Beacon League ready for kick-off

A local football league has received a major boost in membership, the biggest for over two decades, writes Dave McLean.

Football Stock
Football Stock

The Beacon Sunday (afternoon) league will kick off their 2021/22 campaign on September 5 with a total of 43 teams split into four sections.

In addition to two main open age divisions, the league will also operate with two over-30 groups of eight having attracted no fewer than 16 such teams, their largest response in this particular age category.

Not since the 1997/98 season, when a total of 46 teams contested the Beacon league action in four open age sections, have league numbers been above the 40 mark.

"We were virtually on our knees a few years ago, but now we are delighted to see this resurgence in local Sunday football," said Beacon league general secretary and founder member David Clinton.

Such a response to join the Beacon ranks for the new season comes just a few years after the league was only able to attract 16 teams and kicked off both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons with just one division!

Now the league is all geared up for its big return with full fixtures in the Concentric Sales & Lettings Championship and Paycare Development Division. Opening games in the two Over-30 sections will start mid-September.

The draw has also been made for the league's flagship cup knockout, the Lester Charity Cup, including three first round ties, AFC Wulfrunians Vets v CTS United, Gunmakers Arms v Sedgley & Gornal United West, Sedgley Sporting v Old Oak Vets.

Round two: Emerald Athletic Vets v Sporting Black Country, Hagley United v Shere Punjab Wolves Seniors.

Down Syndrome Awareness Vets v AFC Bilbrook Vets, Sedgley White Lions v Wombourne Athletic, AFC Willenhall v Sedgley Sporting or Old Oak Vets, Springvale Albion Vets v Sedgley Rangers.

Gornal Rangers v Lane Head Titans, Dudley Rangers United v AFC Wulfrunians Vets or CTS United, Trysull Athletic v AFC Broadlands Vets, Blades FC v Codsall Station, AFC Sporting Gornal v AFC Bloxwich, Bushbury Hill v Sedgley & Gornal United East.

Gunmakers Arms or Sedgley & Gornal United West v Brandhall Colts, Widdas FC v AFC Goldthorne, Kewford Eagles Seniors West v FC Premier U21, Casuals Veterans v Netherton Tigers.

Opening fixtures for Sept 5: Lester Charity Cup R1, AFC Wulfrunians Vets v CTS United.

Concentric Sales & Lettings Championship, Blades FC v Sedgley Sporting, Codsall Station v Trysull Athletic, Dudley Rangers United v Widdas FC, FC Premier U21 v Gunmakers Arms.

Paycare Development Division, AFC Goldthorne v Sporting Black Country, AFC Sporting Gornal v Sedgley Rangers, Brandhall Colts v Hagley United, Bushbury Hill v Gornal Rangers, Sedgley & Gornal United East v Lane Head FC, Sedgley White Lions West v Kewford Eagles Seniors West, Wombourne Athletic v AFC Willenhall (all matches kick off 2.15pm).

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