Record two-year unbeaten football run comes to an end
What is believed to be the longest unbeaten run in the history of the Norfolk Christian Football League came to an end last weekend when Norwich Central Baptist Church lost 4-1 to Stalham Baptist Church – their first defeat in league and cup games for over two years.
NCBC have won both the league and the Bishop’s Cup in the last two season and until January 12 boasted a proud unbeaten run of an astonishing 41 games. Their last previous defeat came in December 2016 when they lost 4-3 to Heigham Park Rangers.
League chairman, Jim Green, said: “The League would like to congratulate NCBC on their record. It has been a result of hard work, getting a superbly organised, competitive team out each week and playing in the right way. They have been a backbone to the league and have given all the other teams something to aim at.
“Congratulations should also go to Stalham Baptist Church, who seem the ideal team to have broken the run! They are also a well-established, respected club whose way of playing football exemplifies what this league is about, and has included many years of keeping going cheerfully at the lower end of the league.”
NCBC manager Adam Hubbard said: “It was a run of results which the club was proud of and very disappointed to see come to an end.”
NCBC are still favourites however to record another league win and are six points ahead of Stalham in second, having played a game more, but are no longer invincible.
Jim said: “Happily, there are no winless teams and there have been a lot of close games, so that even teams near the bottom are making higher teams work for their points.
“Matches in general are played in a spirit of friendship and support. After a recent draw between Eaton Eagles and Gateway Vineyard both captains apologised to the referee for ways they felt they had individuality fallen short. But official Keith Morris told them and us, ‘It was the most sporting game he had refereed all season, no need for any apologies’. So congratulations all round.”
Once the league programme is finished, adult teams will switch to the Bishop’s Cup Champion’s League format group stages
The groups are: NCBC, St John’s and Silver Road; Heigham Park Rangers, Soul Church and Gateway Vineyard; Stalham Baptist, Sprowston Radicals and Eaton Eagles.
Competitive and high scoring youth leagues
In the youth leagues the Under 12s is the most competitive, reports league secretary Alan Barnes. The league will now split between top half and bottom half. The scramble for the top half went right to the final match. At the very top, Hillside, Sprowston Magpies and St Peter's Easton will ensure a close finish to the championship.
With some very strong Under 14s teams, there have been some high scoring games in this division. Old Catton Soul, Lowestoft United and Brooke will seek to compete for the league and will also be strong in the knockout cup. The remaining six teams will vie for positions and look forward to some close games.
The under 16s welcomes Thorpe Rovers into the cup competition, which will provide extra competition for the three existing teams. In the league, Brooke Adventurers hold top spot ahead of St Johns.
The under 10s are currently enjoying some indoor football before recommencing outdoor friendlies and a cup competition in the spring.
Pictured top is NCBC celebrating their last league and cup double.