As we’re approximately halfway through the very weather-affected 2019/20 Bracknell Town & District Sunday League season, Tony Hardy has taken a look at how each of our Divisions are panning out as well as a peek at progress in each of the cup competitions. Tony’s also made a few predictions, just for fun of course!
Will there be another year of success in the Berks & Bucks County FA Cups? Will Fernhill lift the league title again? Lets find out..
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Crowthorne Inn lead the way having played nine games and are seven points clear of second placed Bracknell Rangers who have started the season as impressively as they finished last season (as WAB).
Elsewhere Rangers have made it through to the semi-final stage of the Aldershot Invitational Cup having beaten FC Fernhill recently in the quarter-final.
Reigning champions, and six times winners of the competition, FC Fernhill trail in third place, nine points behind the leaders but have played two games fewer. The two teams promoted from Division 1, Berks County and Loveman United, have struggled to find any consistency whilst last season’s strugglers Panthers have started brightly having already won three of their six games.
FiB predicts: A top three of Crowthorne Inn, FC Fernhill and Bracknell Rangers (in no particular order!) come the end of the season.
Promoted Woodley Saints head the table at the break by three points from Athletico Ascot in second who have yet to be beaten (though have drawn five of their eight games). Finchampstead Athletic occupy third position and have played a game fewer than the two top teams. The division looks likely to be as competitive and wide-open as last season with all teams down to Sandhurst in sixth, in with a chance of lifting the title. The Division is one team fewer following the recent withdrawal of Winkfield.
FiB predicts: A top three of Woodley Saints, Finchampstead Athletic and Sandhurst FFC.
Two unbeaten teams head the table in Winnersh Rangers (PLD 9 PTS 19) and last seasons Division 3 champions Bearwood Wanderers (PLD 8 PTS 18). The re-formed William Twigg, hugely successful in previous seasons, will undoubtedly pose a threat, and currently lie in fourth position on 13 points but have played four games fewer.
FiB predicts: A top three of William Twigg, Bearwood Wanderers and Winnersh Rangers.
Winnersh Town head the table at the break level on points (18) with last season’s Division 4 Champions AFC Dukes (formerly Crownwood Dukes), though Dukes have played two games less and will look to maintain heir 100% record going into the New Year. Silver Birch, who started the season so brightly, occupy third position on 15 points and will still pose a threat to the top two. Hope & Anchor (fifth) could also make a move.
FiB predicts: A top three of AFC Dukes, Winnersh Town and Silver Birch.
This Division is wide open and could develop into a five-horse race. Newly formed Harts of Bracknell head the table three points clear of Bracknell Cavaliers Reserves followed by Finchampstead Athletic A in third, a further two points behind the leaders. Fourth and fifth placed FC Showcase and Bracknell Royals have played two games less than the top three but trail the leaders by seven and nine points respectively.
FiB predicts: A top three of Harts of Bracknell, Bracknell Cavaliers Reserves and Bracknell Royals.
Berks & Bucks County FA Cup
The League has two remaining teams in their respective competitions, in FC Fernhill (Intermediate Cup) and Woodley Saints (Junior Cup). Both have reached the quarter final stage with Fernhill drawn at home to FC Bentons (to be played 12th January) and Saints drawn away to Datchet Village Reserves (to be played on 19th January).
Both will look to continue the Leagues success in County competition, more recently last season when Loveman United won the Junior Cup and Bearwood Wanderers won the Junior Trophy.
Bracknell Sunday League Cups
The recent poor weather has affected progress in both this seasons Advantage Printroom Senior and Junior Cup competitions with all semi-finalists scheduled to have been settled by now. The first, and only semi-finalists so far in the Senior Cup are FC Fernhill, who will face the winners of the quarter final between Morale Madrid or Berks County, to be played on 12th January.
The other two quarter finals are also scheduled to be played on 12th January when Panthers will play Sandhurst FFC and Loveman will play Finchamspstead Athletic. FC Fernhill will be favourites for the Cup.
Elsewhere, in the Junior Cup, Bearwood Wanderers, winners in 2017/18, are the first through to the semi-final. Two second round ties are still to be settled and, as such, the competition has some way to progress before we have the compete semi-final picture.