The Closest Season Yet
There have been a number of close finishes in the League this season which is testimony to the strength in competition amongst clubs throughout the divisions. Clubs in the Essex Olympian League continue to perform well in external competitions in particular the Saturday Premier Cup where once again the final was contested by two teams from this League. There has been an increase in Under 21 Clubs this season and a second division will now be formed.
The 2015-16 season marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Essex Olympian League. Of the original 13 clubs, Bishops Sortford Swifts and Old Chelmsfordians are still part of this League. The League is in good shape as it enters its 50th year but there is no room for complacency as the open age game continues to decline. There are, as always, areas for improvement but this can only be achieved by working together.
The 2014-15 season kicked off with the Challenge Cups. Southminster St. Leonards won the Senior Challenge Cup by beating Rayleigh Town whilst in the Reserves Frenford Senior were the winners against Manford Way.
In Senior Division Three Catholic United followed up their good run in the Premier Cup by taking the title with new club FC Hamlets runners-up. Basildon Town were Senior Division Two champions in a close fought contest with Runwell Hospital finishing second, three points separating the top 4 clubs. In Senior Division One the two clubs relegated from the Premier Division last season made an immediate return with Harold Hill going up as champions and White Ensign runners-up. Harold Wood Athletic were crowned Champions of the Premier Division on goal difference from Kelvedon Hatch. Here again three points separated the top 4 clubs. After 26 games the League title was decided in the last round of matches.
In the Reserve Divisions Newham United were comfortable winners of Division Two without losing a game, Toby finishing in second place. Reserve Division One champions was Frenford Senior who also did not lose a game, leaving May and Baker as runners-up.
The Under 21 Division title was closely fought all season by Frenford Senior and Hutton. Frenford, in their last game of the season, secured the title after beating their rivals.
The Leagueâ€™s leading goal scorer was Anthony James of Bishops Stortford Swifts with 50 goals helping the Club reach a tally of 98, the highest in the senior divisions.
The Cup Finals were all played on schedule. The Senior Cup Final was an all Premier Division affair with Kelvedon Hatch lifting the Cup and Wadham Lodge runners-up. The Reserve Cup finalists were Frenford Senior and Newham United with Newham of Division Two taking the honours. The Denny King Cup was contested by Hutton and Ryan for the second season. This time it was Hutton that won the Cup. Kelvedon Hatch won the Saturday Premier Cup beating Catholic United in the final.
In other outside competitions White Ensign performed well reaching the final of the Anagrams Trophy where they eventually lost to Letchworth Eagles. For the sportsmanship awards Frenford Senior won the best Club and Toby Reserves won the best team.
In other awards the Club Linesman of the season was Tony Dowsett of Galleywood, George Marsh was the Referee of the season, Warren Oâ€™Neil was clubman of the year, Brian Terry won the patrons award. Congratulations to all the award winners and thanks for your commitment to your Clubs and the League.
Thanks as always to you the Clubs, the match officials and the Management Committee of the Essex Olympian Football League for all your efforts this season and good luck to everyone for 2015-16.