Completion of a full season the ultimate Peninsula goal
- Credit: Torpoint AFC
The South-West Peninsula League East season is complete and, after the previous two years, that in itself is a terrific achievement.
For the League secretary, Phil Hiscox, a full campaign was the only priority and the fact champions Torpoint Athletic were pushed all the way by Brixham and Okehampton Argyle in a thrilling title race was an added bonus.
“The first goal was to have a complete season because, this time last year, the FA were issuing instructions that said, as long as everybody played each other once, this would count for a full season,” said Phil.
“It is very satisfying that we actually managed to complete a full season, and the cup competitions, pretty much on time.
“Okehampton were the surprise package, having come up to the League. They went on a brilliant run, Brixham were always there or thereabouts and Torpoint always had the games in hand. Torpoint will go up to the Western League now.”
For the other local sides, Axminster had a fine season to finish sixth and there were top-half finishes for Cullompton and Elmore, but the strange story came at Sidmouth and Ottery.
The Otters started brilliantly under manager Billy Rouse but when he and a number of players left for Sidmouth at Christmas, Ottery struggled and Sidmouth secured some great results. It is now expected that Ottery will drop down to the Devon League, while Sidmouth, who finished second bottom, accumulated enough points to avoid relegation.
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“Axminster were the draw specialists and very hard to beat,” said Phil. “It was very much a season of two halves for Sidmouth and Ottery.
“I saw an interesting post from Billy Rouse that said, adding the points his squad had earned at Ottery to what they managed at Sidmouth, would have been 73 points and enough to finish in the top five. We’re waiting to hear from the FA on relegation but the points-per-game ratio means Sidmouth will be fine.
“We can confirm Teignmouth will be coming up from the Devon League and it is possible Bridport will be placed in the Peninsula next season.”