This is the one they’ve waited for.
Two 100% records on the line – two teams desperate for glory. On Saturday Walcountian Blues meet arch rivals Spencer head-on and something has to give.Be prepared for a seismic encounter as both teams know that this game will have a huge influence on the destiny of the Premier League title.The anticipation has been tingling for weeks as both teams entered the season at full tilt and then improved some.At times, it has seemed like Spencer have barely needed to take their track-suits off as they have romped to six straight league victories cranking up 93 goals with Rick Bone and his steel curtain defence rarely dented.
Blues haven’t produced so many fireworks but have been impressive and gathering strength and cohesion every week.The stats dictate that whoever triumphs in these showdowns wins the league. Blues did the double last year and took the crown; Spencer claimed home and away to win the title in 2013 and Blues won both on their way to the 2011 Premiership.But the history books will be chucked out of the window as the two best teams in SEMLA face off in Banstead on Saturday.
Spencer are coming off two huge wins over Bristol while Blues have had to work hard to overcome tough Hitchin and Hilcroft sides in recent weeks. Will Spencer’s armchair ride mean they are not battle hardened or will their supreme attacking skills be enough?“This game has been on our minds for sometime and we’ve had it circled in the calendar ever since they unceremoniously knocked us out of the flags last season,” said Blues captain Dave Cluney, after the 8-3 league victory over Hillcroft.“The boys remember how that felt and we’ve got a group of passionate guys who, when properly motivated, I’m convinced can beat any team in the South.
“The scores Spencer have been putting up this season show they are probably even more lethal than last year and ultimately we know they are loaded with talents and hungry for this game.“One thing is for certain, Saturday is going to a fantastic game for the neutral fan.”
Spencer’s 27-1 win over a weakened Bristol Bombers team tells us little and co-captain Rob Holmes said: “It was another good win at the weekend and we came through with no injuries which was good news.“We recognise that Saturday’s result may have a big say on who runs out league winners, but there is still a long way to go. Recent weeks have been a bit one sided and Blues should give us a proper test.“We are coming in to the game on top form, and feel if we play our game and perform to the level we know we can, we should come away with the win. Expecting a close game and getting ten goals should clinch it.”Spencer’s goal threat looks immense and they have power all over the field but so do Blues and Cluney was pleased by his team’s ability to dig deep.They struggled to break down a disciplined Hillcroft team for the 1st half last Saturday but then moved clear with a compelling surge.
Hillcroft, Hitchin and Reading – and possibly even Hampstead – will still have a say in the league and no-one should discount their ability to mix it at the top and have a stake in the shakedown.But Saturday is SEMLA’s showcase game and everyone will be watching both teams will not give an inch of ground.Another crunch clash will also define the basement with two winless teams, Purley and Welwyn, going to war at Warlingham.
The Warriors have been shipping more goals than Purley, whose experienced defence makes most attacks work hard for their money but Welwyn have picked up strength in recent weeks.“We’re really excited for Saturday we will be putting in a big effort to come out on top,” said skipper George Breese. “It’s obviously an important game but it’s still a game we’re expecting to come away from with the win.”
Welwyn hung on to Reading last week till half time when there was only one goal in it but the Wildcats, fired by a six-goal salvo from Brendon McCann, pulled away.“It was as an enjoyable game. We were both struggling for numbers so with very short benches it was pretty scrappy at times,” said Reading captain Paul Milner. “Welwyn played a lot better than the week previously and really challenged us. We only lead 5-4 at half time and they had frustrated us time and time again.“Second half was a different story as we managed to step it up a gear and in the end it was a comfortable victory.“Our attention now turns to Hillcroft as they have been our closest rivals over the last few seasons and it’s always a big occasion. We’re expecting an extremely tough game as they have recruited well to what was already a very good team.”
Dom Sandy and teenager Stephen Munck also got hat-tricks for Reading.
East Grinstead, who came through 6-4 against Purley last week, take on Hitchin in the other game.
Bristol Bombers 1 – 27 Spencer
East Grinstead 6 – 4 Purley
Reading 17 – 5 Welwyn
Blues 8 – 3 Hillcroft
East Grinstead v Hitchin
Purley v Welwyn
Reading v Hillcroft
Blues v Spencer