Another Close Season
Season 2002-2003 was the most succesfull season ever for our member clubs
In a season where they won the Herts Intermediate Cup for the third time in the past five seasons, Bishops Stortford Swifts took the Championship title with a win in their final match over White Notley who finished third just two points behind last seasons champions Takeley who in the opening match of the season had won the Senior Challenge Cup.
Completing a County Cup double were Benfleet who defeated fellow league members Ramsden in an exciting Essex Premier Cup Final. Very few people like this new county competition but it is a measure of the strength of our league that we provided both finalists in a competition that now contains a large number of Senior Reserve teams.
Back in our own league Shenfield AFC managed a double with both their Reserve and Senior sides finishing runners up in their respective divisions and gaining promotion into the top flight having both gained promotion from Division Three at the end of last season.
Two new sides gained promotion from Senior Division Three with Debden Sports going up as champions and Leigh Ramblers as runners-up.
The Reserve Division season started with Rayleigh Town winning the Reserve Challenge Cup and finished with Manford Way Reserves completing a league and cup double, winning both Reserve Division One and the Reserve Division Cup.
Broomfield Reserves won Reserve Division Two after gaining promotion from Division Three at the end of last season and return to the top flight after an absence of five seasons.
Debden Sports completed a club double gaining promotion from Reserve Division Three at the first attempt when they finished as runners up.
After several years of success in the local Southend Area, White Ensign joined our ranks at the start of this season and what a season it proved to be.
Their Reserves gained promotion as Division Three Champions at the first attempt losing only one league match.
The Senior team went one better and became the first team to go a full season in our competition without suffering a league or league cup defeat.
They won Senior Division Two by ten points gaining 62 out of a possible 66 points and defeated Division One Champions Bishops Stortford Swifts in the Senior Division Cup Final at Roots Hall.
Victory in the Southend Charity Cup meant they suffered only one defeat, in the Essex Premier Cup, during the whole season.
Their final triumph came in the Capital Counties Feeder Leagues Trophy a competition where our clubs are the minnows playing against senior level 3 clubs. In an exciting final they overcame previous winners Tring Athletic to become the first Level 4 club to lift the trophy.
As you will have read, our Senior Division Cup was won this season by White Ensign who were Senior Division Two Champions. In the final they defeated Bishops Stortford Swifts who were Senior Division One Champions.
It is a strange coincidence that our neighbours the Essex and Suffolk Border League had a similar result in their Cup Final when Division One winners Arlesford Colne Rangers overcame Premier Division Winners Rowhedge.