End of season reflections from Squeeze
Not all birds fly in the same direction. As the sun reappears with a vengeance, threatening to melt all before it, the season ends as it always does — with reflection, opportunity and every emotion in between.
For Whittlesford, that overwhelming emotion will be joy once the dust settles and reality hits. With two games to seal promotion, as discussed last week, Thursday night’s defeat to Huntingdon United set up a one-game shoot out.
That had a happy ending with their 2-1 final game win and they will join Senior A next season.
Despite the impending and inevitable player turnover that comes with a rampantly successful Kershaw Premier side deciding not to apply to go up, West Wratting as a club have every reason to look ahead positively; promotion for the Reserves capped an immense season and Michael Bavester will no doubt expect his men to be challenging for a repeat.
It was disappointing for all concerned that the title race in 4A ended in meek fashion, a Cambridge Ambassadors withdrawal meaning the default three points rewarded to Suffolk Punch sealed the title without kicking a ball, which isn’t really how any season should end.
A word for Linton Granta, of course, for whom a spectacular run came just too late, but next season promises much. And so, in our last column before ice lolly season, we return to our twin Thurlow Nunn peaks, the Haverhill sides — on the pitch, at least for now.
A decent August for Haverhill Rovers gave false hope; Ben Cowling’s departure, coupled with Kelvin Enaro’s exit, left the side short of excitement and unpredictability, exacerbated by the return from whence he came of Jordan Palmer, who ended the season as Rovers’ top scorer with almost twice as many goals as his next contender.
Without question Marc Abbott has a lot of work to do this summer, but with an immensely promising youth set-up and signs that the pitch will enjoy much needed TLC this summer, a couple of shrewd signings and the retention of Joe Bennett could mean promising things for the red side of the town.
At Borough, of course, while still swallowing the bitterest pill, the early indications to Squeeze are that many of the team want to stay and right the injustices that have seen them demoted, when by rights they should have stayed up.
A consistent goalkeeper and a couple of additions to key positions should see them carry on where they left off at Step 6 and have far too much for most sides, particularly in what will be a much changed landscape from the one they left, with the introduction of the regionalised Thurlow Nunn First Division.
And of course, unlike last time, there will be no juggernauts in the shape of Coggeshall and Stowmarket.
We wrap up for the season by thanking all of you for your response to our column, to the Echo for facilitating it, and for all of our area’s clubs for getting behind it.