Season of success for South-West football clubs

Exeter City players celebrating promotion to league one in the changing room during the Sky Bet Leag

Exeter City players celebrating promotion to league one in the changing room during the Sky Bet League 2 Match between Exeter City and Barrow at St James Park, Exeter on 26 April 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

As the dust begins to settle on another thrilling rollercoaster ride that is the football season, South-West clubs can reflect on a campaign of outstanding success.  

On a professional level, Exeter City take the top headlines after securing promotion to Sky Bet League One. A 2-1 win over Barrow on a tense night at St James Park confirmed the Grecians will be playing in the third tier. 

It is a magnificent achievement for the fan-owned club, as described by club president Julian Tagg: "From the manager, through to the staff and the people in the boardroom, but particularly the players and the fans, they know what this is about, they know what the club is about." 

Exeter will now renew their old rivalry with Plymouth Argyle in League after the Pilgrims just missed out on the play-offs with a final-day defeat to MK Dons. Despite that disappointment, Argyle have performed brilliantly all season and famously came within a whisker of beating European champions Chelsea in the FA Cup. 

Torquay United will be playing National League football again next year, as they will just fall short in a late push for the play-offs. 

Moving down the pyramid, Taunton Town have been crowned as champions of the Southern League Premier Division after a dominant campaign. 

In Division One South of the Southern League, Plymouth Parkway continued their astonishing rise through the football ranks by winning the title, as they finished three points above Frome Town.  

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Parkway have been a great success story over recent years and will no doubt compete well in the Premier Division. Willand Rovers and Bideford will remain in Division One South next season but there was disappointment for Barnstaple Town, who finished bottom. 

The Toolstation Western Premier League arguably provided local fans with the most exciting finish of all. Going into the final fortnight, it was a straight shoot-out between Tavistock, Exmouth Town and Cornish club Mousehole.  

While Mousehole slipped to third, Exmouth defeated Tavistock in the penultimate game but then were held to a draw on the final day, allowing Tavvy to just pinch the title by two points.  

Levi Landricombe of Exmouth Town battles for the ball during Toolstation Western League Premier Divi

Levi Landricombe of Exmouth Town battles for the ball during Toolstation Western League Premier Division match between Exmouth Town and Tavistock at Exmouth Football Club, Exmouth, Devon on 20 April 2022. - PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK