What should have been a successful return to action for teams from the shoestrings-chargrill Chippenham Sunday League, turned out to be something of a damp squib as the appalling weather conditions claimed half of the opening day fixtures, leaving many clubs with an extra week’s wait to end their seven month wait to play a competitive match, writes MANNY SCHNEIDER.

One of the matches lost to the torrential rain was top flight clash between heavyweights Corsham Wildcats and FC Lacock with North Star Club’s opener against Bath Road being another casualty with the pitch at Beversbrook, despite the best efforts of the ground staff, being unplayable.

From the two Premier Division games that survived, the game at Bowmans Court, Melksham between local rivals Forest Community Centre (formerly New Inn Wacker) and FC Pilot (formerly The Foresters Arms), and what was expected to be a closely fought encounter was anything but as Pilot ran riot as they thumped their hosts 10-0 to give Graham Griffiths a dream start as team manager.

Tom Blackman making his first start for the club, gave Pilot the lead, and he doubled the score line before Tom Jones wonder goal made it 3-0. Sean Meer fired home a fourth for Pilot to give them a 4-0 interval lead.

The second half belonged Rhys Talmash who marked his debut for Pilot with a 5 timer, his first coming from the penalty spot and after that he killed the game as a contest as 3 more goal in the opening 10 minutes took the score to 8-0. Stuart Barber bagged the ninth of the morning before Talmash completed the scoring with his fifth and Pilot’s tenth of the game.

Bromham who had an impressive pre-season, took their good form to Little Marsh and a 3-1 victory for Pete Wallis side saw them defeat hosts Semington 3-1, that will go some way to avenging the 5-1 loss the Owls suffered the last time the teams met.

Bromham’s slick passing in the first half proved to be too much for the hosts who found themselves 3-0 down at the break. Jamie Hall with a brilliant turn and finish gave the visitors the lead on 9 minutes. Charlie Street doubled the advantage in the 21st minute with a low shot in the far corner and a second from Hall made it 3-0 on 40 minutes.

Semington pulled a goal back with 15 minutes remaining through a James Cox 25 yarder, but it proved to be just a consolation as Bromham had already done enough to secure a well-deserved 3 points.

Benger inflict Oak Men first league defeat

Royal Oak who won all 16 of their division two league outings last term, before cruelly denied the title, would have certainly fancied their chances of an opening day win in Division one of the shoestrings-chargrill sponsored Chippenham League, but they were given a reality check as they saw their winning run come to an end with a 3-1 defeat away at Sutton Benger.

It was Benger who started the brighter of the two teams and they deservedly took the lead when a free kick on the right hand side was delivered into a dangerous area by Ethan Jones and was met by a firm header from Matt Blackmore. Although this effort was brilliantly saved by Royal Oak keeper it fell back to Blackmore who slotted home at the second attempt.

The affair remained a tight one with both teams passing the ball around well but it was Benger who struck again when James Hernandez struck the goal of the game. Hernandez picked up the ball on the left hand side and did not seem to have an awful lot on as he was being covered by 2 men but he continued to bring the ball forward before cutting onto his right foot and sent a curling, looping effort straight into the top right hand corner to give Benger the 2 goal buffer they desired at half time.

The second half saw much of the same as the first half with both teams' passing game on top form and with Royal Oak pressing to get themselves back in the match it was Sutton Benger who scored the third and possibly decisive goal with around 65 minutes on the referee’s watch, a free kick in a very similar position to that which produced the opening goal saw another perfect delivery from Ethan Jones which this time met by the head of James Weston to make it 3-0.

It seemed that keeper Dan Hughes looked on course to come away with a clean sheet on his league debut for Benger but that was not to be as a deep free kick was met by firm header and despite Hughes making a fine save from the original effort, the rebound was tucked away by George Thomas for Royal Oak via a deflection.

What was expected to be a close contest at Leafy Lane between Chippenham Icons and Biddestone turned out to be a one sided affair as the Icons were on top form to run out 8-1 victors.

Joey Hylands proved to be the Biddy boys chief tormentor and his bagged himself a 5-timer. Ryan Nicholls added two and a goal on his debut for Dan Fowler made up Icons 8.

Louis Harriss from a Tom Bull assist gave Biddestone their consolation in a first half that saw their team trail 3-1.

Aaron Latchem, manager of Lavis FC is expecting great things from his team this season and if their opening day 6-1 triumph over Kingfisher is a sign of things to come, his expectations may end in silverware at the end of the season. It has to be said that Lavis had a helping hand as the Fishermen had Ed Baldwin red carded in the opening 2 minutes to leave them with a mountain to climb.

Despite the having the advantage on an extra man, Lavis only had a Jamie Hancock goal to show for their efforts. Steve Morris made it 2-0 early in the second half and a Mark Coles own goal extended the hosts lead before substitute Simon Parfitt came off the bench to give his manager food for thought and he well have earned himself a starting berth next week with a stunning hat trick to seal the win.

Kingfisher’s consolation came at 4-0 when Lee Carey set up Gavin Freegard to open his account for the season.

A change of name from Westbury Railway to Beeches FC saw Andy Anderson’s side opener their account with an excellent 6-3 triumph over Old Road.

Beeches broke the deadlock through a left footed 25 yarder from Steve Morris. Seamus Nickless-Mooney restored parity for Old Road only for Jamie Parlour to put Beeches 2-1 up with a goal on his debut. Steve Ball added a third before Nickless-Mooney scored from the penalty spot to halve the arrears, which went back to two shortly after as Parlour doubled his tally for the game.

After the break, things got worse for Old Road as a Drew Adams cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Frankie Vaz, who then made amends for his error by scoring a third for Old Road. With time running out Richie Crocker’s great control and composed finish saw him net the final goal for the Beeches who according to manager Anderson were very good on the day.

The remaining fixture between Bremhill View and Sporting Box was another victim of the weather, with Beversbrook being unplayable.

Wily old Fox earn opening day win

Three new clubs were scheduled to start life in the shoestings-chargrill Chippenham Sunday League at the weekend, however due to the weather the only team that managed to beat the elements were former Bath Sunday League outfit Fox & Hounds (Warminster) who visited local rivals Warminster Athletic (formerly Wednesday Warriors) and picked up maximum points courtesy of a 4-2 success.

Fox & Hounds created and spurned a number of chances before and after they took the lead through Myles Woodward's, whose excellent touch and electric saw him beat 5 players before planting the ball home for 1-0. Sean Snook found the net for 2-0, however the deficit was halved when Ben Bullis drove home a long range effort.

The visitors to St Georges regained their two goal cushion when captain Alan Hitchcock couldn't believe the time he had on the ball and was almost day dreaming, as he slotted home to make it 3-1 to the Fox at HT.

Warminster Athletic got themselves back in the game when Gareth Bradshaw took advantage of the wind to chip the keeper and give the home team hope of turning things around, there hopes ended when a Calvert-Lewin like leap at the back stick from Rob Christopher, saw him head home a Myles Woodward corner to earn the Fox a 4-2 victory.

FC Libby who will be looking for instant return back to division two, suffered the worst possible start as the Melksham based side suffered a 2-1 defeat away at Steeple Ashton.

Aaron Burbidge was Ashton’s star man with a first half double, his second being a sublime effort that saw him lob Libby’s unfortunate keeper from the half way line. Rhys Edwards got Libby back in the contest prior to half time and although both teams huffed and puffed in the second half as they looked to add further goals, neither good find the net again as Ashton held out to take all 3 points.

League newcomers The Castle and Calne United will try again next weekend to kick-off their campaign as matches against respective opponents Spartak Rudloe and Calne Athletic (formerly London Road Inn) were lost to waterlogged pitches as was the match at Bromham were Misfits were set to welcome FC Devizes United.