LYME Regis footballers are celebrating today after it was confirmed at the Devon & Exeter League’s annual meeting last night (Friday) that both the First team and Reserves have been promoted.
It was expected that the 1st X1 would be promoted to the Premier Division after finishing in third place in Division One, but the elevation of the Reserves, who came fourth in Division Five, to the Division Four next season was by no means a shoe-in and has delighted club officials.
The first team will be playing in the highest standard in their 133 years of history and means the Seasiders will resume local derbies with clubs like Seaton and Beer.
It provides new manager Gerard Hitchcock with a huge challenge but the Seasiders showed on a number of occasions last season, particularly towards the end when they went on 12-game unbeaten run under caretaker manager Mark Bailey, that they were more than capable of playing at a higher level.
The elevation to the Premier Division is a feather in the cap of the club’s longest serving chairman Howard Larcombe who has nursed the Seasiders through the last 11 years with dignity and modesty, earning great admiration in football circles.
Howard will be the first to admit that he has backing of an enthusiastic and committed committee and a group of fundraisers, mostly women, who are consistently bringing in the money which has enabled the club to provide some of the best playing and social facilities of any club in local football.
He will also acknowledge the support of Lyme Regis Town Council which has given generous financial backing to the club’s development programme, Project Fortify, which next season will deliver a 40-seater covered stand for Lyme’s enthusiastic supporters.
The 15 teams Lyme 1sts will meet next season are:
Beer Albion, Clyst Valley, Cronies, Exmouth Town, Exwick Villa, Feniton, Colyton, Heavitree United, Newton St Cyres, Newtown, Okehampton Argyle, Seaton Town, Topsham Town, Upottery, Witheridge.
The Reserves will be playing:
Alphington, Black Swan Town, Elmore, Feniton, Halwill, Hemyock, Millwey Rise, Pinhoe, Sampford Peverell, St Martin’s, Teignmouth, University of Exeter, Winkleigh.
Lyme’s third X1, the Rovers will compete again in Division Three of the Perry Street League.
Pre-season training commences at the Davey Fort at 6 pm on July 3rd.