The final game of the season took place at the David Keswick Centre where Normandy from the Premier took to the field against Nithside from the First Division in a play-off game to decide which league these 2 sides would be playing in.
Normandy were in trouble from the first whistle when they only had 9 players through various reasons so most in the crowd assumed Nithside would win the game. And this seemed to be going to plan when Paul Hastings slid in at the back post to give Nithside the lead mid way through the first half. Nithside kept pushing but were constantly and correctly caught time and again for offside by the assistant referee.
Normandy showed glimpses but were up against it when Chris Wood stepped inside and scored just before half time to level the game. Half time came and Normandy were growing in belief.
Eventually in the second half Nithsides fitness and numerical advantage took its toll inevitably on Normandy and Stefan Tate and Scott Muir made sure of the win for Nithside who now go into the Premier League whilst Normandy will now rebuild in the First Division.
Looking back on the season and the honours have to go to Moffat Thistle who have set the standard not only winning the Premier title but also winning the Turning Point Trophy and the Heathhall Garden Centre Cup. Moffatonly conceded 26 goals in the league and was by far and away the best defence in the league.
Five Arches proved to be the best of the Dumfries teams to hunt down Moffat but a couple of unexpected defeats derailed their title charge and twhile they were top of the league Moffat had several games in hand so were in control.
Kings won silverware but will also be annoyed at some sloppy defeats that also handed the initiative to Moffat. A deserved cup win though in the League Cup especially as they had to come from behind. Loreburn were Jekyll and Hyde again this season always dangerous and only had 1 draw all season but on their day they can beat anybody in the league.
Palmerston had a really slow start to the season but got themselves sorted out before they had a really good February picking up points to keep themselves clear of relegation trouble. Palmerstons highlight was winning the indoor soccer 6s in January. Scaur had a really bed season for them and they will be looking to come back and get their title back whilst making Penpont a fortress again.
Normandy struggled for long periods of the season yet on their day got several decent results, on paper they shouldn’t have been relegated but games aint played on paper and the table doesn’t lie. Normandy also had a really good run in the cups and were a little unlucky not to win silverware. Black Bull also had a bad start to the season and will be frustrated they never got themselves going but with a new 3G park coming to Lockerbie next season they will hope this is the base to start rebuilding in the First Division.
In the First Division Annan were simply unstoppable with an amazing 17 victories in 18 games and yet with 10 minutes of the season left they still were needing a winning goal to make sure of the title. The goal came and Annan now look forward to cementing their place in the Premier League and may be looking at a very high finish next season.
Nithside pushed Annan relentlessly and only suffered 2 defeats all season. Going into the last game of the season they had a heavy defeat and were wobbling for long periods of the game before rallying late on to survive a big scare. Nithside will be looking to survive next season in the Premier and will fancy their chances especially after winning the Houliston Cup.
Hole in Wa will be looking forward to next season after pushing Nithside hard all season and with some experienced players will fancy their chances of promotion. Jolly lost a lot of players last season and did really well to be the best of the rest and will also be looking to build again next season.
Ruthwell got to the final of the Houliston Cup and gave a really good account of themselves and if they can score just a few more goals will also fancy their chances next season of a higher finish. Park gave a good account of themselves and with another season in the league and a little tightening at the back will surely climb and look for a higher finish.
Hendersons only just lost out on goal difference of climbing another place so they also will be looking to improve next season. This season was their best away from home and will be frustrated they didn’t win more games at home.
Youth Utd had a good start to the season but after particulary heavy defeats to Annan in the league and Scaur in the cup they seemed to have their confidence dented but will be all the stronger for this seasons experience. Dumfries will be looking for a strong start next season after a slow start the will be thankful for good form against the teams around them keeping them off the bottom of the table.
Finally Summerhill. In their debut season they had to learn against some experienced teams around them and they got themselves going halfway through the season. A good pre season will hopefully see them enjoy a better season.
A special word of thanks got the the League Committee for all the hard work and tireless hours put in getting the league and cup programmes to work well.
A word of thanks also go to all the sponsors involved. Prego’s Takeaway, Heathhall Garden Centre, Hendersons Newsagents, Alistair Rankine TV Repairs, Hay Hire-a-Hubby whose help and support was very much appreciated. Also a word of thanks to Scott Grant and Andrew McLean at Dumfries and Galloway Council, Kenny Bowie at Kingholm as well as all the members of staff at Queen of the South FC, Annan Athletic FC and Gretna FC.
Final word of thanks to all the referees involved this season as they have raised the bar in performances throughout the season.
Normandy 1 Nithisde 3
Normandy relegated, Nithside promoted
Season 2013-2014 Roll of Honour
Winners: Moffat Thistle FC
Winners: Annan Town FC
Promoted: Nithside FC
Winners: Palmerston Colts FC
Runners up: Five Arches Bombers FC
Heathhall Garden Centre Cup
Winners: Moffat Thistle FC
Runners up: Scaur FC
Turning Point Trophy
Winners: Moffat Thistle FC
Runners up: Annan Town FC
League Cup Trophy
Winners: Kings Arms FC
Runners up: Normandy Star FC
Runners up: Ruthwell FC