The make-up of National Two (North) for the 2019-20 season is somewhat clearer – but won’t be finalised until the last weekend of the season on Saturday, 27th April and the play-offs for the North/Midlands Premier (level 5) on the 27th and the National Two promotion place on 4th May.
We do know of thirteen clubs who will make up the core of the division, fixtures for which will begin on Saturday, 7th September.
Promotion into N2N from level 5 will be completed by will be either Luctonians (based in Leominster, Herefordshire) or Blaydon, runners up in their respective regional leagues.
The relegation battle at the bottom of National One is fierce and will go down to the last day of the season. Birmingham Moseley, Caldy, Cambridge, Esher and Loughborough Students are all competing to get or stay out of the bottom three. If Caldy or the Students are relegated they would most likely drop into N2N, whilst Esher and Cambridge would go to N2S and Moseley going to either.
The National Two play-off for promotion to National One requires Chester to travel to Canterbury, runners up respectively in N2N and N2S.
So the identity of the last three clubs to complete N2N is as clear as mud! Depending on these various games, the procedure of ‘level transfer’ – that is moving clubs between N2N and N2S – may have to be invoked by the National Clubs Association to achieve the necessary geographical balance. One thing is sure. The division will be a very tough one with no quarter asked for or given.
In the meanwhile, many congratulations to N2N champions Hull Ionians who move back to National One, good luck to Chester in their play-off match, a warm welcome to newcomers Hull and Scunthorpe and best wishes to the departing trio, Peterborough Lions, Macclesfield and South Leicester.