The top two teams from each group qualify for the Cup. The third and fourth placed teams enter the Plate, while the fifth placed team enters the Vase alongside the winners of that competition’s group stage. Each group is made up of two teams from the Premier Division, two from Division One and two from Division Two.
The highlight of the College Football calendar is back. Sunny days on the JLD beckon for York’s college football teams as teams from lower divisions will relish the chance to bloody the noses of big guns with their eyes on silverware.
In a fixture which encapsulates the spirit of the competition, it kicks off Monday week 3 as giants Derwent 1s take on minnows Vanbrugh 3s in Group A. After picking up both the Autumn and Spring Premier Division Titles, Derwent will be looking to break a College Cup hoo-doo which has seen them lose four finals in six years and remarkably dropping into the Plate competition and losing to their own second team in 2015. Dark horses Wentworth 1s and an exceedingly strong Halifax 2s side promise to make things interesting in the group, while James 2s pushed eventual Division Two champions Goodricke close and will also be eyeing the Cup.
Other favourites include holders James, who have had two strong league campaigns despite losing several key players and for whom Group B looks to be easily navigable. Alcuin 1s will hope to kick on from their vastly improved Spring showing, the group also including both teams promoted from Division Three in Langwith 3s and Halifax 5s, who along with Derwent 3s and Vanbrugh 2s will be hoping to cause upsets against James and Alcuin’s first teams.
College Football’s big three avoided each other in the draw, as Fax drew a Vanbrugh 1s side who bear little resemblance to last year’s runners-up. Goodricke and Langwith’s second teams may fancy their chances of sneaking into the cup.
Group D is to throw up every Hes East Derby as Constantine, Goodricke and Langwith will all battle it out with Derwent 2s for Cup qualification in the most even of the groups. Fresh from an underwhelming Division One campaign, Constantine will feel they have something to prove against the older Hes East sides.
Group stage fixtures will take place on the JLD from week 3 to 7: Mondays 4-7pm, Tuesdays 2-5pm, Wednesdays 2-5pm and Thursdays 2-5pm. The knockout stages begin week 8 and finals day is Wednesday week 10.