How The Vine snatched the title – and Pymoor let it go
DIVISION 3B THE Division 2B championship and promotion race went all the way to the wire and it was a similar story in Division 3B. The Vine confounded most expectations by lifting the title just ahead of Somersham Town Reserves, Wisbech St Mary Reserves
THE Division 2B championship and promotion race went all the way to the wire and it was a similar story in Division 3B.
The Vine confounded most expectations by lifting the title just ahead of Somersham Town Reserves, Wisbech St Mary Reserves and long-time leaders Pymoor FC.
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Home W10 D2 L1 F41 A16
Away W9 D4 L0 F44 A21
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Pts 63 (1st of 14)
THE Vine opened their programme fairly innocuously, drawing 1-1 at Huntingdon United RGE Reserves before crashing 6-0 at Newmarket Town A in the cup.
Home points were then dropped in a 2-2 draw with Soham United Reserves (in-form at the time), but subsequent league form was good and included significant victories against both Wisbech and Pymoor.
But The Vine played only twice in the next 11 weeks, including a 5-5 draw against a Hemingfords United Reserves side who finished bottom and earned only eight points all season.
Pymoor were setting a hot pace at the head of affairs followed by Wisbech St Mary, with The Vine and Somersham looking out of contention despite having games in hand.
Things didn't particularly improve when The Vine resumed their programme with a 3-3 draw against Fordham Reserves, and a 4-0 home defeat by Somersham followed, although that proved to be their only league defeat of the campaign.
They held the same opponents 2-2 a couple of weeks later, and then proceeded to burn their way to the 3B championship by taking 31 points from a possible 33, completing doubles over Wisbech St Mary and Pymoor in the process.
So did they deserve their success?
Well, Somersham and Saints both had far superior goal differences, and Pymoor looked nailed on to win it until injuries and absences resulted in them losing four of their last six matches.
Then in The Vine's final outing, they needed three late strikes to overcome Soham (now struggling) by the odd goal in five.
In truth there was very little to choose between the top four sides in this section, but circumstances somehow conspired to put The Vine at the top of the pile.
Home W10 D0 L3 F62 A32
Away W9 D1 L3 F47 A30
Pts 58 (4th of 14)
PYMOOR are probably still kicking themselves, having somehow slumped to fourth spot from a seemingly unassailable position at the top of the table with six games remaining.
Having beaten Somersham Town Reserves 7-1 in their opening game, the surrender of three points in the aborted home fixture with Huntingdon United RGE Reserves was unforgivable.
That memory faded in the wake of Pymoor's subsequent form however, and - a 6-4 defeat at The Vine apart - they swept virtually all before them, winning 16 league games and drawing just one.
A 3-2 defeat at St Ives Town A seemed little more than a hiccup as they followed up with successive wins against Soham United Reserves and Little Downham Swifts, but the last three games proved disastrous.
Four points would probably have been enough, but they lost at Lakenheath Reserves and then conceded a total of 12 goals in successive home defeats against The Vine and Wisbech St Mary Reserves.
If those three matches had been played earlier in the season, I have no doubt that the results would have been somewhat different.