THUMPING WIN AS CHAMPIONS ISSUE TITLE WARNING
After what has seemed to be an everlasting summer, the 57th season of the Norwich & District Sunday League finally got underway this weekend.
Reigning champions Riverside Rovers, made it very clear that they don't intend to hand over their title in a hurry as they hit nine without reply in their game at Norman Wanderers. Jordan Rocastle and Roy Bevis both hit four goals apiece whilst the other came from Shaun Wones. Last seasons runners up Acle Rangers also got off to a winning start as Julian Bussell and Matthew Billing both grabbed a brace in a 4-2 home win over Farmhouse. There were mixed fortunes for the newly promoted clubs. Senior Cup holders Schoolhouse got off to a great start as goals by Sam Watts and Rhys Logan helped them to a 2-1 win at AFC Wanderers, whilst Bell Inn twice came from behind to beat The PoW 4-2. Kaine Challen was outstanding on his debut for Bell, whilst the goals came from Joe Pattison 2, Dale Simpson and Calvin Butler. I saw the game at Poringland where division newcomers Bungay Town were the visitors in what proved to be an entertaining and closely fought contest. Bungay started well but it was the home side who took the lead when a Cook header from an Udell free kick was helped into his own net by a Bungay defender. The visitors though were level within a minute after Ben Wilson weaved his way through a static home defence to slot home. The rest of the half was evenly matched until just before the break when the Bungay keeper spilled another Udell free kick and David Gilfillan was on hand to fire home from close range. The start of the second period brought a sustained bout of pressure from Bungay but not many clear cut chances were created and the home side made the most of this when Elliot Udell intercepted a back pass and rounded the keeper to make it 3-1. This deflated Bungay for a while and although Aiden Lowe pulled a goal back five minutes from time, the home side held out to take the points without too much drama. The fourth of the newcomers Aslacton & Gt Moulton went down to a 3-1 home defeat against Dussindale Rovers for whom David Whitlam, Tom Cullabine and Damon Bean all scored.
Newly promoted Dilham Cross Keys got off to a flier in Division 1A. Antoni Fawkes hit a hat trick and Jamie Duffield and Daniel Duffield also found the net as they scored five without reply against Anglian Rovers. Vale Longo made a bright start, coming back from New Buckenham with a 3-1 win thanks to two James Preston goals and one from Rob Holl, and Bungay Town Res were victorious, scoring four of the seven goals in their game with Brooke. A cool finish by Horsford United's Callum Cooper was enough to give his side all three points at home to Costessey West End and Windmill Wanderers report that a fantastic late strike from Kieran Robbins was enough for them to beat Sporting Longdale 1-0. Charlie Steward was outstanding on his Windmill debut. Edith Cavell (formerly SDC Utd) were delighted that their first game in Senior football ended in a 3-1 (Chris Chapman, Liam Baker, of) victory over Acle Rangers Res. DEF FC started the season with a 6-1 win at Revolution FC, and William Wanderers hit three (Daniel Childerhouse, Matthew Daynes, James Denmark) whilst winning at Sprowston Wanderers. Salhouse Rovers also began the season with three points as they won 3-2 (Jamie Weavers, Neil Woolner, Sam Browne) at Taverham United. Ryan Faulkner and Richard Myhill replied for Taverham, but the game was marred by an injury to Taverham's Luke Miles who suffered a broken leg. The League sends its best wishes for a full and speedy recovery
There was a good start to the new campaign for Newsman Celtic as they recorded a 4-1 (Rob Setchell 2, Matthew Giles, Frank Wright) home win over Micawbers Tavern in a competitive game played in the right spirit and well refereed by Nile Cole, whilst Mischief Taverns 3-0 win at DCS Rapid included goals from Matthew Whitehead 2, and Theo Chamberlain and a penalty save from debutant keeper Henry Debenham. There was a brace for Liam Frost as Constable Crusaders won 2-0 at Brooke Reserves, and Norman Wanderers Res began the season with a 3-1 win at The Middle Green. In 2B, Trimingham Pilgrims made a good start, winning 6-1 (Daniel Tyrell, Jack Neild, George Crane, Jack Crane 2, Mark Jennings) at Hethersett Athletic, whilst Silver Fox scored five (Jordan Baston, Reece Buxton, Matt Cartledge, Nathan Savage, Reece Baston) on their travels as they won at Binham Village. Costessey Sports scored four without reply at home to Cellar House whilst the clash between the top two from last seasons 3B ended with Phoenix FC beating Hickling Barn 4-1, Jamie Smith 2, Dwayne Powley and George Tallent scoring for the home side.
In 3A, Winfarthing got off to a storming start as they scored thirteen times at Tasburgh United. League newcomers SNS Utd were 6-1 (Scott Woodcock 4, Ben Morgan, Byron Rawlings) winners at Reedham and Marcus McInerney 3, Ryan Gray and Ashley Land all scored for MC Rovers as they won 5-3 at AFC Westlegate, for whom Ollie Harwood, Harvey Harwood and Mathew Richmond scored. After a season of struggle in the last campaign, Freethorpe gained three points from their first game as an own goal and a Chris Angel strike helped them to a 2-1 win over GaGa FC, whilst the divisions other newcomers Hewett Old Boys had goals from Ryan Wiley 2, Ashley Smith and Daniel Thorpe to help them beat Sporting Longdale Res 4-0. There was a six goal thriller at CNS School as Mad Moose Res and Westfield FC shared the points. Matthew Herring grabbed a hat trick for Westfield. This seasons Division 3B includes four teams that have progressed from last years Under 19 section and all got off to winning starts. Harleston Town under 21's were the biggest winners beating league newcomers Gressenhall 11-1, whilst a Liam Robinson treble helped Hethersett Youth record a 3-2 home win over Hethersett Athletic Res. Kristian Boreham and Ben Wright scored for Hethersett. Sprowston Athletic had a narrow 2-1 (Kirk Appleton, Danny Bruce) win at home to East Tuddenham and Blofield United ran out 5-2 (Alex Clemmett 2, Tommy Atkinson 2, Nat D'Rosario) winners at another new side North Elmham. Jack Hurrell found the net four times and Adam Boast once as Norwich CEYMS Sunday beat fellow newcomers Bunwell AFC 5-1 and Barracks FC made a great start to league life, Liam Wiseman 2, Ryan Harris, Mitchell McCardle and James Austin all scoring as they recorded a 5-2 home win over Sporting Iceni