A Season of Expansion
The 1981/82 season was an important season in the development of the Essex Olympian League. After fifteen seasons the Senior Section expanded to two Divisions thus giving clubs the additional competition brought about when promotion and relegation are at stake.
In order for this to be achieved, the bottom four clubs in Senior Division One at the end of the 1980/81 season, Dunmow, Old Chelmsfordians, Bishops Stortford Swifts and Great Baddow, were joined by eight new clubs to form the new Senior Division Two.
The season itself proved to be a very successful one for Herongate Athletic whose Reserve team won the Essex Junior Cup for the second time in five years, when they beat Severalls Athletic by three goals to nil after extra time.
Not to be out done, Herongate Athletic First team pulled off the Senior League and Cup double winning both competitions for the first time. In a very close season they beat off the challenge of Benfleet to win the League by a single point, with Rayleigh Town just two points behind in third place.
Herongate Athletic achieved the double by beating Springfield in the Senior Division Cup Final, who themselves had reached the final in only their second season in the league.
The honour of being the first team to win promotion in the League fell to Rayleigh Athletic who, in their first season, won Senior Division Two by one point from Old Chelmsfordians.
The season also proved to be a successful one for Writtle Reserves who not only won the Reserve Division by eight points but also won the Reserve Division Cup for the second year in succession. Added to this success, they also shared the Reserve Division Challenge Cup with Herongate Athletic following a closely fought goal-less draw.
Runwell Hospital suffered their second Senior Division Challenge Cup defeat in a row when they went down to Rayleigh Town in the season curtain raiser .
The Sportsmanship Award went to new team Baddow Royals.
Once again only one Representative match was played, when the League proved victorious against the Mid-Essex League.
In this the first season when clubs could be relegated, that dubious honour fell to Standard (Harlow) and Coopersale, who both dropped into Senior Division Two at the end of the season.