Two-horse race for St Piran League title

Friday 8th April 2022 1:45 pm
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The run-in for the the St Piran League East title has come down to just two clubs. St Dominick and Saltash Borough, writes Dave Potham.

St Dominick are one point clear of Saltash Borough, who have a game in hand.

St Dominick

St Dominick suffered a 2-1 defeat at Sticker in midweek, and tomorrow play their final home game against Bude Town before ending the season with visits to Callington Town and Torpoint Athletic.

Manager Simon Riddle said: “I can’t fault the effort of all the squad to get themselves into the position we are in during the club’s first season at this level.

“Keeping the same core group together has been a big thing for us as all the lads know each other really well.

“We lost two players for the season fairly early on with ACL injuries, including club skipper Billy Biddiss, which was a blow, with Ryan Corey taking over the armband since August.

“In the goalscoring charts, Kieran Ryall has been leading the way but Ben Jeffery, Stuart Fort and Kieran Prescott have also got into double figures.

“As cliche as it is, we will continue to give it our best shot for our remaining games and see what happens.’’

St Dominick run-in:

9th April Bude Town (H)

16th April Callington Town (A)

26th April Torpoint Athletic (A)

Saltash Borough

Borough manager Kev McCann started the season with the majority of last season’s squad and a target of a top four-to-six finish and a cup final.

One of the major signings was striker Henry Bunning along with George Duff and goalkeeper Ashley Clelland.

McCann said: “I told the lads I wanted a good season as it could well be my last, having to rebuild four times in six years.’’

The Borough got off to a steady start and continued their unbeaten opening to the season before suffering defeats at St Dominick and Bude when McCann was in hospital for a mild heart attack.

This put a temporary blot on their title ambitions. McCann added: “We’ve got the best team spirit I’ve ever seen at this club. Every player has listened to what I have said and wanted, bought into the style and there are no egos.”

McCann held a meeting with the players to discuss what would happen if the situation occured again but he had great help from Kieran McCann.

McCann is disappointed at the end-of-season run-in as St Dominick will have finished their season while the Borough still have three more games to play.

McCann added: ‘’The players have played out of their skins. Henry Bunning is the top scorer and Keiran Owen has an amazing 18 assists.’

“The acquisition of Lee Hawkins has made a big difference and goalkeeper Ashley Clelland has been outstanding. Then there is Scott Waterfall, Joe Preece, George Soper and Dab Frazer who are the best midfield in the league.

“Our captain Sonny Casson has been outstanding and also my son Keiran who stepped in while I was ill.’’

Both cup runs ended in penalty shoot-out defeats. The Borough face the toughest of all tests as the remaining five fixtures are all away.

Saltash Borough run-in:

12th April Callington Town (A)

16th April Sticker (A)

30th April St Dennis (A)

7th May St Mawgan (A)

The battle for third place appears to be between Tamarside rivals Saltash United and Torpoint Athletic.

Saltash United

It has been a traumatic end of season for the Ashes who almost pulled out of the league.

Manager Robin Duff said: “At Saltash United we wanted a competitive team and we did feel that we could be in contention.

“As it has happened the top two have dominated the league and as we have lost to them both twice we don’t really deserve to be much better placed than we are.

“We could have done without the destabilising effect of almost not having a team at all competing in the league.

“As regards the rest of the season, we intend to get as many points as we can and finish as high as possible.

“Looking beyond the season, there is a strong crop of young players coming through the ranks of the club from the juniors and we will be looking to develop them alongside our more experienced players and keep the squad competing at the highest level.

“I have enjoyed working alongside the players and the coaches, they are a good group and we all want to get better.

“As always, it’s a pleasure to play at the Waterways Stadium in front of the Ashes faithful and we are looking to end the season well.

“Going forward, we will have the opportunity to play some of the registered under 18’s and we will probably do that and give them the experience of playing men’s football.’’

Saltash United run-in:

16th April Polperro (H)

19th April Morwenstow (A)

21st April St Dennis (A)

26th April Launceston (H)

30th April Saltash United (A)

3rd May Polperro (A)

7th May Bude Town (A)

Torpoint Athletic

It has been an indifferent season for Torpoint who struggled at the start of the campaign to field a settled side.

They lost six of their opening eight fixtures, but a great run of seven straight wins has given them an outside chance of finishing in the top three.

Player-manager Martin Piper said: ‘’Players are now back available or fit and consistency of selection has shown an improvement in results.

“Going from third bottom we can move into fourth with third a possibility.

“Looking ahead, I’m confident if we can retain our current group of players in certain areas we will be there or thereabouts as our average squad is still only 20.

Torpoint have always been a club which gives youngsters every opportunity to progress and under Piper that is certainly the case.

The club is well served by top scorer Daniel Tate, who sits in fourth place with 14 goals.

Torpoint’s problem is they have to fit in nine matches in a month to complete their season, although only three of the matches are against teams who are currently above them.

Torpoint Athletic run-in:

9th April Polperro (A)

13th April Launceston (H)

16th April St Dennis (H)

19th April Callington Town (A)

23rd April St Austell (A)

26th April St Dominick (H)

30th April Sticker (A)

7th May St Dennis (A)

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