MSC Express West Cheshire Football League end of season round-up 2022/23

Congratulations go to league champions, Mersey Royal, who successfully defended their league title from a year earlier by lifting the 1st Division Trophy.

The 2nd Division Champions were Helsby, who cemented their place back in the 1st Division for the first time since 2017 by lifting the title in the final game of the season.

Aintree Villa Reserves were the victors in the 3rd Division after a great season for the men from the Racecourse. The Youth Division Champions were Mossley Hill Athletic Youth who took the title alongside reaching the finals of both the Youth Plate and the Development Trophy.

Mossley Hill Athletic FC retained the Pyke Cup for the third successive year becoming the first team to do so since 1994. The Howarth & Gallagher Bowl went to Mallaby FC for the very first time in their history.

Hooton FC were the successful club in the League Shield also lifting the trophy for the first time. The Youth Plate and Development trophy finals remain up for grabs with Poulton Vics Youth and Mossley Hill Youth challenging for both cups.

Mersey Royal advanced to the final of the Northern Counties Cup where they faced AFC Sefton and a tremendous performance from The Royal gave them a resounding 4 – 0 win with goals from Liam Driscoll, Andy Rogers, and two from Lewis Willingham.

Mersey Royal topped off an incredible season by taking the Cheshire Amateur Cup for the second season running and their third success in the competition, the first coming back in 1985. A 2 – 0 win over Broadheath Central FC gave the Royal the second of three trophies in a treble-winning season.

In the Wirral District FA Senior Cup, it was Capenhurst Villa FC who took the honours with a fine 1 – 0 win over Mersey Royal. The Cape first won the trophy back in 1993.

Ashville FC Reserves took the spoils in the Wirral District FA Amateur Cup with a 2 – 1 win over defending champions Hooton FC. Goals from Lewis Clarke & Anthony Gardner were enough to seal the game and take the trophy back to Villa Park.

The Wirral Junior Cup went the way of Poulton Vics Youth after a fine 1 – 0 win over Capenhurst Vets with a goal from striker Harvey Sample. After the Vics’ renaissance, it was great to see a young group setting the path for a successful future for the Wallasey club.

Top Scorers

1st Division

Jackson Ellis (Newton FC) 29 Goals
Mark Madden (FC Bootle) 28 Goals
Bradley Shearwood (FC Bootle) 23 Goals
Elliot Taylor (Litherland Remyca FC) 20 Goals
Caleb Jones (Mossley Hill Ath FC) 19 Goals

2nd Division

Lee Turkington (Runcorn Sports FC/ Helsby FC)
38 Goals
Jason Bull (Poulton Vics FC) 24 Goals
Ellis Byrne (Mallaby FC) 16 Goals
Salam Djabi (Bootle FC Res) 16 Goals
Derek Taylor (Ashville FC Res) 16 Goals

3rd Division

Dylan Lawless (Aintree Villa FC Res) 29 Goals
Kal Herbert (HB Kelma) 23 Goals
Owen Hollywood (W Kirby FC Res) 20 Goals
Ben Kierman (HB Kelma FC) 20 Goals
Joel Whalley (Hooton FC) 19 Goals
Cameron Clark (C Nomads FC Res) 18 Goals

Youth Division

Kian Hamm (Poulton Vics FC) 22 Goals
Adam Lyons (City of Liverpool FC) 22 Goals
Asher Duncan (Mossley Hill Ath FC) 18 Goals
Denny McHugh (Vauxhalls FC) 17 Goals
Jake Hill (Runcorn Linnets FC) 16 Goals
Michael Martin (Runcorn Linnets FC) 16 Goals
Alex McDermott (BRNESC FC) 16 Goals

The Golden Boot

Congratulations to Lee Turkington on a superb season, 38 goals for 2 clubs in the season is a remarkable achievement. Lee has shown himself to have a great eye for goal with a fantastic 114 goals in the last 4 seasons in the league.

In the Spotlight

Established in 1891, Heswall FC are proud to be one of the leagues oldest clubs. Set up by local man Johnny Moores to provide organised football for local men.

Securing a home proved difficult in those early years with the club playing at a number of pitches in the area before settling at Gayton Park in 1970 with former Everton & Arsenal star Joe Mercer officially opening the ground on 29 May 1971.

Heswall owes much of its history to great men and former committee members, Ernie Wakelam, Norman Fawcett, Jack Darwood, Jim Morrison, Tom Jones, and club stalwart Ray Heller who took on every role from player, manager, and secretary up to a stint as Club Chairman.

The Club has had regular success with seven league titles alongside a number of cup successes including three times winning the prestigious Cheshire Amateur Cup.

Heswall FC has also proven a good grounding for young players to go on and forge a career in the professional game with players like Ian Woan, Alan Reeves, Dave Reeves, Kenny McKenna, and Graham Branch all enjoying good careers after donning the Yellow Shirt.

This coming season sees The Yellow Bus under new management with Ben Scoffield continuing the legacy at Heswall FC built by Grandfather Wally, a former Secretary and Chairman and his Dad, Alan who represented the club over 700 times in a 20+ year career.

The Beginnings of the League

On 9 June 1892, a meeting took place in the Crooked Billet Hotel in Lower Tranmere. Mr J. H Warbrick, presiding and representatives of Hoylake, West Kirby, Melrose, West Seacombe, Seacombe St Pauls, London N W Locomotives, and Tranmere Rovers Reserves in attendance.

It was proposed and seconded that a league be formed, and that the league be called The Wirral District Association Football League, which shall consist of ten clubs, the following clubs elected:

Ellesmere Port
LNW Locomotives
New Ferry Guild
Port Sunlight
Seacombe St Pauls
Tranmere Rovers Reserves
West Kirby
West Seacombe

It was resolved that Mr A Major become Secretary, thus the beginning and the West Cheshire League was born.

The first league officers were Mr Ed Allen (President), J. H Warbrick (Chairman), A Major (Secretary), J Maddocks (Treasurer) and in September 1892, the editor of the Birkenhead News presented the league with its first trophy. The following year it was agreed a second division be formed and for the first time medals awarded to winners and runners-up in each division.

Looking Forward: The 2023/24 Season

This season will start without Cheshire Lines for the first time since 2016 and Prescot Cables Reserves will also be absent from the league, we wish both teams the best of luck moving forward. Applications have been received from Frodsham FC, FC Kirkby & Huyton Rovers.

Heswall FC and Mossley Hill Athletic FC are both rebranding their respective reserve teams to U23 Teams, the Gayton Park outfit intends to have a renewed focus on youth players with the core of the squad coming from this year’s U16 team, while Mossley Hill plan on merging their successful youth team with their existing senior team, exciting times for both clubs.

All Things Official

Congratulations to the referees listed below on their respective promotions this season, well done to all.

Dillon Buckley Level 7 to Level 6
Harry Case Level 7 to Level 6
Scott Dowell Level 6 to Level 5
Calum Johnston Level 7 to Level 6
Ciaran Johnston Level 7 to Level 6
Ben Lepper Level 6 to Level 5
Khalid Wahbi Level 7 to Level 6

Image: Mersey Royal, League Champions, celebrating winning the Cheshire Amateur and the Northern Counties Cup

First Division

1Mersey Royal2823145870
2Mossley Hill Athletic2821525268
4FC Bootle St Edmund’s2817564256
5Vauxhall Motors Res2817291753
7Marine U23s28125111041
9Aintree Villa289514-1032
10Rainhill Town288614-2030
11Litherland Remyca Res289316-2230
12Chester Nomads289217-4029
13Capenhurst Villa288218-1926
15Ellesmere Port Town284123-7213

Second Division

2Poulton Victoria2821344366
3Ashville Res2821253965
4South Liverpool Res2817381354
5Runcorn Sports28171102952
6Maghull Res2816392251
7Sutton Athletic2814113543
8Bootle Res28130151239
10Poulton Royal289316-2530
11Mossley Hill Athletic Res288218-2426
12West Kirby286418-4022
13Cheshire Lines285617-3421
14South Sefton Borough284618-4718
15Marshalls Res285221-3317

Third Division

1Aintree Villa Res2822246468
2Higher Bebington Kelma2819455261
3South Liverpool Third2818554359
5Capenhurst Villa Res2815672151
6Runcorn Sports Res2814410-1946
7Neston Nomads281099-239
8Poulton Victoria Res289712634
9Chester Nomads Res289712-634
10Helsby Res289514-2532
11Rainhill Town Res288416-2628
12West Kirby Res288317-1927
13Groves Athletic287219-3623
14Ellesmere Port Town Res286319-5521
15Heswall Res282917-3515

Youth Division

1Mossley Hill Athletic1813323942
2Poulton Victoria1810171431
3South Liverpool189451231
4Vauxhall Motors189361430
5Victoria Colts U1817917528
7Ormskirk West End18828-426
8City of Liverpool18567-621
9Runcorn Linnets185112-2716

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