By Lewis Michie
The conclusion of the season has either arrived, or is fast approaching, for all of the Mearns’ local Men’s’ sides – with the mid-season break on the horizon for Stonehaven Ladies. Fortunes have been mixed as the 18/19 campaign comes to an end.
Stonehaven were officially relegated from the McBookie Junior SuperLeague following a 2-0 loss to Hermes in their last game of the season. A win would have put pressure on Ellon United and Hall Russell United to get a result in their final games – still to come – but wouldn’t have totally guaranteed safety for Martyn Rollo’s side.
Hermes compiled the misery for Stonehaven by making sure they ended their season with another loss to the side who sit fourth, with a chance still to leap over Culter into fourth place. Hermes won 3-2, to defeat Stonehaven again in the semi-final of the regional cup.
Stoney will now play in the First Division next season, aiming to beat out the likes of Sunnybank, Stoneywood Parkvale and Dufftown – also relegated from the SuperLeague – to gain promotion straight back to the division they’ve been demoted from.
It has been a mixed season from the teams in the Amateur ranks, starting with the Premier Division, both Mearns sides will be pleased overall with their performances, knowing they can build on their standing for next season. Cowie Thistle currently sit third, they’ve guaranteed a top four finish, but Rothie Rovers are just a point behind with four more games in hand, so chances are Cowie will finish fourth with the top four now likely to finish in the same order as it did last season.
Cowie finish their season at home to Woodside, a match which could give Thistle an opportunity to halt Woodside’s quest for the title.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, St Laurence also have a game remaining in the first season in the division following promotion last term and David Easton will be pleased his side are set to compete in the division again next season.
The Laurencekirk side are eight ahead of their final game of the season – which is yet to have a date set – and is also against Woodside, they cannot rise any higher in the table, but may be leapfrogged by Insch, leaving the saints ninth.
Bervie Caledonian will finish another season in third place in Division One North, once again one position from promotion. Results as of late have allowed Rattrays XI to escape Caley’s attentions and they will now reset to attempt to finally gain promotion to the Premier Division again next season.
Their final game of the campaign will be against promoted Rattrays XI – even a win would still leave Caley four points adrift of their opponents, but it could give them plenty of confidence to carry over into the next campaign.
AC Mill Inn finished one point outside of the relegation zone last season, so overall they’ll see this season as an improvement. Inn sit 7th with two more games to play, winning both of those would allow them to leapfrog to 6th, and they will not be in danger of dropping any lower than they currently sit.
As of yet, neither of Inn’s remaining fixtures have been given dates.
Stonehaven Athletic have two more games to play in Division Two North, promotion looks unlikely as they sit fourth, needing a place in the top two, but could still happen. FC Polska currently sit in the final promotion spot, four points clear of Athletic, Cammachmore are a point better off than Athletic and Kemnay Amateurs also still hold out hope to go up.
Athletic need to win away to Feughside on Saturday, while hoping other results give them a helping hand as they attempt to escape the division.
While the Men’s football is set for a summer break, there is still local Women’s football to take you through the remainder of May and June – with another five fixtures for Stonehaven Ladies before the league takes its mid-season break in July.
Stoney currently sit ninth in a league of 12, Raith Rovers are dead last without any points, while Montrose, Westdyke, Stonehaven and Deveronvale sit in that order, all with six points – all trying to avoid that second relegation spot occupied by Montrose currently.
This weekend is a Sunday off for all the teams – Stoney return to action with an away game against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on the 19th of May.
While Mearns Football Weekly takes a break during the Men’s off-season, I’ll still be keeping you up to date with Stonehaven Ladies and all the other North-east Women’s sides in the Division One North.
Most weeks my article looking back at the Women’s results from any given weekend can be found in the Evening Express on a Wednesday, with an article previewing the following Sunday’s fixtures in the Press & Journal on either a Thursday or Friday – these are all also often uploaded online, which will be retweeted to our twitter feed.
Next week’s Mearns Football Weekly will be our final edition of MFW for the 18/19 season, but the weekly coverage will return – with further improvements – for the next season.