Summer League underway and week 1 review

The league season got underway on what was a most welcome fine and warm Wednesday last week! This season sees a very welcome 56 teams competing in the 6 sections, an increase of 4 teams overall on 2023.

We welcome 6 new teams to our league from the Horse & Jockey at Stanford in the Vale with 2 teams , Grove Rugby Club,  The WADS bar at Wootton, another additional team from the Fleur de Leys at East Hagbourne and 2 teams from the Marcham Centre. Unfortunately we have lost the Wheatsheaf Drayton, the Black Horse Hanney, the Plum Pudding and one of the Brewery Tap teams from 2023. 

Fortunately despite a number of hostelries closing who have hosted Aunt Sally in previous seasons sides from many of those have found a new home. The Fox at Boars Hill will play at the Bystander whose B side from 2023 have returned to their former home at the Waggon & Horses Southmoor, the 2 sides from the Abingdon Arms in Wantage have found new homes at the Bell Grove and The Lamb Wantage who have also welcomed the team formerly at the Black Horse Hanney and the team from the Hart at Harwell have moved a couple of miles down the road to a new home at the Plum Pudding in Milton where they have been joined by one of the stalwarts of our league Terry Downes.

There has been quite a lot of player movements as well largely as a result of the Plum Pudding not retaining a Premier section side for 2024. The good new is that almost all of their side from 2023 have found new teams primarily at Abingdon United/Con Club, Croft Nomads and Abingdon RBL. So we may have lost a very good team, but we have retained several very good players some of whom made very good performances in their first league appearances for their new sides last week. 

I should also mention that we are delighted to see The Plough Appleton return to the Aunt Sally family this year.

So, in summary although we failed to reach our very ambitious stretch target of 60 teams for 2024 we are delighted to welcome so many new and returning teams, relocating teams and many, many new players to our game. We hope you enjoy it and stay with us for many seasons! It’s great to see that Aunt Sally is still alive and kicking and supporting not only our game, but most importantly so many of the  pubs and clubs in our communities.

So onto the week 1 review of results and individual performances. let’s start by looking at the overall results. in the Premier/A section Abingdon Utd champions for several seasons got off to a flying start defeating the Bystander A 5-1 with new recruit Phil Adams hitting the top individual score of the night with 14 dolls, ahead of team mates Dave Dix who hit 13 dolls and another new recruit Ken Fisher who also contributed 10 dolls to the cause! There were wins also in the Premier/A section for Steventon Sports A 4 -2 against newly promoted College Oak A, Plum Pudding against Berinsfield A and the Vine and Croft Nomads shared the spoils with a 3 apiece draw. 

Elsewhere there were many good individual performances, but no magical 6’s! In the premier?A section both Ian Brook with 11 and Alan Bell with 10 dolls started their season in good form as did Alec Chamberlain with his 10 dolls for Berinsfield A and Terry Downes playing for the “new” Plum Pudding helped them off to a winning start with 11 dolls at the College Oak. In the C section Rod Dorian scored 10 dolls for the Royal Oak and just down the road also  in Didcot Simon Armstrong matched that score for the Queens Arms in the D section both sides winning their matches against the Prince of Wales Shippon and The Chequers, Charney 6-0.

Other winners on the first night were Stanford In the vale FC.Abingdon RBL, The Bell Grove A, The Fox Denchworth and The Croft Bar in the B section. The Bell Grove B together with The Grapes A, Abingdon Conservative Club were winners in section C, REd Lion B, College Oak B, The Midget and the Brewery Tap got off to winning starts in the D section and in the E section newcomers Fleur de Leys B and the  WADS Bar were both winners on the night together with Sutton Courtenay FC and The Bystander C.

A great start to the season which is always great to see and with over 200 players playing Aunt Sally in 27 different venues last Wednesday providing a boost for our pubs and clubs which form such an essential part of our community



One Response to Summer League underway and week 1 review

  1. Avatar photo
    Paul Stone 13th May 2024 at 10:53 #

    Well done Roger and everyone who got us going again this year AND with new teams and venues.

    I believe we are now the largest league in the county or even the country!

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