Five Things We Learned - Gameweek 39

Wed 26th April 2023 | Five Things
By Jay Cooper

1. We're at the last hurdle

That's all she wrote for the regular season! With the weekend just gone, we have seen the culmination of 99.9% of all NWCFL league action that there will be this season, with the exception of the play-off finals in the First Divisions North and South, as well as the one play-off game for Avro in the Prem.

There is still one single game left to be played in the North - Nelson take on Bacup Borough tonight. However, when that game is in the rear view mirror, every game going forwards will be a final, and I don't just mean the play-offs. Of course, we have both the Macron and Edward Case cup finals in the not too distant future, too.

2. Avro did it!

As mentioned, Avro made the only play-off place in the NWCFL Prem thanks to their 4-0 weekend win over Barnoldswick Town. It has been known for a few weeks now that Vauxhall Motors would be taking home the league trophy at the end of the season, but who would get the chance to join them in promotion was undetermined until Saturday.

With Wythenshawe Town still within touching distance, Avro knew that all they had to do was win against Barlick, and they did just that, however, it didn't matter in the end. Wythenshawe fell 3-1 away to FC Isle of Man, meaning that Avro could've lost 10-0 to Barlick and they'd still have bagged 2nd. It remains to be seen who Avro will face, but it will be their biggest challenge yet regardless.


3. Congratulations Pilkington!

There's been a "congratulations X" entry in the last 3 of these lists now, and this one really ought to have come earlier, but, when it mattered, Pilks finally got the job done and sealed the First Division North title in a moment we all knew was coming, but we were kept waiting for.

On Wednesday last week, they faced Bacup Borough away from home, knowing that rivals Chadderton had done all they could do, and that 3 points would be enough for them to confirm their status as champions. They went into the game with one goal - to win the match - but they came out of it with four goals that went unanswered, including three from Callum Laird, and the league trophy to boot.


4. Two-trophy Ammies!

After their title win on Wednesday, Pilkington also played at the weekend in the First Division Champions Cup final, with a chance to seal their second trophy within a 4-day period. Their opponents, however, First Division South champions Wythenshawe Amateurs, had their own script in mind.

A brace from the Ammies' Saul Henderson either side of a Callum Laird leveller for Pilks was enough to see Shane Goldrick and his players notch their second piece of silverware of the season, and put themselves in the best stead possible heading into the off-season before the real prep for life in the Premier Division begins.


5. The play-off finals are upon us

In amongst the final day of the NWCFL Premier Division from Saturday, there were the 4 semi-final fixtures from the First Divisions North and South that were being played out to determine which sides would face one another for the right to play Step 9 football next season. Just in case you missed it...

In the North, runners-up Chadderton dispatched Euxton Villa and FC St. Helens defeated Ilkley Town, both on penalties, to set up a clash between Chaddy and FC this Saturday at the Falcon Fire Stadium. In the South, runners-up Stockport Town were shockingly beaten 2-0 by Cheadle Town, and Sandbach United overcame Brocton. Again on Saturday, Sandbach and Cheadle will face off at the Sandbach Community Football Centre, with promotion on the line.

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