It was another strong season for Dean Schofield and his Sedgley Park side last term as they once again put up a strong challenge for a top two spot.
Finishing position: 4th
Total points: 101
Points Scored: 898
Points Conceded: 658
Bonus Points: 19
Another campaign in National Two North and another season of optimism surrounded Park Lane given Sedge’s finishing positions in recent years. Third place behind runaway leaders Hull Ionians and Ampthill and District in 2014/15 was followed up by a play-off appearance against Old Albanain and the way Sedge began last season, the anticipation was ramped up once again.
Sedge made a stunning start losing just one of their first 10 games of the campaign – a run that included victories over eventual league champions Caldy and league rivals Stourbridge. But that clinical consistency just seemed to elude Sedge at times during the rest of the season.
For a side looking to break back into the top two, blips in form need to be at a minimum and for Sedge, that unfortunately was not the case. A sequence of two wins from six matches in the lead up to the Christmas break hampered their chances of a return to the play-off. Defeats on the road to promotion rivals Leicester Lions and Sale FC put them on the back foot and a draw with Chester once again saw Sedge fail to take crucial points off teams around them in the table.
At the turn of the year, Sedge’s patchy form continued but a better run of results followed between February and March as four straight wins, their best sequence since September, put them in good shape heading into the final month of the season.
Their inconsistency in results in the winter months coupled with Caldy and Sale FC’s superb unbeaten streaks had ended Sedge’s hopes at a shot at National One, but they did win their final three games to ensure fourth spot in National Two North. Added to that, they were the only side to beat Caldy all year so that is certainly a plus point to take into the 2017/18 campaign. The experienced Dean Schofield departed the club in May and has been replaced by Matt Bebbington as Sedge look to take that extra step next season
2016/17 Players Player of the Year: Johnny Matthews
2016/17 Coaches Player of the Year: Max Ashcroft
Across the National Leagues, there is always a small problem that not every player is able to play every single game due to other commitments meaning there are always changes. However, two ever presents over the last few seasons have been Jonny Matthews and Max Ashcroft. Both operate in the front-row and both certainly put the work in. Jonny is still as prolific as ever when it comes to try scoring which is a great asset in his game while Max is someone you can turn to at scrum time. Both are very consistent player and both were deserving of these awards last term.
2016/17 Try of the Season: Sam Lowthion