With most Bracknell Sunday League teams having played at least half of their league fixtures, and during this Christmas break, FiB take a look at how each Division is panning out, with predictions for the top three in each come April/May (just for fun!!).
Crowthorne Inn, in only their second season together as a team, have set the bar for the rest and currently lead the table by 5 clear points ahead of a re-formed William Twigg Vets team. Leading the chasing pack are reigning Champions Finchampstead Athletic who made an unusually slow start to their campaign but much improved recent form suggests they will challenge again for the title. FC Meta have had a strong campaign to date and could finish in their highest position for a number of seasons and FC Fernhill, having played only 6 fixtures so far, look likely to make a charge. The big question is, with such strong competition for the title, can Crowthorne Inn hold on?
FiB predicts a top 3 of (in no particular order!): Crowthorne Inn, Finchampstead Athletic and FC Fernhill
WAB currently occupy top spot and an impressive 10 points clear of their closest rivals Loveman United but have played the most games in the Division (12. With Loveman, AFC Crowthorne, Raglan and Binfield Royals all have games in hand competition for this Division looks set to be a close-run affair and will probably not be settled until the last round or two of fixtures.
FiB predicts a top 3 of (in no particular order!): WAB, Loveman United and Raglan
Three teams look most likely to take the race for the title through to the end though Warfield United, long-time leaders and the only unbeaten team in all 5 Divisions of the League, look to be favourites. Its League newcomers Woodley United who currently top the table though, having displaced Warfield on the last playing Sunday of the year, 2 points clear but have played 2 more games. Other newcomers to the League, Athletico Ascot, lie 3rd.
FiB predicts a top 3 of: Warfield United, Woodley United and Athletico Ascot
What a great first half to the season WAB have had with their Reserves topping this Division. In fact three new teams to the League currently occupy the top 3 positions with Woodley Saints and Bracknell Corinthians in 2nd and 3rd respectively. After a slow start to the season Bearwood Wanderers have made steady progress up the table in recent weeks and Silver Birch could also make a charge after Christmas.
FiB predicts a top 3 of (in no particular order!): WAB Reserves, Woodley Saints and Bracknell Corinthians
Another 3 horse race this one at present between Silver Birch A (currently top), Bracknell Royals (2nd) and Finchampstead Athletic A (3rd) though Crownwood Dukes, having made such an impressive start to the season but suffered a dip in form during November, look to have got it back again and could put themselves back into contention.
FiB predicts a top 3 of (in no particular order!): Silver Birch A, Bracknell Royals and Crownwood Dukes
League Senior Cup
FC Meta are the first team to have made it into the hat for the semi-final draw, having beaten holders Morale Madrid 3-0 at the quarter-final stage. Poor weather conditions during the latter stages of December has meant that the remaining QF ties are to be played in January involving FC Fernhill, Bracknell Cavaliers, Golden Farmer Rangers and Wokingham & Emmbrook TMW all of the Premier Division and Raglan and Sandhurst FFC from Division 1.
Tough one to predict but FC Meta have had a great season and could win it!
League Junior Cup
Woodley Saints, Bearwood Wanderers and Warfield United have all made it through to the semi-final. One quarter final tie remains outstanding between Newbold College and Bracknell Saint Germain.
FiB predicts a league and cup double for Warfield United
Eight Bracknell teams still have an interest in their respective Berks & Bucks Sunday competitions in FC Fernhill, William Twigg Vets and Wokingham & Emmbrook TMW (Intermediate Cup), Loveman United and Raglan (Junior Cup) and Hope & Anchor, Bracknell Corinthians and Woodley Saints (Junior Trophy).
Loveman United have made it through to the last 16 of the Junior Cup and certainly have experience of winning such a competition within their ranks with 6 of their players previously part of the Whitegrove team that won the Junior Trophy two seasons ago.