Premier double top back for League after 94 years
Two Premier divisions head the return to action after an agonising six months delay
After just over six months without a league fixture the 2020 2021 season will be back in action this friday night with an Intermediate 4 West match at Witheridge whose 3rd team face a newly reformed Bickleigh.
Then on saturday matches take place in all eleven divisions which includes side by side Premier divisions East and West. It may come as a surprise to many but this is not the first time Premier has been split. The latest change has been made to alleviate the situation which the panademic has brought about. So the League have decided that smaller divisions will hopefully mean they can see the season through. So Premier has 12 teams in an East division and 11 in West. The same formula has been adopted in the lower divisions, down to the bottom three where a Central division will also operate.
The full programme for the weekend can be seen on this website.
For those interested in the League history, in 1925 when we were known as the East Devon League there were ten teams in Premier and ten in Senior. Four teams then dropped out, Holsworthy, Silverton, South Molton and Torquay United Reserves, but in came Barnstaple and Minehead so the 16 remainers and two newcomers were shaped into two Premier divisons East and North, and they were all First teams.
Exwick, Dawlish, Exminster (now St Martins), Exmouth, Heavitree United, Ottery St Mary, St Lukes College (now University of Exeter) and Topsham were among the 12 strong East division along with Budleigh Salterton, Bovey Tracey, Friernhay, and Tiverton Town.
Only six teams occupied the Northern section but covered three counties. Devon teams were Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilfracombe and Torrington plus Bude and Minehead all playing each other four times. Tiverton were champions of East that year, and in the Premier playoff beat Northern champions Bideford 2-0 in the title play
It was a one-off year as only ten of the teams made up the only Premier division for the 1927-1928 season. Budleigh, Exmouth, Exwick, Dawlish, Heavitree and Minehead all dropped out.
The East and West divisions split continued in various forms in the League’s Senior and Intermediate (Junior) divisions until the mid 1980s so the change here is relatively newer.
Wednesday 16th September 2020