I ZIngari Combination - Liverpool Echo
JAYMC are through to round three of the I Zingari Combination Pye Cup after In the Over 40's Division leaders Jawbone (Wilson, Vincent). University and Zingari met on Saturday, appears to have some ad- way, and then into Zingari ground, where Judge inflicted! a fine of 40s unless cause. W, I Zingari Combination Veterans Over 40's Cup Round 1, Hillfoot Hey, 4, 0, Midden Vets, Saturday, 22 November W, Veterans Over 40's Division, Hillfoot.
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Their status in the top division of the I. Zingari League was consolidated with a comfortable mid-table position and a good run in the Lancashire Amateur Cup to reach the quarter-final stage before elimination. This season also saw the Third team finish mid-table whilst the Fourths ended in third place.
The Fifth Eleven, with Paul Bennett as manager and being ably assisted by Mike White, completed the season as the league champions. This was now the fourth season out of six that Division Three of the Old Boys League had been won by the Club, remarkably by three different squads of players.
The Sixth Eleven also finished second in their league, whilst the resurrected Seventh Eleven, managed by Chairman Vic Welsh, just avoided relegation from Division Five.
Also resurrected, as it turns out for only one season, was an Under XI playing in the South Merseyside League By now, the straight up and down selection of players had long gone.
All six teams consisted of a squad of about sixteen to eighteen players and it was only in times of emergency that players moved between teams.
Although some of the older players and some committee members did not approve, it cannot be denied that there had been a drastic improvement in results. Now cups and leagues were being regularly won, particularly by the lower teams.
It could be said some players were playing below their standard hence the successes. Sadly the influx of ex-S. Rightly, the school did not allow players to turn out for the Old Boys if they had played for the school in the morning.
After they left school they often went to Universities away from Liverpool. Unsurprisingly, despite constant appeals, few ex-S. This is a situation, which is greatly regretted by the committee. The Under team and the very young Seventh Eleven were attempts to remedy the situation. The season, as well as welcoming in the new millennium, also saw a Club first. After 95 years of on and off membership of the I. For a large part of the s we had languished in Division Two even applying for re-election having finished in the bottom two positions.
The twelve point winning margin now looks like a walk over but it was far from it. This season saw a new venture for the Club when we entered a second side in the I.
Old Xaverians FC
Previously it had been a league purely for reserve sides but because of falling numbers of clubs and teams playing football, it had now decided to open its boundaries to other teams be they first, second or third teams. This was also the league position suffered by the Division One Old Boys side. Fortunately they could not be relegated as we had teams in the divisions below.
This they duly won for the second time in three years. The season also saw the re-introduction of an Eighth Eleven, eventually managed by Ben Mallett after resignation in late October of the returning Andy Campbell, to play in the Old Boys Division Five.
It was principally aimed at producing a squad of good young players. Despite its mid-table position it proved in later years to be a success as several of the side are still playing for the Club and many of the squad went on to play for the First Eleven for a time.
It was in the summer of a Third team player, Steve Cuddy, suffered a terrible accident whilst on holiday in Greece, which rendered him almost completely immobile. The diagnosis was that he would be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. Half this sum had been raised inside the Club itself in one season.
The season is now acknowledged to have been the wettest on record. In fact the Seventh Eleven did not play for 10 consecutive Saturdays. It could just have easily been a record season for trophies. Three sides also, at various stages of the season, looked to be running away with their leagues but all fell in the final few games. To improve the playing facilities, pre-season a barrier had been erected on three sides of the First team pitch together with a new dugout. With constant poor weather, all the pitches became very wet and consequently badly uneven.
As the season continued into mid May, pitch No. Just as the previous season had been a record for weather so became a record on the playing field. The First Eleven won the I. Billy Birch was still managing the First Eleven. Mike Wickham had gone from managing the 8th XI to assisting Billy. This management team and squad of players proved to be a very successful one. This was played at The Lancs. A County ground at Leyland on a very wet February night under floodlights.
With the final three games of the season all to be played in a week, the team could still do the Cup and League double. Three wins would do this. On the Tuesday night they beat Warbreck away The game went to extra time without a goal and looked set for penalties when Quarry Bank were awarded a penalty, with two minutes to go, which they duly scored.
All looked lost for the Xavs. Then in injury time, centre half Ben Williams; following up an attack prodded a cross into the net, for the equaliser. The first penalties from either side were both missed before Quarry Bank also missed their second. The Xavs never let this advantage slip and went on to successfully complete all their penalties. After years of trying the Club had finally won the I.
On to the last game of the season versus Aigburth Peoples Hall at home, with another game to play A. In close fought encounter where the Xavs took the lead honours finished even. They ended up Cup winners and league title runners up.
The Fourth Eleven now run by Chris Connor were involved in a four horse race for the league title. Despite this, they proved to be the stronger in the run in. They won the last five games including the double over one of their title rivals. This season again saw the Club decide to drop two teams because of lack of personnel to run them.
Before the season started, one of these teams was reinstated when Brian Deakin, assisted by retiring 3rd XI manager Jock Milligan, stepped forward to run the Seventh Eleven. The following year the Club returned to a full complement of eight sides.
It also heralded a season of success for nearly all the teams. The First Eleven finished fourth losing only four league games all season.
They reached the semi-final of the I. Zingari Cup and the quarter-finals of the Lancashire Amateur Cup. The Fourth Eleven, after their previous historic success, proceeded to win The Old Boys Division One title again without losing a game.
Junior Cup for the first time but they lost their first game after extra time and penalties. They did reach the final of the Marlborough Cup before again losing after extra time and penalties. They were successful though in the Old Boys Senior Shield, which is for all the first teams of clubs in the League. In a game of high standard football they beat Collegiate Here they suffered their only minute defeat in the semi-final to an Aspull side containing several ex-semi-pro players. An extremely memorable season for the side.
The Eighth Eleven were also losing finalist in the Grimshaw Cup. With the Fifths ending up only ninth and Sevenths finishing fourth, but only missing out on the second spot by one point, the club had had an extremely successful season. Further success was achieved the next season when the First team won the I.
With Billy Birch in charge and assisted by Mike Wickham the team led the league table from the very first game. In this historic season, the only league game that was lost was the last of the season when the title had already been won. For the second year running they reached the quarter-finals of the Lancashire Amateur Cup before losing on penalties. One individual achievement stands out in this success. In only his third season playing for the Club, Paul Partington scored his th goal for the team, quite an achievement!
Meanwhile the Second team reached the semi-finals of both the Combination Cup and the L. Where they were tested was in the Northern Cup. Again, for the third time in two seasons, the side lost a cup-tie after extra time and penalties. This time it was the Cup Final. The Eighth team, now under the management team of Brian Deakin and Ian Milligan, ran away with Division Four but had to come from down in the Bushell Cup Final to complete the double.
The Veterans Cup Final, the night following the Bushell Cup Final, proved too much for our Overs, who comprised mostly Eighth team players losing Further achievements earned by the Club during this successful season were the I. Zingari Premier Division Sportsmanship Award. This was added to, by Ben Mallett being presented with the I.
Zingari League Secretary of the Year Award. This was really an award to the Club for the turnaround in its on-field behaviour and the efficiency of its committee. The previous season the Chairman and Secretary had had to attend a disciplinary committee of the I.
Zingari League where the Club had been warned to its behaviour. The Award showed that the Club had heeded the warning. The Award was recognising the success of this delegation.
In a well-attended game the Xavs lostin a game dominated by both defences. After a poor start to their retention of the league title, the season developed into a two horse race between East Villa and ourselves.
Towards the end of the season in the return game against Villa, a win would place the championship in our own hands.
In an exciting game, where the Villa keeper made three outstanding saves, the game was drawn But the topsy-turvy season continued with East Villa losing to Hill Athletic in their penultimate game meaning we would be champions again. As per league rules the game was awarded to East Villa hence the I. Zingari League title was awarded to East Villa with ourselves as runners up. Interestingly enough the team gained more points this season than when they had won it the previous one.
Losing the league was the second disappointment of the week. Without too much difficulty the side had reached the Final of the I. In another exciting match played at the Liverpool Soccer Centre, where the weather got progressively worse, the Xavs ended down half way through the second half.
As they pressed more and more strongly, the ROMA keeper made some outstanding saves. As our opponents tired, several went down with cramp and other injuries. This resulted in seven! In the second minute of this time the Xavs got a goal back and had one more decent chance before the end.
But it was not to be and the team finished the season runners-up in both the league and cup. With his players moving from Division Three to Division One of the Combination, their final third place could be regarded as success. In fact they only lost one game all season and that disappointingly was in the L. Intermediate Cup Final versus I. Zingari League, St Ambrose.
Veterans Football - Liverpool FA
For a Third Eleven to reach this prestigious final was a remarkable effort despite the squad system of selection. Incidentally the quarter-final draws for all three County Cups included Old Xaverians, which I think is a first.
The other five sides the club was running were not as successful with none in real contention for their league titles or even reaching cup semi-finals. Even the usually successful Overs side were eliminated early on.
Latest from the I Zingari League
The Club still continued to run an Under side on a Sunday, run by Steve Polson, with a few even playing for the adult sides on occasion. The season turned out to be a momentous one. These successes in one season are unprecedented. Sadly it also saw the end of the I.
I ZIngari Combination
Zingari League The First Team again managed by Billy Birch, assisted by Mike Wickham and physiotherapist Eddie Howard had now finished first, second, second again and now first in the last four seasons. After four games of the season things did not look hopeful when they had lost to Turpins and drawn another game. They did not lose another league game for the rest of the season. After this poor start the cup season started. A run through to the last sixteen of the Liverpool Challenge Cup was experienced before defeat, after extra timeto Maghull from the North West Counties League.
In the Lancashire Amateur Cup the side reached the quarter-finals. Here we were drawn at home to Rochdale St Clements. After going down and having a man sent off for two yellow cards the team fought back to to take the game into extra time and penalties. To get this far in the game in the circumstances was fantastic but an Istanbul-like win was not to be repeated. Very tired legs and minds were unable to survive the pressure of penalties and they lost in the shoot out.
Zingari Cup the side went one better by reaching the semi-finals against St Ambrose, who had also retained the L. They should have been promoted to the Premier Division the previous season, but the League deemed their ground unsuitable. Consequently, they were still playing in Division One.
The Xavs side never got into their stride and against a very physical team they lost During their cup runs the team continued to progress in the league, winning every game they played until they were due to play East Villa. Villa had a hundred percent record at this stage, so it was vital that the side did not lose against them if they were to maintain their title challenge. In a game of high skill the Xavs took the lead after missing two one on ones. In the second half, East Villa came at the Xavs strongly and eventually equalised.
So the game ended in a draw and honours even. Whilst the Xavs continued to win all their league games, East Villa lost an important game versus Red Rum. This left the Xavs with a chance of overtaking East Villa if they beat them in the return game at the College. In an exciting game, Villa attacked hard but the Xavs defended well and were looking dangerous on the break. Two good chances fell to Adam Jones, the second of which he managed to convert.
In the second half, East Villa pressed even harder bringing out good saves from the keeper Ted Hinnegan. In their desperation to equalise Villa pushed even more men forward leaving gaps at the back. On one of the Xavs breakaways Tom Faulkner was brought down in the box for a blatant penalty. The First eleven now led the league table for the first time in the season, by one point. To ensure they won the title they had to win their last two games at home.
The first against ROMA was won easily The last, against Red Rum, was postponed because at the College because of a waterlogged pitch in May! It was finally played on the 22nd May where the Xavs ran out narrow winners by three goals to one. So the Old Xaverians became the last ever winners of the years old I. As I have previously stated, was also the last ever season of the I. Zingari League because the National F.
The Liverpool county F. This meant that teams from the Liverpool County Combination and the I. Zingari League, the current feeder league, would be able to apply to the new County Premier League. The new Premier Division of this County Premier League will be at step 7 of the new national football pyramid.
Because of the First Eleven final league position they ensured that we would be members of this new Premier Division and so be playing at step 7 in Both of these finals were against Speke.
The Combination final was held at the Police ground and was won by the Xavs in extra time with a stunning yard strike from Ian McLaughlin. Speke won the second of these finals The League title rested on the last game of the season against Speke.
A draw and we would win the league whilst a win for Speke would see them be champions. In a nail biting game watched by about people, the Seconds created several excellent chances in the latter stages of the game whilst missed several half chances to score.
After seven minutes of added time neither side had managed to score. The Second Eleven season had gone to the very last kick and they had ended up completing the Combination double. A late equaliser from substitute, Mike White, with his first touch took the game into extra time and penalties. The Xavs won the shoot out by three goals to two. Three further wins in their last three league game also ensured that they finished as runners-up in the league as well.
During the season the Club were awarded F. Charter Standard Adult status. A prestigious award, which few adult clubs of our size possess despite having reduced our number of teams to seven from the previous seasons eight. We have a plaque with our name on it down at the County F. This now means that we have an F. A, approved constitution, that we adhere to the F. It also means that we have one F. It is hoped that it will also increase our chances of obtaining any grants that are available.
And so to season,it was one in which several new ventures were embarked upon. Because of move up to Step 7 level in the national pyramid, the Club had to enter the Lancashire Shield. This was done with some reluctance because it ended our year participation in the Lancashire Amateur Cup.
This is a floodlit competition in which the likes of Liverpool and Everton Reserves take part. We were convincingly eliminated at the first round The Second Team management, with the blessing of the committee, decided to enter the St Helens Combination a completely new venture.
It was a decision taken because it was thought at the time that we would be running more teams than leagues to play in. It was hoped to run eight teams in and with no reserve sides allowed in the County Premier league, the I. Zingari Combination being reduced to two divisions and the distinct possibility of the Old Boys League only having four divisions, another League was the only option.
As it transpired the Club only ran seven teams this season after the late resignation of a team manager to manage elsewhere. The Second Eleven, fresh from their league and cup double of the previous season, were placed in the second of four divisions. After a slow start, they again did the league and cup double, and will play in the Premier Division of the St Helens League in Sadly they were again lost to a team they had beaten easily the week before in the league to win the title.
They had reached the final, when in unusual step the Xavs had been allowed to enter three teams in the Northern Cup. One had reached the final, another the quarter-finals and the third the last sixteen.
After the successes of recent seasons, this was a moderate one for the First Eleven. This was principally down to the loss of key players through retirement and injury. Their replacements found the going tough in the move up to Step 7 level. The team despite experiencing the unusual situation of fighting against relegation still did well in the George Mahon Cup, for all teams in the County Premier League, reaching the semi-final, losing in the last minute of extra time to Waterloo Dock.
In the Lancashire Shield a first round defeat to eventual finalists, Coppull United after extra time made the team realise the standard they were playing at. Coppull were no better than us in playing strength, in fact we had played all of extra time with nine after having two players sent off and even equalising in this period. What was different was the facilities. They had an enclosed ground with floodlights and a clubhouse and bar.
On Merseyside we are twenty years behind other areas of the Country in the facilities that this level of football is played on. The overs, run by Brian Deakin, again continued to dominate their cup competition and won it for the second year running.
Mickey Thomas had introduced a team of mainly 17 and 18 year olds and it was decided to enter them in the Old Boys Division Four. When their league season had been completed they played 30, won 17, drew 5, lost 8, scoring 62 goals for and conceding only 28, the lowest in the division, earning 56 points and finishing a very creditable 4th out of 16 teams.
In the cups, they were eliminated, very unluckily, in the 4th Round of the Lancashire Shield by eventual finalist Euxton Villa. They lost in the first Round of the I. In the final, which was played at the Liverpool County F. So after his first season in charge, Ben Williams and his players had won a trophy.
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After some discussion, the I. Zingari Combination side was nominated as the reserve team. The number of home draws 4 was their downfall. They played 22 league games, won 15, drew 4, lost 3, scoring 64 goals for and conceding only 18, again the lowest in the division, earning 49 points. Losing their first game of the seasonin retrospect, proved to be crucial. They led the table for most of the season but injuries and unavailabilities in the crucial penultimate game against NELTC, the league champions, proved to be the one hurdle they could not overcome, losing Zingari Combination Cup they suffered early elimination at the hands of Polish F.
In the Geoff Pye Cup for First Division teams, the side were eliminated at the semi-final stage after extra time and penalties. So it ended a season of nearly but not quite. Defeat in the second game of the season against East Villa looked as if it might be crucial as either side suffered very few defeats throughout the season. But every time the Xavs faltered so did East Villa, until the title deciding end of season game at Villa.
A large crowd saw the Xavs the better side and come out winners and champions The League and Cup double was on the cards but the final saw them again facing rivals East Villa. This time Villa proved to be the better team. They played 22, won 17, drew 3, and lost only 2, scoring 82 goals for and conceding 28, earning 54 points running out league champions. Congratulations again must go to the management team who have now won five trophies in three seasons. They also entered the L.
Junior Cup and had a successful run beating Alder, East Villa again, after extra time, and Ravenhead Knauf, before losing to Mossley Hill in the Quarter-final in dubious circumstances. Premier League and have resigned from the St Helens Combination. It also proved to be a season of nearly but not quite for this side as well. They reached the Semi-final of the three cup competitions they had entered.
In the Northern Cup they lost to eventual winners Old Bootleianshaving defeated them in the league the previous Saturday. In the league, they were always in contention until their backlog of fixture caught up with them. Officially they finished 4th out of 12 teams. According to the league they have played 18 games, won 11, drew 4, and lost 3, goals for 48, goals against 25, points As you may notice this leaves four games unaccounted for.
If we had have been able to complete the season as we wanted to, we could have finished runners-up. You may now understand why the team manager is unhappy with this League. Under Brian Deakin, the Fifth Eleven, in Old Boys Division Two, found themselves with a very unsatisfactory season in that they spent large parts of the middle of the season idle. This was largely a consequence having so many teams having successful cup runs, being drawn at home, and only having three pitches for our six teams.
The large number of home midweek games at the end of the season allowed the team to recover from a poor first half of the season to finish mid-table. They played 22 games, won 7, drew 4, lost 11, goals for 39, goals against 46, points 25 finishing 7th out of 12 teams.
They were eliminated from their league cup at the second round. Mickey Thomas continued with his young side in Old Boys Division Four with much more success than the previous one. Eventually their inability to eliminate silly errors and finish a higher percentage of chances proved crucial.