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Kings vs NCBC1
Christian League cups begin as NCBC win third title 

As Norwich Central Baptist Church wrap up a third title in a row, Norfolk Christian Football League chairman, Jim Green reviews the adult league season so far and looks forward to the knockout cups.

A 3-1 victory for NCBC over Kings confirmed NCBC as league winners much earlier than had looked likely near the start of the season. Early draws had suggested that NCBC might not have things their own way, and Soul Church made the early running only to fall away slightly.

One of the pleasing things about this season has been the general competitiveness of games. In the main, scores have been close and there have not been the big winning margins we have seen in previous  seasons.

BishopsCup600Even the two bottom teams, Silver Road and Gateway Vineyard, who are a bit cast adrift at the bottom, have shown improvement during the season and have made other teams work for their victories, as when Gateway recently held NCBC to 1-1 at half time. We look forward to a season ending game between the bottom two teams which promises to be a keenly fought game, as their fixture was earlier in the season. On that occasion Gateway won 3-1 after Silver Road had taken the lead.

Games have been notable for their friendly but competitive nature. One referee commented, after a closely contested game early in the season, that he loved refereeing on the Christian League as players don’t shout at him. It is what we hope for, but it is nice to hear it said.

It was also nice to hear supportive comments from church leaders. In January the league invited church sponsors to come and discuss the way the league works, and it was lovely to hear how the league helps one particular leader be in touch with young people and families.  The strap line of the league is ‘connecting Church to community through football’, and it is encouraging to hear that this is happening.

We now enter into the cup games. This year we have reverted to a straight knockout format, with the first games on February 24. The finals have been brought forward from May to April 14 for the Bishop’s Cup Final at the FDC in Bowthorpe and April 21(provisionally) for the Wroxham Road Shield Final at Sloughbottom Park. Both games will start at 10.30, and the dates have been changed to avoid a long gap between the end of the season and the finals.

Pictured top, NCBC beat King's Athletic to wrap up a third league title in a row and, above, the Bishop's Cup.