It was the weekend of the third annual Nottinghamshire Senior League football bonanza but the most significant result unfortunately wasn’t played out in front of the mass of groundhoppers.
Wollaton’s 3-1 victory away at PMG Cavaliers secured them the Senior Division title with a game to spare. Wollaton are the only team to have won the NSL championship on three occasions, the other two times being the first two seasons of the league: 2004/05 and 05/06.
A brace from Ryan Bowen and one from Marcus Johnson sealed the win; Imaan Samuels replied for Cavs.
The groundhop got underway on Friday night when 297 people saw Ashland Rovers and Newark Flowserve draw 3-3 in Division One. Flowserve were 3-1 ahead with 10 minutes remaining following goals from Luke Boddy (2) and Jamie Charlton. But Jon Rowbottom doubled his tally for Ashland, having scored the games opener, and Stuart Grozier netted to ensure a share of the spoils.
Saturday morning’s game had the highest attendance but the fewest goals as 387 people witnessed Bingham Town’s 0-0 draw with Ruddington Village in the Senior Division.
Goals looked hard to come by in the next game too, between Netherfield Albion and Nottinghamshire in Division One, until Chris Riley scored a late winner for Albion to send the 292-strong crowd away happy.
Burton Joyce and Attenborough then served up the second 3-3 draw of the groundhop, in front of a crowd of 279 in the Senior Division. Sam Buckle put BJ ahead after his side had missed an early penalty. A Joe Nice free-kick and a brace from Alex Elliker put Boro in the ascendancy but Ryan Easom and Troy Smith levelled matters. Burton Joyce goalkeeper Roscoe Easom was sent off late on but Attenborough were unable to make the extra man count.
The final game of the day was the local derby between the Senior Division’s bottom two sides, Sandhurst and Kirton Brickworks. Scott Ricketts gave The Brickies an early lead but Sandhurst hit back through Eric Pearson, Lee Shaw, Ryan Chapman and Kyle Clarkson. David Cooper gave Kirton renewed hope but it was too little too late. Sandhurst ran out 4-2 winners in front of 346 fans.
Elsewhere in the Senior Division, West Bridgford are back up to second, having leapfrogged their opponents, Selston, with a 2-0 win. Mitchell Slawson and Tim Hopkinson were on target for Bridgford.
Awsworth Villa are now safe from relegation following a 3-0 win over Keyworth United, with goals from Jez Bradley (2) and Matthew Walker.
Beeston nearly let a four goal lead slip at home to Bilborough Town but they hung on for a 4-3 victory.
Underwood Villa moved back to the top of Division One with a 4-0 home win over Radcliffe Olympic Reserves. Josh Hunt (2), Mack Smith and Sam Tring got the goals.
Magdala Amateurs picked up a crucial 3-2 win against Kimberley Miners Welfare Reserves as they bid to avoid relegation. Tony Murray, Tom Groves and Tom Haw were on target for The Budgies, Danny Chaplin and Jack Tucker for KMW.
Ruddington Village Reserves edged out Hucknall Rolls Leisure Reserves 3-2. Scott Bolstridge, Sam Rothwell and Kaiden Burke-Campbell netted for Rudd, Andy Start and Reece Jackson for Rolls.
James Needham scored for Gedling Southbank as they drew with Wollaton Reserves 1-1. Perris Thomas got Wollaton’s goal.
In Division Two, John Whitehurst scored a hat-trick for Kimberley Miners Welfare AFC, as they kept up the pressure on Aspley Park at the top of the table, with a 7-1 win at Bilborough Town Reserves.
Bilborough United remain third with a 3-1 win at home to Underwood Villa Reserves.
Jordan Laird grabbed a hat-trick for Cotgrave Reserves in their 4-2 victory against Calverton Miners Welfare. AFC Clifton and Watnall Athletic both won 3-2, against FC Samba and Newark Town Reserves respectively.