The destination of the Isle of Wight Division 1 title is to be decided at the Brading v Shanklin game at the Peter Henry Ground in Brading tomorrow (Saturday).
3 points for Shanklin will see the Seasiders crowned champions. A Brading victory or a draw would see Whitecroft & Barton secure their 7th successive Division 1 championship.
Earlier this season it had seemed that a further W&B title was a foregone conclusion: W&B were 14 points ahead of Shanklin and on a remarkable run of 35 successive victories. However, the wheels came off the W&B juggernaut in the Spring, and they lost their long unbeaten record at Brading before suffering a late injury time defeat to Shanklin at the County Ground midweek.
Can Shanklin transform themselves from ‘nearly men’ to worthy champions? Over the past year the Blues have been on the brink of honours only to fall at the final hurdle. The Seaside team were leading Division 1 for much of last season, only to lose 2-4 at home to W&B and ultimately come 2nd. Shanklin then lost in the final of the Hampshire Trophy 0-4 to Brading after having 2 players red-carded. Only a fortnight ago, Shanklin again went down in the Hampshire Trophy final, losing on penalties to Stoneham reserves.
This year, Shanklin are on course for 3 trophies. Their 1st hurdle is the Division 1 Championship decider at Brading on Saturday. They then face Brading again on Tuesday (17th April) in the final of the Isle of Wight Memorial Cup. Finally, on the following Tuesday (24th April) the Blues will play either Binstead or W&B in the Challenge Cup final.
Shanklin Ladies have already secured the Hampshire Division 1 title for the seaside town. Can the men’s team be inspired by their example?
Standing in the way of Shanklin taking the Division 1 title and lifting the Memorial Cup are Brading Town. A win for the Romans on Saturday would see them rise to 3rd place in the Division 1 table.
When asked whether his side would put out their best players on Saturday ahead of Tuesday’s cup final, Brading Town manager Steve Lawton said:
“You’ll have to wait and see. I’m not going to make any predictions. I go into every game looking for my team to compete and play to win.”
Fixtures for Saturday 14th May
The All Things Printed Ltd Isle of Wight Challenge Cup Semi-Final
Binstead & COB v Whitecroft & Barton Sports
Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Division 1
Brading Town v Shanklin
Ryde Saints v West Wight
Fixture for Tuesday 17th May 2022
The 1st Irish Rifles Isle of Wight Memorial Cup sponsored by Andy Butler Sports Ground Specialist Cup Final
Brading Town v Shanklin
@ Beatrice Avenue, East Cowes
Kick off: 19:30
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