College Football Roundup: Another season comes to a close

Another cracking season of college football, with drama aplenty across all divisions with the success surely due to the added promotion/relegation aspect. From a spectator’s perspective, it has been great watching the Derwent 2nds taking to the 3G pitch as if they were born to do it, eschewing the shackles of 22 acres and a division that could not contain their attacking flair. From a playing point of view, it has been a sobering experience playing in a Derwent 4ths side that have been unlucky all season while struggling to adapt to life in a new league, yet also providing great fun every Sunday morning.

My performance of the term is undoubtedly Andriy Tabas for Vanbrugh 1sts against James 1sts, keeping Ralph Gill quiet in their 4-1 dismantling of James is no mean feat!

My game of the term is a hard one to call. Derwent 2nds and Halifax 1sts have been two of my favourite teams to watch so far during my time at university, and although I didn’t see the entirety of their match last weekend, watching Derwent 2nds come back from 2-1 down to win 3-2 in the last ten minutes was incredible.

Revolution Premier Division

Winners: Derwent 1sts, Runners up: Derwent 2nds, Relegated: Goodricke 1sts

The final fixture of the season was between Derwent 1sts and James 1sts, a supposed title decider arranged by the College Football powers that be as a rival to whatever Sky Sports were offering that Sunday afternoon. Mathematically, James could have hijacked Derwent’s commanding position atop the league, but with a string of poor performances before their biggest game of the season, there was to be only one winner. Despite some first half jitters, Derwent secured a 4-2 win and a second consecutive league win.

The real story of the season, though, is the team that managed to leapfrog James into 2nd place, despite losing 6-0 to them on their opening game of the season. Derwent 2nds have been the surprise package this term, after suffering the aforementioned thrashing in their debut in the Revolution Premier League, they have not dropped a single point. Skipper Matthew Elvin will surely be the bookies favourite to take over at Old Trafford should Van Gaal falter further, after leading his team to promotion in the first term of this academic year, to possibly equalling his college’s first team counterparts if the derby between the first and second teams goes ahead at the start of next term. The fixture was postponed earlier in the season due to player shortages, and will be a great preview to how these two teams compare ahead of the forthcoming College Cup in the summer.

Goodricke became the second college to drop out of the top division, with their first team recording six back to back losses this season, scoring only 4 goals and conceding 30. In the autumn term, Goodricke came back to survive the drop with inspiring sideline support in the matches they needed to win. This time around, the support was ultimately lacking, and the team as a whole looked defeated and consigned to starting the 2015/2016 season in the second tier of college football.

 

Revolution Division 1

Winners/Promoted: Alcuin 2nds, Runners up: Vanbrugh 2nds, Relegated: Wentworth 1sts

Alcuin will be the second college to be represented by two teams in the Revolution Premier League, with the Alcuin 2nds gaining promotion with a record of five wins, one draw, and one loss. Although their next league fixture remains half a year away, they will be relishing the prospect and will be hoping to mirror the form shown by the Derwent 2nds, and hope that they are underestimated in the same fashion to help them avert relegation.

Vanbrugh 2nds finished in 2nd place, and despite having a game in hand over league winners Alcuin, the points gap is too much for them to better their position. Goodricke 2nds sit in 3rd and also have a game in hand, against Vanbrugh 2nds which would ultimately decide 2nd place in the division, but amounts to nothing in terms of promotion possibilities as only the top team goes up.

The newly promoted James 3rd performed well, amassing nine points to achieve a mid-table finish. They also finished two points ahead of James 2nds, although both ended the season with a game in hand remaining and so James 2nds may have gone on to correct that embarrassment.

Wentworth 1sts succumbed to a second straight relegation, proving that the new promotion/relegation league structure is working to make divisions more competitive.

 

Revolution Division 2

Winners/Promoted: Constantine 1sts, Runners up: Derwent 3rds Relegated: Any out of Halifax 3rds/Derwent 4ths/Langwith 3rds

Taking Wentworth 1sts place in Division 1 will be Constantine 1sts, who will be swapping sunday morning kickoffs for the more leisurely Wednesday afternoon round of fixtures. They pipped Derwent 3rds to the promotional place with six wins out of six, with the Derwent 3rds slipping up with a surprise loss to Vanbrugh 3rds and a 2-2 draw against Halifax 3rds. The promotion is a great achievement for York’s latest college, and speaks of their quality despite only being able to field two league teams.

The relegation situation is a lot less clear cut, and the inclusion of my team (Derwent 4ths) ensures that too much time may be devoted to this section, and unfortunately maybe a little bias too!

It is fair to say that the promoted Derwent 4ths have not had the calmest of seasons. Out of the six games that they have played, four of them have been 3-2 losses that have all followed the same pattern. Going 2-0 down in the first half, only to bring the match back level after the break, to then throw it away in the dying embers of the ninety minutes. Derwent 4ths gave themselves a lifeline in their match last weekend, beating Vanbrugh 3rds 2-1 to keep their survival hopes alive, with Derwent 3rds offering a helping hand by beating Langwith 3rds to ensure that Langwith remain within touching distance, three points ahead just outside of the relegation zone. As long as they are granted a rearranged fixture against Halifax 3rds next term (after it was postponed earlier in the season due to poor pitch condition) then a victory will secure them Division 2 status, and relegate Langwith 3rds.

In the last round of fixtures, there was also the Halifax derby between the 3rds and 4ths, with the victor ensuring that their games next year are played on the more conveniently located 22 acres. Halifax 4ths came out on top, giving their third team peers a resounding 3-0 thumping and leaving Halifax 3rds Division 2 occupancy dangling by a thread. Despite an equal points total of 4 alongside Derwent 4ths, a goal difference of -13 means they have their work cut out for them. If they are allowed the rearranged game against Derwent 4ths next term, they will need to win by some margin to displace Langwith 3rds and send them down to Division 3.

 

Revolution Division 3 (A&B)

Promoted: Derwent 5ths & Alcuin 3rds

With the new split in the division, the enticing prospect of promotional playoffs were introduced and they more than proved their worth. Both playoff ties went to extra time, with Derwent 5ths overcoming James 4ths (to provide Revolution Division 2 with possibly their third Derwent team!) and Alcuin 3rds beat Medics 2nds to regain their place in Division 2.

Jonny Long
Twitter: @iamjonnylong