East Bergholt going for record

CAN East Bergholt break a century-old record?It is almost a 100 years since a club last completed a hat-trick of Metaltec SIL championships.That was Orwell Works, who won successive titles in 1905, 1906 and 1907.

CAN East Bergholt break a century-old record?

It is almost a 100 years since a club last completed a hat-trick of Metaltec SIL championships.

That was Orwell Works, who won successive titles in 1905, 1906 and 1907. Leiston also won the SIL forerunner - the Ipswich and District League - three years running in 1901, 1902 and 1903.

No other club has achieved the feat, although a number have gone close with Waterside Works winning consecutive titles on three occasions.

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Bergholt are in line to write their name in the record books by winning the SIL Senior Division this campaign.

With games in hand they are in the strongest position, but there are still seven teams battling it out for the top prize in Suffolk biggest Saturday league.

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Grundisburgh and Walsham-le-Willows have both won back-to-back championships this century, but neither was able to go on and make it three in a row.

“We are going to give it a go,” said Bergholt manager Tony Hall, who deserves a great deal of credit for keeping the Gandish Road-based club in the forefront of the SIL title race.

Ian Gedny player-managed Bergholt to success in 2004 and last season he began the campaign before Trevor Wardlaw took the helm.

Hall was number two to both, and he took over when Wardlaw announced before the end of 2004/05 that he was to stand down.

Since then four key players have departed - Gedny, Matty Norman, Gary Pratt and Glenn Turner.

“Those four are among the top group of players in the area,” added Hall. “And for a while we struggled for players - only able to name one substitute for weeks on end.

“But with two teenagers coming in and doing well we are now equipped for the run-in. The title is there for the taking for the team that can put in a good run.

“It is in our hands, but we must find the consistency we have lacked for much of the season, and losing to Crane Sports on Saturday was a blow.”

Liam Hilliard, 17, and Oliver Mann, 16, have made their presence felt in the first team in recent weeks for a Bergholt team that could benefit from a league decision that they must 'replay' their game against Felixstowe United.

They were 2-1 down with 72 seconds left when one of their players was injured causing an abandonment.

Felixstowe have appealed to the Suffolk FA, and await the outcome, and Hall says: “We have no say in the decision-making.

“But to stop any carping it would be nice to get the job done without any help from an 'extra' game.

“It will not be easy as we are up against good teams, but as I said we are going to give it a go.”

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