Renewing old acquaintances
The divisional line-ups for Steps 3-6 of the National League System, released by the Football Association last week, confirmed Penzance’s reprieve from relegation. Technically any side in the bottom three of a Step 6 were liable to the drop. Having kicked off the season, withdrawn Porthleven were classed as wooden-spoonists and, to the surprise of many, the axe also fell upon St Dennis who came last of the finishers, a point behind the Magpies, and now join the Fishermen in the St Piran League for 2022-23, albeit probably in the East Division.
St Dennis feel a little aggrieved with their “points per game” relegation, especially since the West division is still short on numbers and, elsewhere in the country, teams have been promoted to Step 6 (stand up AFC Whyteleafe and Bermondsey Town!) despite competing in divisions outside the recognised National League System feeders.
However, the exit of St Dennis alongside that of promoted champions Falmouth Town, paves the way for the arrival of three new clubs, all of whom are former visitors to Penlee Park.
From the St Piran League’s East Division arrive BUDE TOWN, returning to the South West Peninsula League after an absence of three years. The Broadclose outfit finished just 4th in the East Division of the St Piran League but were its only promotion applicants. Their last SWPL season was 2018-19 when they finished 13th out of just 15 teams, one place and eleven points behind Penzance. They beat the Magpies 3-2 at Broadclose, but lost 2-1 on their on their last visit to Penlee Park, on 23rd February 2019.
MULLION were the highest placed of four applicants from the West Division, the others being St Day, Truro City Reserves and St Agnes, champions Illogan RBL having decided against throwing their hat into the ring. A stunning end-of-season run, which also saw them win the inaugural Cornwall Intermediate Cup, propelled the Seagulls to promotion ahead of early divisional leaders St Day. Mullion enjoyed a three year sojourn in the old South Western League in the early nineties, so Penzance will be making their first league visit to Clifden Park since February 18th 1995 when they returned from the Lizard with a 2-1 win. Earlier in the season, the sides had ground out a goalless draw at Penlee Park.
Both Bude and Mullion have been granted planning permission for floodlights which will need to be erected during the course of 2022-23 if the clubs are to retain their new Step 6 status.
The third new arrival have actually been the most frequent visitors to Penlee Park down the years despite hailing from over the border in Devon. HOLSWORTHY, three years after being switched to the SWPL East Division, are now back in the West to equalise numbers. Like Bude, they were last in our section in 2018-19. Penzance’s last visit to Upcott Field resulted in a 2-1 defeat on 29th September 2018 whilst, later in the season on 2nd March, the points were shared in 1-1 Penlee Park draw.
The new season will kick-off in early August and Penzance’s fixtures will be announced on this site and our social media channels as soon as known, so please check back regularly!