The CCL season finally came to an end on 31 May, with its two major cup finals taking place over the weekend.
On Saturday it was the Final of the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup. The virus had presented huge problems for the competition, with some clubs deciding to pull out, in addition to which there were one or two disciplinary difficulties, but in the end it came down to two Premier clubs meeting each other in the shape of Redhill and Ascot United, both appearing in the Final for the first time.
In the summer heat on an immaculately prepared Cobham FC pitch, the two clubs went head to head but despite the heroic efforts of both sides, neither of them could manage a goal over the whole period, and, as is the vogue these days, it was down to penalties. It is impossible generally to predict such affairs, but on this occasion, it was Redhill who triumphed, winning by four penalties to two.
The trophy was presented by Cherry Red themselves, in the shape of Iain McNair. Attendance was 364.
Two days later it was the Esoteric Recordings Division One Challenge Final, played at Ash United on another superb surface. Yet again though, despite the determined efforts of both sides on an even hotter day, Merstham U23 and Godalming Town effectively cancelled each other out with neither club able to find the net.
Once again it was doen to penalties and this one was a longer contest and at one point was starting to threaten more penalties than the recent European final. It didn’t quite get that far though and in the end it was Godalming Town who came out on top by 8 penalties to 7 to their obvious delight. It was their last match in the CCL for the moment as they are off to the Southern Combination next season, barring any appeals.
It was also the final CCL match to be staged at an immaculate Ash United pitch as they are due to compete in the Wessex League next season. They certainly made it a day to remember with their superb organisation just like Cobham and Farnham in the Fripp-Smith Final the week before. The League’s huge thanks go to all three clubs.
Following the Division One Final, League President David Havenhand was on hand to facilitate the inaugural presentation of the Ken Huckle Memorial Trophy, following the sad death of our longtime Referees' Secretary and League President Ken Huckle. David spoke of Ken's long career with the League and Mrs. Huckle along with family members, was on hand to make the presentation which went to long serving math official Phil Paice, looking as fit as ever and a very popular choice.
We must also thank both Ascot United and Banstead Athletic who staged the Under-23 Final and the Under 18 Final in midweek beforehand. The two winners were Merstham who overcame Guildford City in the Under-23 Final by three goals to 2 and Sutton United who overcame Balham in the Under-18 Final. The final score was 3-0 to Sutton but both sides made it an entertaining affair.
We also thank our sponsors, Cherry Red Records, for their ongoing help and the interest they continue to show in the League.