Had this trophy existed, who would have won it? It depends on which method of assessment is used. If it’s the team that finished 2nd in div 1 the winners would have been:
2009-10 Uni 1, 2010-11 WB 1, 2011-12 WB 1, 2012-13 Gam 1,
2013-14 Ash 1, 2014-15 Man 1, 2015-16 Gam 1, 2016-17 Man 1
Gambit 1, Mansfield 1 and WB 1 would each have won twice, with University 1 winning once and Ashfield 1 finally winning a trophy since their one and only league title in 1989.
The 2nd method is to ignore all the results against teams not based in Nottinghamshire:
2009-10 Uni 1, 2010-11 Gam 1, 2011-12 WB 1, 2012-13 Gam 1,
2013-14 Gam 1, 2014-15 Man 1, 2015-16 Gam 1, 2016-17 Man 1
Gambit 1 would have won 4 times, Mansfield 1 twice and WB 1 & Uni 1 once each.
This season, the challenge for the ‘Notts Trophy’ could be very competitive between Mansfield 1, Gambit 1 and WN 1. The relegation battle appears more clear cut with Newark 1 and Gambit 2 considerably weaker by grade to the other teams, although Ashfield 1 could also struggle as they might be without a couple of key players.
There’s hardly any point in playing the matches in division 2; might as well award the title to Grantham 2 now (they finished 5th in div 1 last season). Long Eaton look best placed for 2nd place. Ashfield 3 will finish last but it’s anyone’s guess who will join them.
Division 3 looks far more interesting. Central 1 would be firm favourites if all their strong players turn out regularly this season. If they don’t, then Gambit 3 should be favourites but could face a strong challenge from Grantham 3, RB 1 and possibly WN 2.
Gambit 4 should win division 4; hard to see any challengers, possibly WN 3.
Beeston should walk division 5. Normally they would have been placed in a higher division but at the time of entering the league they could not guarantee having 5 players available for matches. Hopefully, as the season progresses, they will attract new members. We wish them well in their efforts to establish a new club in what should be a good area to attract new members.