So far this season, we’re witnessing many an exciting and closely fought title race, and none more so than in the Lanarkshire Football Development Association’s Under 15 A Section.
With roughly six weeks until the end of the season, no less than three teams are still in the running to lift the league trophy.
At the time of writing, a mere five points separate Blantyre BC, Jerviston BC, and Cambuslang FC; in 1st, 2nd and 3rd position respectively.
In this very tightly contested division where just 22 points separate the top and bottom sides; no one team has run away with the title. Neither has any one team become isolated at the foot of the table.
Blantyre have played 15 games this season so far, one more than either of their closest rivals. In those games they have won 10, drawn three and lost two, currently sitting on 33 points.
Those three draws, more than anything, could prove costly for Blantyre in the long run. Although Jerviston have lost four games this season, in comparison to Blantyre’s two defeats, they have notched up the same number of wins and they haven’t drawn a single match.
There are only three points in it and Jerviston could very well level matters should they win their game in hand. So goal difference could prove key when it comes down to brass tacks.
Both teams have been on fire, scoring an impressive 47 goals to date, but it is Jerviston’s goal difference that is marginally superior to Blantyre’s. They have a slightly better defensive record than the league leaders; letting in just 23 goals as opposed to their rival’s 25.
Cambuslang may be five points adrift of Blantyre on 28, having won nine, drawn one and lost four; however, they have the best goal difference in the league of plus 30. They too, boast a pretty handy defensive record, also letting in just 23 goals. They could get right in the thick of things again by winning their game in hand.
The next twist in this extraordinary tail is set to unfold this coming Sunday, 26th April, as all top three sides will be in league action.
Blantyre will be at home to local rivals Mill United, a tie which they should be confident of winning as they have recently netted 11 goals in the league and LFDA cup respectively; conceding only two. In addition, they did beat them 3-1 in last month’s away fixture.
Jerviston face a trip to play second bottom side EK Burgh. On paper, this fixture should be a foregone conclusion. Jerviston have been in good form in the run up to this match; recording victories over Cambuslang and Milton rovers. However, with the A league being as competitive as it has this season, nothing can be taken fore granted.
The tie of the weekend though, undoubtedly has to be Dalziel BC v Cambuslang. Dalziel currently sit in 4th position in the league table and are still just on the fringes of the title race with 24 points. They should present Cambuslang with a stiff test again this Sunday; as they did a little over a month ago when Cambuslang overcame them by the narrowest of 2-1 margins.
Cambuslang should be confident of a win on their current form, but Dalziel are no strangers to winning against top class opposition; recently beating second placed Jerviston on their own turf 3-1 as well as taking points off Blantyre earlier in the season.
However these games play out on Sunday, the story will be far from over. The top three have all hit a rich vein of form recently so it could be head-toheads which decide the destination of the title.
Blantyre and Jerviston still have to meet another twice before the season ends: first on the 30th of this month, then again on the 21st of May. Both matches promise to be close affairs, with literally nothing separating the two. Blantyre’s 3-2 win over their closest rivals in August certainly won’t have much of a bearing on events.
Cambuslang face an away fixture to Blantyre on the 7th May. They haven’t enjoyed much luck against the top two thus far, losing narrowly to both Blantyre and Jerviston in March.
It remains to be seen if they can make it third time lucky against Blantyre. They weren’t too far off the mark last time round; not capitalising on the many chances that came their way. They have been prolific in front of goal these last weeks though.
So get set for a nail biting conclusion to the season with many twists and turns along the way. It’s anyone’s guess as to who will come out on top.