Falmouth Town will finally get their hands on the South West Peninsula League Premier West trophy on Saturday as they play host to Dobwalls in their final league game of an unforgettable season (kick-off 3pm).
Bickland Park will host its last SWPL fixture for the foreseeable future as Andrew Westgarth’s side say farewell to a league they have been part of since its inception in 2007, with the team set to play in the Western League Premier Division next season.
Although it is not their final match of the season, with the Champions Bowl game against recently-crowned SWPL east division champions Torpoint Athletic taking place at Bodmin Town in two weeks’ time, it is the last chance for supporters to see their league and cup-winning side on home soil.
In recognition of this occasion, and with a desire to get as many involved in what is set to be a carnival atmosphere, all adults will get in for half price on Saturday, with it costing only £3 to join the party and witness Westgarth, James Ward and co hold the trophy aloft at the end of the game.
Speaking ahead of the game, Westgarth said: “It almost feels like the end of a journey. We’ve been in the Peninsula League for [my] seven seasons [in charge] and it just feels like our time has now come to move on.
“Saturday’s a real celebration for everyone involved – the chairman, the supporters. It hasn’t really sunk in yet for us I suppose until we get that trophy.
“It’s been a long season, but an unbelievable season, so many highlights and memories, and it’ll be nice to go out with a bang, a proper party atmosphere.”
He added: “Hopefully we might get a half-decent gate. It’d be great if people can come out and witness a bit of history because if you look at it from a positive point of view I hope we never win this league again. We want to be progressing and consolidating in the league above and try and kick on.
“League titles don’t come around very often, [it was] 22 years since the last one so we’re going to go out and enjoy this one on Saturday. Hopefully we can get a good turnout and the town will be proud of us.”
Dobwalls will be hoping to play the role of party poopers to some extent, with the east Cornwall outfit, who are already guaranteed a top-six finish, still harbouring hopes of leapfrogging St Blazey into fifth spot.
Simon Westlake and Ben Washam’s side will also be intent on revenge, having already lost twice to Town this season. The Reds suffered a 3-1 reverse at their Lantoom Park home back in September, before losing by the same score in the Cornwall Senior Cup semi-final at Wadebridge last month.
Victory for Town will also see them finish the campaign having dropped the fewest points of any other step 6 SWPL side in the league’s 15-year history. Westgarth’s men have dropped just five points so far – with two coming in the goalless draw with Liskeard Athletic in midweek – and victory on Saturday will eclipse the record of six set by Bodmin Town in 2011/12, albeit having played six games more.
Another interesting sub-plot is the destination of the SWPL golden boot. Town’s Jack Bray-Evans currently leads the way with 31 goals in SWPL competitions (the league and the Walter C Parson League Cup) with nearest rival Liam Eddy of St Blazey only two behind.
With St Blazey still in the League Cup final next Saturday, the Falmouth forward will be eyeing a goal or two against Dobwalls to avoid a nervous wait next weekend.
“We’ve broken so many records this year from the club’s point of view and I think we’ve broken a couple of league records as well,” Westgarth said.
“If we can go out on a high [then that will be fitting] and Jack’s probably hoping to get the golden boot as well, so that could be a great achievement for him personally and us as a club.
“I’m sure Dobwalls won’t make it easy for us. Every game we’ve played against them has been a difficult game.”
Last five games: Falmouth Town
April 26: Falmouth Town 0-0 Liskeard Athletic (SWPL)
April 23: Falmouth Town 3-2 Newquay (SWPL)
April 18: Falmouth Town 1-0 Wendron United (Senior Cup)
April 15: Penryn Athletic 2-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)
April 9: Falmouth Town 4-0 St Dennis (SWPL)
Last five games: Dobwalls
April 19: Dobwalls 0-2 Launceston (SWPL)
April 15: Dobwalls 2-1 Liskeard Athletic (SWPL)
April 9: Dobwalls 1-0 Wendron United (SWPL)
April 5: Launceston 0-1 Dobwalls (SWPL)
March 26: Bodmin Town 2-1 Dobwalls (SWPL)