The dates for the semi-final matches in both the Cup and Plate are now known. They will be played over four successive Tuesdays in March:
10 March – Ipswich A v Manningtree (Cup)
17 March – Ipswich F v Bury St Edmunds D (Plate)
24 March – Ipswich C v Ipswich B (Cup)
31 March – Felixstowe v Saxmundham (Plate)
As this new competition reaches its final stages, it may be worth weighing up its pros and cons.
Both Rob Sanders, who proposed and designed the competition, and Colin Roberts, SCCA President, believe it has been a success. With 13 team entries out of a possible 21, this is more than the competition it replaced, the League Cup, which last season had only five entries.
On the other hand, however, the Cup and Plate has thrown up some mis-matches in the Initial Round, when the seeding paired top against bottom, second top against second bottom, etc. It may be worth considering a different pairing system if the competition is to continue next season, where the imbalance between the total grades of teams is less.
It is already known that at one club will not participate next season. This club failed to win a single game in the eight that were played in the Initial Round and the Plate quarter-final. Another club, Bury St Edmunds, were unable to field any of their Division 1 teams because of fixture congestion (they also play in the Bury Area League).
It is suggested that all Suffolk clubs should now advise the Competitions Secretary, David Green, as to the likelihood of their club’s entry to this competition next season and, if so, how many teams. This will give the SCCA Committee a better feel for the future of this competition.