Promotion and relegation review 2016-2017
As you would expect most of the promotions and relegations have been decided but there are one or two that are going down to the wire fixtures left which should provide an interesting end to the league season. Throw in the odd play off and there is still plenty to talk about.
In National League 1 Darlington Mowden Park are safe in mid-table and Blaydon have 2 games left to pull off the great escape and avoid relegation.
National League 3 North sees Billingham sitting comfortably in 6th place and whist they may improve their standing slightly with a victory on the last league Saturday, they will certainly be competing in National League 3 North again next season.
Clubs outside of the National Leagues have only one remaining league game left to play.
North One East is not so clear. Pocklington are promoted but West Hartlepool who have been in the top 2 nearly all season still have an outside chance of making the play-offs. However only if they can get a win with a bonus point at Huddersfield – a definite possibility and if North East rivals Percy Park can overcome a determined Penrith side that stops the Cumbrians’ picking up any points at all.
At the other end of the table both Durham City and Guisborough’s relegation fate has been sealed. However this provides an interesting talking point as both could come back into Durham and Northumberland 1 which could see a level transfer to Yorkshire 1 being required
This will be decided in the end of season play-offs. Northern will be promoted next season from D&N1 in an immediate return to North One East after last season’s relegation. However who will join them is still very much in the air. South Shield Westoe are in the play-off spot but could be overhauled by Barnard Castle if they do not win or at least pick up 2 loosing bonus points. Whoever plays in the playoff will face a tough game against either West Leeds or York. Interestingly due to number of games won Barnard Castle would be at home if they made the playoffs whilst South Shields Westoe would have to travel into Yorkshire. The final twist in the tale is if York or West Leeds win the play-off then Barnard Castle could face a level transfer to Yorkshire. I am sure Barny, Stockton and Middlesbrough will have their tape measures out. Redcar should automatically go into D&N1 but I am sure others might argue otherwise.
At the bottom end of D&N1 injury hit Ryton will be glad to see the season end and will be joined in D&N2 next season by Hartlepool whose dalliance with D&N1 came to a disappointing conclusion after such a promising start
Redcar will be promoted from D&N2 but Whitley Bay Rockcliff has an outside chance of overhauling Ponteland. Realistically only the real gamblers would bet that bottom side Seaton Carew will not only beat Ponteland but deny them any bonus points as well
Acklam are also due to come back to Durham and Northumberland 2 having had to endure another disappointing year of being level transferred to Yorkshire 1. This means that there will almost certainly need to be a level transfer from D&N2 to Yorkshire 2 if a D&N1 club does not win the play-off game to get promoted to North 1 East. Most clubs in D&N2 might suggest that there is one obvious level transfer candidate (Whitby) but time will tell if it is needed.
At the bottom of D&N2 Down go South Shields and Seaton Carew. Whilst South Shields could theoretically end up on the same number of points as blyth they would still face the drop due to Blyth winning more games
There are no issues left to be resolved in D&N3 as both Newton Aycliffe and Richmondshire will be promoted. At the bottom one can only hope that clubs like West Hartlepool TDSOB and Hartlepool BBOB will be able to come back stronger next season