one fixture failed to hand in their score sheet. The rule meant that all their opponents on the day were awarded 1-0 wins. Luckily this didn’t effect the standings.
A similar situation existed in Division 4 with just one point separating the top three teams. Winstanley Walkers were top on goal difference, with Moston Brook FC second and Bolton Wanderers Whites a point behind in third spot. In the first time slot Bolton won while Moston lost to Winstanley. In the second slot Moston drew with Bolton while Winstanley lost to Salcom.
So now Bolton and Winstanley were both on the same points but the Bolton team had a far better goal difference, so one point would see them win the division in their final game against Winstanley. Bolton won this head to head 1-0 and were now champions of Division 4. Winstanley were second while Moston had a disappointing day collecting just two points and finishing third. Salcom collected four points to finish fourth.
Division 5 was played on 28th June. Going into these fixtures Roach Dynamos had a six point lead over second placed Wakefield Wanderers Whites. It wasn’t a good day for either team with the Dynamos picking up two points to the Wanderers one point.
Ribble Valley and Bury Relics both had good results, Ribble collecting seven points to finish second and the Relics just one point behind the Wanderers who finished third. Roach Dynamos won the division by a three point margin and will be promoted for the Autumn league season starting in September.
GMWF 65s League
Divisions 1 and 2 were played on 15th June. Club Kingsmaid had a four point advantage over Bury Relics going into these June fixtures. They picked up five points to the Relics eight points giving them the title by a single point.
Bolton Arena, bottom of the table in May, collected seven points to finish third, while Preston North End Senior Whites collected four points from four 0-0 draws to take fourth spot. Manchester Corinthians Reds managed a single point today and their failure to score has cost them dearly. With only three goals from their sixteen fixtures in this Spring league the former champions, like Rochdale AFC Strollers last season, find themselves in Division 2 for the Autumn season. How the mighty have fallen.
In Division 2 Fleetwood Town Flyers had to withdraw from todays fixtures due to lack of players and therefore forfeited all their fixtures with 1-0 wins awarded to their opponents. Already in a relegation battle with Rochdale AFC Strollers, their fate was sealed with zero points while the Strollers collected four points.
At the top of the table it was a battle between Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders and Wakefield Wanderers to see which team would be promoted to Division 1. The Seasiders had a one point advantage going into todays fixtures.
The Yorkshire side had problems on the motorway and half their team arrived just in time to play their first fixture, which they drew, while the Seasiders beat Rochdale AFC Strollers, giving them a three point advantage. So the head to head could be vital, although the Seasiders had a far better goal difference.
Blackpool won the head to head, winning the division by a six point margin over the Wanderers, who took second spot. The Strollers finished third, while the aforementioned Fleetwood side took bottom spot.
Divisions 3 and 4 were played on 22nd June. Purple Panthers, leading by three points over Manchester Citizens after the May session, added seven points to the Citizens three points to give them the title by a seven point margin. The Citizens took second spot.
Salcom had a good day adding seven points to their three sessions six points to give them third spot. Burnley Clarets lost all three fixtures today finishing in fourth spot and dependent on team entries could find themselves in Division 4 for the Autumn season.
In Division 4 Moston Brook FC started the day with a five point lead over Rochdale AFC Striders and looked odds on favourites to take the title. They had a bad start losing to Ribble Valley WFC and the nerves set in. They drew their second fixture while the Striders had drawn their first two fixtures. So now they had a four point lead and with one fixture left they couldn’t be caught.
The Striders finished second while Ribble Valley WFC, who were in bottom spot on eight points after the May session, added another seven points to leapfrog Wakefield Strollers into third spot. The Strollers added two points to their existing eleven points and finished in fourth spot.
GMWF 70s League
The final session of the 70s Spring league was played on 7th June. Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders went into the session with a three point lead over both Bury Relics and Manchester Corinthians, with all three teams on the same goal difference. The three head to heads could be crucial in deciding who finished as champions.
The first fixture was one head to head with Blackpool playing Bury Relics, who had a couple of their normal side missing. Blackpool won 1-0 and the other fixture in the same time slot saw Corinthians drawing 0-0 with Rochdale AFC Strollers. This meant that the Seasiders had a six point lead over the Relics and a five point lead over the Corinthians.
Next up was the Seasiders versus the Corinthians and the latter had to win this to hopefully stay in contention. It wasn’t to be with the seasiders scoring a great goal to win the tie 1-0, thus ending any hopes the Corinthians held of taking the title. The Relics grabbed a point in this same time slot so it was now the Seasiders with twenty seven points, the Corinthians with nineteen points and the Relics with nineteen points.
So with two games to go the Seasiders were well deserved champions. One of the original clubs who joined the GMWFL in 2017, it was good to see the Seasiders win another trophy. Their next adventure will be in the over 75s Cup in July where according to the grapevine they are negotiating the signing of a highly successful ex player/manager of two top walking football teams in the North West.
Corinthians finished runners up six points adrift of the Seasiders and four points ahead of the Relics, who took third spot. Rochdale AFC Strollers, always a strong side, strangely failed to score in their previous fifteen fixtures in this division. However they remedied that situation with at last scoring in their final fixture against Bury Relics and finished fourth with a three point advantage over botton placed Tameside Strders Blues.
The Blues played some excellent football today collecting six points and it could have been a comletely different outcome if the same team had been available earlier in the season.
Division 2 was played on 14th June. Going into this final session Manchester Citizens had a six point lead over Preston North End Senior Whites. The Citizens drew their first fixture against Bolton Arena Cardinals while Preston beat Salcom. They both won their second fixtures leaving the Citizens with a four point advantage.
Next up was the head to head which Preston needed to win to have any chance of winning the division. It ended in a 0-0 draw and with one fixture left the Citizens couldn’t be caught. So the title was theirs with Preston runners up two points behind.
Salcom finished third collecting seven points and Bolton Arena Cardinals in fourth spot with just a single point today. Tameside Striders Blues collected three points and finished in bottom spot and will be in Divison 3 next season.
Division 3 was played on 21st June. Only two goals were scored today in the six fixtures. Rochdale AFC Striders, already having a three point lead at the top of the table over Burnley Clarets, added another seven points while the Clarets could only manage two points today but still remained in second spot.
Tameside Striders Greens finished in third spot, one point behind the Clarets, drawing all their three fixtures 0-0 today. Moston Brook FC, with just a single point after the three previous sessions of this Spring league, added two points to their total and finished in fourth spot.
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