TVPL Division Three 18/19 – Season Review

Here we are. Division Three. Always a big title race. And so it proved…

Before we go on, we’d like to offer an analogy; You tell your mates that you can go out on a night out, then your missus says you can’t go, but you go anyway. Does that mean you were right in the first place, or that you got it wrong?

We said Henley would win the League in September. Then we retracted it (er, must have mis-typed!). Then they won it. So, we TOLD YOU SO!!!!

Our D3 winners this term were Henley Town after an incredible title race that went to the wire. With 4 straight wins to end the term, including victories over rivals Woodley A and Taplow A, our Kites flew high, led by a superb midfield pairing that dominated the big games. Indeed, 8 wins in the last 9 cemented Henley’s title as they played catch up to Woodley A, who led for a long spell, only to finish runners-up.

It was the Kites’ defence that tipped the balance this term, conceding just 23 in their 18 games. Indeed only Nick Holzer made the Golden Boot Top 12, with 10 in 15, showing how the goals were shared, but the D made the D.

At this point we have to concede D3 wasn’t appropriate this term due to issues with Cintra Park Rovers; they failed to complete their season, withdrawing from the last 4 games of their term. This, by default, handed 3 of the top 4 ‘walkovers’; something we have to mandate as we are governed by the Berks & Bucks rulebook (ultimately the FA).

However, not to shine away from our League Champions, Henley lost the least games in the Division and pressed Woodley until the final day. It actually took 5 games before The Kites secured a win and after a dodgy campaign start, they found their feet, highlights including November’s 5-1 over Twyford and that decisive 3-1 home win over Woodley A. Well done Champs, showed true mettle after a poor start.

Woodley A end second after a much-improved campaign. Having led for long spells, Woodley ended up losing the big games from January onwards; Berks County, Pangbourne and Henley all taking wins. Yet, last gasp winners vs Maidenhead Town A (twice) and big wins before Xmas over Taplow & Berks Ressies earned promotion for Wooders. We called it mid-season; Bulmershe Crowds were NOT disappointed!!!

Twyford ended 3rd and after their D4 title last term, perhaps shows the true level of our Ruskies. A Reading Cup win over Chalvey Sports A means a Cup win/promotion double still ensures a successful season for T&R, despite the last game being PP.

A successful TVPL debut for Hambleden sees them end 4th and with success over established TVPL clubs – including a first game 6-0 highlight, an October 6-0 away win, along with a great 4-1 sign-off to the season – means our delectable Village side could mean bid’ness next term. Please do make your changing rooms walls a little thicker though as one certain ref heard us once…!

Whatever happened to Berks County Ressies? From a commanding Xmas perch, they ended 5th, a rancid run of form similar to the demise of Ant (from Ant & Dec). While we have no questions over their driving, we do worry about what they ate for Xmas dinner – 8 league wins before God’s Birthday, just 2 wins afterwards. We’ve seen some self-sulking since, but know there’s too much talent there to pass over…we feel a big cuddle over the summer is needed before we see our County back next term; Carl Elcombe ended Golden Boot as well with 13 in 10.

Much-fancied Taplow saw the wheels fall off a little after a 9-1 League Cup mauling at Wargave…just 4 points from their last 6 league games saw their promotion challenge fall away like Gemma Collins on ice. Some memorable wins – a 4-0 away battering of Ruskies and a home demolition of MTFC A – were mixed with some below par ties. Next term? Need consistency and Mr Hill to keep rolling defenders to bag…

And if teams weren’t going for promotion, they were fighting the drop. With the demise of Cintra, Goring were left for relegation from March, but both Pangbourne & MTFC battled to avoid that 3rd bottom spot. An incredible run from Pangbourne – 15pts from the last 18 including 4 incredible wins – shows true mettle. Yet it wasn’t enough to overhaul Town, who secured safety with their best performance of the term, a 6-2 over Taplow. With results like these, we wonder how both will fare next term if they add consistency and some defending…?

So we kind of got D3 right, but were shackled somewhat by Cintra’s demise. Still, we applaud our Champs Henley!

Team of the Season

We have to say the Champs as whoever won this wide open title race deserved it! Debutants Hambleden run them a close second, a great opening term in the league.

Overachievers

Woodley A. Not fancied in the summer, a similar record to the Champs means they were just pipped, ultimately in the big games.

Underachievers

Tough but we fancied Taplow A this term and they tailed off after Xmas. Berks County also disappointed from Xmas. But, we have to give this to Cintra Park who didn’t complete a full season.

Fair Play to Fair Play

Having seen several teams first hand this term, Hambleden approached each game in great spirits and we believe they have an excellent disciplinary record with 0 reds. Hats off.

Best Game

A massive 8-2 win, with 6 first half goals for Berks County Ressies over MTFC A in November showed the strength of BC, but a 5-1 Henley win over Twyford Ruskies in November showed the title intent.

But, to win it, what’s better than a 90th minute winner! Woodley A had a couple vs MTFC, but for sheer drama, a 90th minute Andrew Hodgkins winner gave Berks County a 4-3 win over an in-form Pangbourne…the hosts were 3-1 up on 82mins, yet Pang came back to tie it 3-3 with 2 late goals, before BC notched the winner! Wow.

‘What You Up To’ of the Year

Easy. Cintra. Although, imagine Pangbourne ate their Weetabix EVERY week?

The Aly-Us ‘Follow Me’ Award
(this is tenuous, a quality US House track, the ‘Full Intention Club’ mix is the one to search, incredible)

Another division with a couple of good accounts, but too many non-believers here…

MTFC A – their own team account offering details of (plenty of) losses and wins. Ch-dis.

Woodley A – good club feed but need their teams to have their own accounts. SORT IT.

Goring Ressies – another cracking club account, this summer with big news, so get on their case. It’s not stalking if it’s Twitter. That’s right, right?

 

So there. Another superb season “reviewed”. We appreciate we miss loads of detail and in some cases, just make stuff up. But if you feel aggrieved, put your phone down, pop your shoes on, open the door, go outside, take a walk, find some small twigs, get some vine, take it all to a small stream, build a bridge and GET OVER IT.

Or, just follow @thamesvalleyPL on Twitter and give us some love. Our minions thrive on it.

 

TVPL Division Three 2018/19 Preview!!!

Yes. We’re late with this. Borry. We would like to bore you as to why but we’d get told off by the league for using bad language. Needless to say we WANTED to do this last night but SOMEONE booked dinner with the mother-in-law and SOMEONE made the table reservation BEFORE I was due home from work. SOMEONE got told about themselves (the last someone was me after I dared to say something to the missus. Got an earful).

So, as per Mourinho’s pending sacking from United, we’re better late than never.

Division Three is always a weird one. It’s either i) as tight as an oppo sub’s offside call (never off) or ii) as tight as Daniel Levy in the summer. What shall transpire this season? We’ve no idea but will type words that make it look like we have a clue.

Let’s start with those team that dropped down from D2 last term (and 16/17 D3 Champs), Berks County Ressies. A woeful term for the BC Boys last term as a club reshuffle left the Reserves without a core of the Champ winning side. Adrift at the foot of D2 last term with just 4 wins, the lads will need good mental strength to make a go of it this term. A lot of change in their Senior side could mean some new faces, but we’ve not heard big news. Could be a challenger, could sit middle earth. At least it will be an improved term.

There are 5 newly promoted sides in this term’s division to balance out the league. The steam-away Champs Twyford Ruskies have goals and experience in their ranks and players that are comfortable playing higher than D3 so we expect a strong season. With Jones & Reibero battling for goal supremacy, we’re tipping back-to-back promotions for the Ruskies. And now on Twitter as well…follow this lot closely.

Taplow A had a good season; another side with experience and players able to stroll around the lower Divisions. Able to steam some younger sides last term, perhaps those big wins may disappear, but again, expect goals, wins and controlled football from Murtagh’s Mob; another we tip to push Champs League places.

Maidenhead Town A had the youngest team in D4 last term and developed well through the season after an inconsistent start. Bar the top 2, post-Xmas not many sides played as well as Town and we see club strengthening across all 3 teams. We know the plan is to stay ‘young’ but will a little extra experience be needed against stronger teams? Middle earth will be a good season. Will the Bigger Boys bully Beck’s Kids?

Goring Reserves are a good team on their day, but inconsistency let them down. Started very well last term but fell away in losing to all those challenging sides around them. Another side with goals in them and a good pattern of play, but another where Bigger Boys may influence games. Another side that should see survival in middle earth a good season.

Cintra basically become Wright Unity Reserves in November and results drastically improved after an opening day 9-0 hammering. Experience and domination of teams earns points at Cintra Park; will there be some fresh faces to add pace? Expect a good season with some early results here.

Hambleden and Pangbourne join the TVPL so represent unknown quantities. Hambleden suffered in the Wycombe League last season but a division of only 8 teams sadly shows the decline of that area’s football (we wish the league well). Hopefully a new league will offer some excitement for the lads to begin enjoying their football again and with very little Wycombe/TVPL recent Cup history to draw on, we can’t offer much of an indication! But, to come straight into D3 shows they have something about them!

We know even less about Pangbourne, our ill-fated attempt to contact them failed (messenger pigeon, got caught in the overhead BT pylon. Shame. Lovely bird) so we’ll have to pass on offering indication of strength. Again, we hope they enjoy the TVPL and we’ll be profiling our new clubs very soon so watch this space.

We then have last season’s D3 veterans, Henley Town & Woodley A.

Henley have big designs to build again and have brought in numerous strong players, several from higher levels and several from Youth set-ups. We see a strong season from the Kites this term and are posting them as pre-season favourites for this Division!

Woodley ‘A’ always flatter to deceive. An incredibly well-run club, the two sides outside the Senior & Reserves tend to struggle and whilst the A boys sat comfortably in middle-earth, there needs to be a push to push on. A level side (a +1 goal difference reflects that), steady and good discipline. But need that star quality to compete this term vs some strong experienced side.

This D3 is strong, perhaps nearly at D2 level. Great for the league, tough to win it.

So, our Top 3 – We’re calling Henley as winners, with Twyford Ruskies and Berks Ressies with Taplow A pushing Champs League spot. But this is wiiiiiide open so keep watching, it could be entertaining!!!

TVPL

 

TVPL Division Three – 17/18 Season Review

WAR (grave)…HUH…What are they good for?

Winning D3 TITLES!

WAR (grave)… HUH…you get the idea…

(and if you didn’t know, that was the best selling song in 1984 by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. D’uh).

Welcome to the next installment of our pointless (no offence Highmoor IBIS A) review of last season. Tonight (you may see this in the morning, why are you so pendantic?) we’ll cover D3 and to front up, we got this WAAAAYYYY wrong. But hey. We’re human. Not robots. Ever seen Sky’s Westworld? Creepy stuff. Good job we’re not eh?

So, we predicted wrong. It was the Wargrave boys that came up trumps this season, partly due to a contentious season-ender where our Media Darlings Braybooke couldn’t field a side, so 3 points were ‘picked up’, pipping close rivals Maidenhead Town Reserves at the post. Win some, lose some eh?

It was a strange D3 this term with only a 9-team division, where 3 teams really struggled and, until March, all other 6 sides could win it. Noone took charge, perhaps because it was tighter than a nu….(please check rules before posting).

Yet Wargrave ended Champions with a record that included a 10-0 league defeat to Goring, a 9-2 defeat to Woodley A (we suspect some senior players here, Woodley ended 3rd bottom) and a 12-2 cup loss to Mortimer Reserves. How odd.

It was Maidenhead Town Reserves that took them to the last day, even beating them 2-1 with a late winner in April. Yet Town had the chance at Henley Reserves; a win to secure the title, yet failed in the most ‘everyone can beat everyone’ division going!

Goring, the long-term pacesetters ended 3rd – promoted – after losing their way in the last few weeks to the teams above them, but a strong season for G’s nonetheless.

So, to our predictions. We went Braybrooke. A solid bet given they reached cup finals, spanking D1 teams along the way. Yet, on those murky days, a trip to Goring was too far and the Media Darlings seemingly succumbed to the high life; players being courted by others, socials, gym trips (probably ‘leg day’ brigades with a “cheeky” trip to Nandos after, is there anyone worse than those type of people?).

Brimpton went D2 (well done) and Finch Ressies became Finch in D1. So our predictions here were void.

So well done Wargrave. But here’s the bit you ALL want to see. Our awards.

Team of the Season
It has to be the Champs, like last night in D4. Noone else did enough to win this title and for a side to be spanked 10-0 and STILL win the league shows they had issues with team selection and availability, yet still had the footballs to come and keep winning. Well done chaps.

Overachievers
We think we have to go with Wargrave again. Noone stood up this term…MTFC Reserves did well but didn’t take the chance and Goring set the pace for a long time. Perhaps a ‘dud’ choice here, but we’ll go the Champs again!

Underachievers
Braybrooke. Easy. To have a side that can dismantle D1 title chasers Cookham Dean Reserves and batter league oppo 9-1, yet finish 5th in a 9-team Div isn’t right. Oh. They could have been so wonderful. Sad to see the team have also folded for the coming season.

Best Game
To win 13-1 deserves a mention for Woodley A, but it’s clear Highmoor had issues this season, so this won’t win. For Goring to beat the Champs Wargrave 10-0 is rather special, but again, we look at issues on matchday. The winner of this one is Hurst A picking up a 4-4 draw at the Champs in a mesmeric game, when Wargrave where flying high and on form. A top game, well done chaps!

Best Hosts
Goring. Doubling up. Tea and biscuits!!!!

Sportsmen of the Year
MTFC Reserves swept the board on this one, earning the marks from their fellow clubs. Well done gents! Now improve your dissent charges!!!!

‘What You Up To’ of the Year
Braybrooke again. Had so much promise. So incredible on the media front. God we loved Braybrooke.

The Aly-Us ‘Follow Me’ Award
(this is tenuous, a quality US House track, the ‘Full Intention Club’ mix is the one to search, incredible)

Have you listened to it yet? We told you about it yesterday. Tune bruv. Anyway…

Three clubs to follow on TVPL Twitter;

Reading City Dev – changed their name…does it matter if Reading is a city or not? Is Manchester ‘United’? No. They’re divided. Loads of activity, get on these boys now!

Hurst ‘A’ – funny flickers these guys. Get on them as a self-indulgent loathe is refreshing.

Goring – We’ve a soft spot for these guys. Just liked a Twitter pic of their pitch. Lovely stuff (say that in an Alan Partridge accent, it’s better).

So there. Division Three. Romeo Done. If you hate the above, tell us. We won’t listen. We’ll throw your thoughts into our box of ‘Feedback’ and burn it. Then post it to you (we have your address from the handbook. Screw GDPR. You’re getting your burnt words back punk).

Or just post summat on the Twitter feed. Your choice.

Night.

TVPL