THE omens for a full weekend of South Devon Football League were clear to see after the first midweek fixture at South Brent was postponed on Thursday, writes Alastair Muirden. 

Eleven of the 24 weekend fixtures were lost to the weather.

Ilsington Villa moved five points clear of second-placed Morley Rangers and seven points clear of third-placed Kingsteignton Athletic at the top of the Premier Division. Daniel Langford scored four times and Jamie Beer added a single to brush aside an Elburton Villa side. For Ilsington to be caught they need to lose three of their remaining eight. 

The only other game between two Premier teams was in the quarter-final of the Herald Cup at Osborne Park, where Newton Abbot '66 secured their place in the semi-finals with a 3-1 win against Buckfastleigh Rangers thanks to strikes from Sam and Jake Cockram and Matt Groves.

South Devon League football. Herald Cup clash with Newton Abbot 66 versus Buckfastleigh Rangers. Full time score of 3-1 in favour of 66.
Newton Abbot '66 win a towering header. (Steve Pope/MDA)

Division One is so tight it changes every time a ball is kicked. Ivybridge Town returned to the top following a 2-0 home win over Buckland Athletic and Brixham Town are not giving up the chase just yet; they moved into third with a 5-0 win against Upton Athletic.

The only other game in division one was the Dartmouth Cup semi-final, where Paignton Villa cruised into their first final for a few years with a 7-1 win against Harbertonford.

In Division Three, Ashburton slipped up at South Brent for the second week in a row – a single strike from Jono Ellis was enough to keep Brent on course for a promotion berth. Watcombe Wanderers 2nds moved six clear at the top after a 2-1 win against Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves, and it looks like the title is theirs to throw away.

One other game was played – in the Ronald Cup for Division Three teams – as Stoke Gabriel & Torbay Police dispatched Kingsbridge and Kellaton in the quarter-final 3-0.

South Devon League football. Herald Cup clash with Newton Abbot 66 versus Buckfastleigh Rangers. Full time score of 3-1 in favour of 66.
A physical game was battled out on a muddy Osborne Park. (Steve Pope/MDA)

There was a shock result at the top of Division Four. Chudleigh Athletic Reserves could have gone top with a win over South Brent Reserves but it was the visitors who came away with the points. This result leaves the door open for Drake, Liverton 2nds, Kingsteignton 2nds and Elburton Villa 3rds to battle for the top spot. 

Kingsteignton Athletic reserves moved into fourth with a 2-0 home win against Newton Rovers Reserves. The Rams are five points off the top but, with two games in hand, they are confident enough to go all the way. 

Elsewhere, Barton Athletic Reserves secured a semi-final berth in the divisional Les Bishop Cup with a 5-2 win over Babbacombe Corries Reserves. A hat-trick from Spencer Artz and singles from Jack Cumston and Chris Lewis keeps the cup run going.