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Minute's silence for life president Crowther after half a century of service

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 26, 2013

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IT WAS with great sadness that the Cheltenham League saw the passing of their life president, John Crowther, on January 10.

Crowther had served the league for nearly half a century and his drive, commitment and passion for the league in general, and the Charities Cup competition in particular, will be sorely missed by all those that knew him.

A minute's silence was held for him at the league's bi-annual club meeting as a mark of respect.

At a time when the Cheltenham League, sponsored by Bristol Street Motors Ford Cheltenham, are looking to make greater use of technology to improve the administration of the league, last weekend's snow was a stark reminder that there are some things that cannot be controlled or made more efficient.

With the league programme lost to the 'white out' John Hunt, the league's assistant secretary, once again had the arduous task of re-arranging all the fixtures.

With the glut of postponements over the past month, half the league is now extending into May in order to accommodate all the fixtures.

Division Six is seeing one of its most competitive seasons for a number of years with a huddle of teams competing at the top. This week the second and fourth-placed teams, Hatherley FC and Cheltenham Civil Service IV, meet at Service's Tewkesbury Road ground.

With both teams sitting on 19 points, Service will be hoping that they come away with a better result than the last time the teams met when Hatherley ran out 9-3 winners.

At the bottom, Regency Town face a crucial fixture against Kingshill Sports Reserves.

Town are currently bottom of the table and sit two places and six points behind their opponents.

Victory against the teams around them will be key if they are to avoid bottom spot.

In Division Five Pittville United will be hoping to finally return to league action this weekend.

They face bottom club Cheltenham Saracens III and victory will take them to within two points of the current leaders with a game in hand.

Newlands Athletic, who currently top the table, are in cup action this week and they could surrender top spot to Shurdington Rovers Reserves as well as seeing Pittville breathing down their necks.

Rovers, who host eighth-placed Smith Athletic Reserves, will need to win their game to take a one-point lead, although they will have played three games more than Athletic.

With none of the top four teams in Division Four in League action this weekend, it is the game between Cheltenham Civil Service III and Sherborne Harriers at the bottom end of the table that stands out in the fixture list.

With Bourton Rovers a long way from safety at the foot of the table, Service know that victory could be critical if they are to climb up the table.

Service manager Dave Anderson has struggled to field a consistent team this season, but he will be hoping improved performances in the last couple of games will see a turnaround in their fortunes.

Belmore have the opportunity to move within two points of Division Three leaders FC Lakeside if they beat Tivoli Rovers on Saturday.

Tivoli sit nine places and 14 points below their opponents but Rovers manager Tony Holmes knows they are more than capable of upsetting the form book against one of their closest rivals.

Division Two leaders Gala Wilton Reserves have the opportunity to extend their lead at the top this weekend to six points when they host Northleach Town.

Wilton's nearest rivals Hanley Swan are without a league game this week and, while Wilton will have played a game more, points in the bag could be crucial with end-of-season fixture congestion potentially playing a decisive role.

The big game in Division One sees fifth-placed Falcons take on Tewkesbury Town.

Falcons have an opportunity to move up to third if they claim all three points because the teams above them are without league games.

Basement club Apperley and Tewkesbury Dynamos will aim to get their first points of the season at Bishop's Cleeve III.

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