It’s the end of another Bracknell Town & District Sunday League season and FC Fernhill once again top the Premier Division.
It’s been a season where the league managed to expand back to five divisions and Raglan lifted not only the first division trophy but also a Berks & Bucks County FA title while Fernhill still have an Aldershot Invitational Cup to look forward to.
Here, our Sunday League correspondent – who has covered the league in depth for Football in Bracknell all season, Tony Hardy takes a look back at the last season.
FC Fernhill were crowned Champions with a game to spare following a strong second half to the season. An impressive 12 game winning run, scoring 54 times and only conceding 6 in that time impressively turned around a season that started so sluggishly for them.
Praise for Crowthorne Inn, who finished as runners-up, is worthy given that they topped the table for so long and, in only their second season together, following promotion as Champions of Division 1 at the first attempt, pushed Fernhill all the way. Last season’s Champions Finchampstead Athletic finished 3rd and FC Meta, who had their best league campaign for a long time, finished 4th.
Enter a team next season: Here’s all the details on how to enter a team in the Bracknell Sunday League next season
For much of the season this was to be a 3-horse race between promoted WAB, who at one point led the way by a massive 14 points, Raglan (relegated from the Premier Division the previous season) and Loveman United making their debut in the League. An unbeaten season (15 wins and 3 draws including the all-important win by 6-3 against WAB back in October) confirmed Raglan as Champions and a quick return to the top division. A run of indifferent form put paid to Loveman’s challenge that looked so bright in the initial months and they finished 3rd.
Woodley United and Warfield United fought tooth and nail for the title with Athletico Ascot always within touching distance and this one went right up to the final week of fixtures to be settled. It was newcomers Woodley who finished the strongest winning 4 of their last 5 fixtures including a 1-0 victory over Warfield to clinch the title. Runners-up Warfeld for much of the season traded places with Woodley and were, themselves, unbeaten in the league right up to that defeat against Woodley and were to lose twice more in the run-in. Atletico Ascot finished a very creditable 3rd.
It was another new team to the league Woodley Saints that lifted this Division’s title on goal difference of +1 ahead of closest challengers Bracknell Corinthians who finished runners-up. But for a poor start to their season Silver Birch might have pushed a little closer, storming up the league in the second half of the campaign but finished 6 points short of the top two in 3rd.
Special mention is made of Berkshire United who battled bravely all season at the foot of the table and secured their only win of a tough campaign in their last game against Hope & Anchor (3-2).
In a division comprising of only 8 teams, after home and away fixtures all teams then played an additional round of fixtures and, 21 league games were played to secure the title. After a titanic struggle involving Silver Birch A, Bracknell Royals and Finchampstead Athletic A, Birch won it in their last fixture winning by 6-1 against Crownwood Dukes at the end of April.
Dukes themselves had played out their best ever season and looked set to mount their own title challenge at the turn of the year. As it was, following numerous jostling for position at the top Silver Birch A were crowned as Champions with Finchampstead Athletic A runners-up and Bracknell Royals 3rd.
Berks & Bucks County FA Cup
It was a good season for Bracknell teams in the respective County Cup competitions. Raglan took centre stage and are to be hugely congratulated for lifting the Berks & Bucks Sunday Junior Cup following a 5-2 final victory against A J Victoria at Bracknell Town’;s Larges Lane ground on 6th May. Three Bracknell teams made it through to the latter stages of this competition that included Warfield United (lost 1-4 to Loveman, 4th round) and Loveman United who were beaten by Raglan 3-0 in the quarter final.
FC Fernhill progressed as far as the semi-final of the Berks & Bucks Sunday Intermediate League but were beaten 0-4 by eventual winners Aylesbury Flooring. Wokingham & Emmbrook got as far as the quarter-final stage but they too succumbed to the impressive Aylesbury outfit.
Woodley Saints were quarter-finalists in the Berks & Bucks Junior Trophy, and suffered a 3-4 defeat at the hands of eventual winners The Sportsman. Bracknell Corinthians and Hope & Anchor both reached the Fourth Round stage.
Bracknell Town & District Sunday League Cups
FC Fernhill lifted the Senior Cup at the start of May to complete the double with a 5-2 victory over Golden Farmer Rangers. Fernhill’s route to the final included early round wins against Finch and Crowthorne Inn and brushed aside Sandhurst FFC and Wokingham & Emmbrook in the latter rounds.
Woodley Saints couldn’t quite secure a league and cup double themselves going down 4-2 on penalties against Bearwood Wanderers after the game finished 2-2 at Larges Lane on 10th May. Bearwood also did it tough to reach the final with victories against Bracknell Corinthians, AFC Crowthorne Reserves, Silver Birch and Warfield United.
The final of the Supplementary Cup will be played at Larges Lane on 18th May. The semi-finals are due to be played the Sunday prior between FC Harmanswater v. Finchampstead Athletic A and Bracknell Titans v. Bracknell Royals.
Aldershot Invitational Cup
FC Fernhill could make it a treble for the season after winning through to the final of this competition where they will play Lightwater at The Recreation Ground (Aldershot Town) on Friday 18th May.
2017/18 Bracknell Town & District Sunday League roll of honour
Congratulations to all winners and those that took part.
- Premier Division Champions – FC Fernhill; runners-up Crowthorne Inn
- Division 1 Champions – Raglan; runners-up WAB
- Division 2 Champions – Woodley United; runners-up Warfield United
- Division 3 Champions – Woodley Saints; runners-up Bracknell Corinthians
- Division 4 Champions – Silver Birch A; runners-up Finchampstead Athletic A
- Berks & Bucks Sunday Junior Cup Winners – Raglan
- Bracknell Sunday League Senior Cup Winners – FC Fernhill; finalists Golden Farmer Rangers
- Bracknell Sunday League Junior Cup Winners – Bearwood Wanderers; finalists Woodley Saints
Main image: Bearwood Wanderers by Neil Graham.