This time last year the South Saxons Ladies team were relegated from the Sussex Premier League by the very last hit of the 2017/18 season. A year on, the tears were only of joy as they stormed back to win the Division One title with a gratifying record of 20 league wins, two draws and no defeats over the six month campaign since September.

The final match last Saturday at Horntye was tough going as Saxons focussed on protecting their unbeaten record before a large but anxious crowd. Visitors Crowborough, who finished third out of the 12 teams in the division, were capable of spoiling the party, and the home team had to spend much of the game defending. Fittingly it was defender Mandy Marriott who came up from the back five minutes from time to score from a short corner and seal the 1-0 victory. Goalkeeper Lynn Upfold crowed loudly at the final whistle – “Single figures!” –  referring to her remarkable record of conceding only nine goals in the 22 games while the players in front of her had scored an aggregate of 89 at the other end.

The team should return to the Premier League next season full of confidence, though uncertain at this stage where their games will be played. If this was the farewell match at Horntye, with the pitch due to be torn up for housing development, it will be fondly remembered.

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