Teams out to rebuild their momentum
THE North West Counties League resumed in earnest last Thursday, with its first full set of fixtures following what, for some men’s teams, had been a two-week autumn half-term break.
Victorious sides from our local clubs were rather in the minority, as only four of the 13 registered wins - although the same number were only narrowly beaten by the odd match in five.
Division Two East included an example of each - with the added consequence that Bollington 1, who thumped basement side Brooklands 2 at home 5-0, leapfrogged Prestbury 1, who were on the wrong end of a 3-2 defeat to their visitors, and divisional table-toppers, Crewe Vagrants 2.
The ‘Bolly Firsts’ now sit in eighth place - thanks to wins by Christian Ogden, Chris Ogden Senior, Rick Walters, Brigg Simpson and Lyndon Stonier - and are one position above their Prestbury counterparts, for whom Rob Alcock and Adam Colebatch secured consolation triumphs.
Both local representatives in the Third Division South-East endured evenings to forget.
Prestbury 2, lying ninth, were without a win on the three previous matchnights - after facing sides placed fourth, third and second (and in that order) - so a trip to unbeaten leaders Crewe Vagrants did not bode terribly well. And so it proved, as the ‘Seconds’ went down 5-0.
Bollington 2, meanwhile, remain without a win - and have dropped a position to 11th, six points from safety - after losing 4-1 at Knutsford Sports 1. Captain Olli Stewart returned from injury to chalk up his team’s sole success of the evening.
In Division Four South, all matches involving teams in and around our town ended with close 3-2 finishes. One of them, too, was a local derby at Macclesfield Leisure Centre - pitting Macc’s ‘Firsts’, who had lost their last two fixtures, at home against Prestbury’s ‘Thirds’, who had won their last two.
The former, in ninth, just prevailed, as James Douglas, Martin Hall and Rob Harland all won to offset victories for the seventh-placed visitors by Paul Wilson and Rupert Richards.
Bollington 3 and Prestbury 4 each moved up a place - to 10th and 11th, respectively - but still remain in the relegation mix, after being edged out at Buxton 1 and at home to Alsager 2. Neil Garner and Gareth Ainsworth were winners on the night in Derbyshire for the ‘Bolly Thirds’, who are still in need of a first victory this term, while Ben Parker and Phil Colville both won in straight games for Prestbury at Bollin Grove.
Prestbury 5 continue to keep ahead of the chasing pack in the Fifth Division South, and are now 10 points clear after beating the club’s fifth-placed Sixth Team 5-0. Gareth Evans and Dave Marwood, together with juniors Greg Ralley and Harry Mattocks (both 16), as well as 13-year-old Rhys Asquith-Evans, ensured a maximumpoints haul.
Bollington 4 are up a place to sixth, having jumped above visitors Radbroke Hall 3 after a 3-2 victory - courtesy of wins by Tom Grimes and junior players Ben Gayne (17) and Sam Jordan (13).
Macclesfield 2 remain 10th, following a 5-0 defeat at third-placed Alderley Edge 6.
And although Prestbury’s ‘Sevenths’ fared slightly better - thanks to a victory for Dave Pearce on only his second appearance - their 4-1 defeat at home to Grove Park 8 leaves them at the bottom of the table and still searching for their inaugural win of the campaign.
Three days earlier, the Cheshire Ladies’ League had staged matches for both Prestbury teams - both of whom suffered defeats and now sit sixth in their respective divisions.
Second Division Prestbury 1 were edged out 3-2 at home by Brooklands, despite wins for Fran Taylor and Sarah Lonsdale, while the ‘Seconds’, from Division Three ‘b’, lost 5-0 at The Northern 3. Prestbury 2’s divisional companions, Bollington, were without a match - but lie handily placed in second, just seven points behind, and with a game in hand on, leaders Warrington 2.