Southern Counties North
Current season or competition:
2019–20 Southern Counties North
SportRugby union
Instituted1987; 34 years ago (1987) (as Southern Counties)
Number of teams12
Country England
HoldersWitney (3rd title) (2019–20)
(promoted to South West 1 East)
Most titlesHigh Wycombe, Witney (3 titles)
Websiteenglandrugby.com

Southern Counties North (also known as Wadworth 6X Southern Counties North for sponsorship reasons) is a division at level 7 of the English rugby union system.[1] When league rugby first began in 1987 it was a single league known as Southern Counties but since 1996 the division was split into two regional leagues - Southern Counties North and Southern Counties South. Southern Counties North currently sits at the seventh tier of club rugby union in England and primarily featuring teams based in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

The league champions at the end of each season are automatically promoted to South West 1 East while the runner-up play against the runner-up from Southern Counties South in a play-off for the third promotion place. Relegated teams usually drop to Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier. Teams from Southern Counties North also participate in the RFU Intermediate Cup - a national competition for clubs at level 7.

2021-22

Participating teams and location

2020–21

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the season was cancelled.

2019-20

Participating teams and location

2018-19

Participating teams and location

2017-18

Participating teams and location

2016-17

Participating teams and location

2015–16

The 2015–16 Southern Counties North consisted of twelve teams; six from Buckinghamshire, two each from Berkshire and Oxfordshire, and one each from Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The season started on 12 September 2015 and the last league matches were played on 23 April 2016.

Participating teams and location

Seven of the twelve teams participated in last season's competition. The 2014–15 champions High Wycombe were promoted to the South West 1 East while Milton Keynes and Alchester were relegated to the Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier. Royal Wootton Bassett, who finished 4th, were level transferred to Southern Counties South.

Aylesbury
Aylesbury
Buckingham
Buckingham
Stow on the Wold
Stow on the Wold
Swindon College
Swindon College
Thatcham
Thatcham
Wallingford
Wallingford
Locations of the 2015-16 Southern Counties North teams
Drifters
Drifters
Locations of the 2015-16 Southern Counties North teams in South Buckinghamshire
Team Ground Capacity Town/Village Previous season
Aylesbury Ostler's Field Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire 2nd (lost promotion play-off)
Beaconsfield Oak Lodge Meadow Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire 8th
Bicester Oxford Road Bicester, Oxfordshire 5th
Bletchley Manor Fields Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire relegated from South West 1 East (14th)
Buckingham Floyd Field Maids Moreton, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire relegated from South West 1 East (13th)
Drifters Farnham Common Sports Club Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire 9th
Marlow Riverwoods Drive Marlow, Buckinghamshire 7th
Reading Abbey Rosehill Reading, Berkshire promoted from Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier (champions)
Stow-on-the-Wold Oddington Road Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire 4th
Swindon College Old Boys Nationwide Sports Pavilion Swindon, Wiltshire promoted from Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier (runner-up)
Thatcham Henwicky Worthy Sports Field Thatcham, Berkshire 6th
Wallingford Wallingford Sports Park Wallingford, Oxfordshire 10th

2014–15

Participating teams

2013–14

Participating teams

2012–13

Participating teams

Original teams

When league rugby began in 1987 this division (known as Southern Counties) contained the following teams:

Southern Counties North honours

Southern Counties (1987–1993)

Originally Southern Counties North and Southern Counties South were combined in a single division called Southern Counties. It was a tier 7 league with promotion up to South West 2[d] and relegation down to either Berks/Dorset/Wilts 1[e] or Bucks/Oxon 1.[f]

Southern Counties
Season No of teams Champions Runners-up Relegated teams Ref
1987–88 11 Redingensians Swindon Bracknell
1988–89 11 Banbury Aylesbury Oxford Marathon
1989–90 11 Marlow Swanage & Wareham Oxford Old Boys
1990–91 11 Sherborne Windsor Swindon, Chiltern, Slough, Bracknell
1991–92 11 Banbury Aylesbury[g] No relegation[h]
1992–93 13 Swanage & Wareham Dorchester Grove
Green backgrounds are promotion places.

Southern Counties (1993–1996)

At the end of the 1992–93 season the top six teams from London Division 1 and the top six from South West Division 1 were combined to create National 5 South. This meant that Southern Counties dropped from a tier 7 league to a tier 8 league for the years that National 5 South was active. Promotion continued to South West 2 and relegation down to either Berks/Dorset/Wilts 1 or Bucks/Oxon 1.

Southern Counties North Honours
Season No of teams Champions Runners-up Relegated teams Ref
1993–94 13 Bournemouth Bracknell Royal Wootton Bassett, Redingensians [3]
1994–95 13 Dorchester Bracknell Slough, Oxford Marathon [4]
1995–96 13 Amersham & Chiltern Bracknell[i] No relegation[j] [5]
Green backgrounds are promotion places.

Southern Counties North (1996–2000)

Restructuring by the RFU at the end of the 1995–96 season saw Southern Counties split into two separate leagues, Southern Counties North and Southern Counties South, which reverted to tier 7 leagues due to the cancellation of National 5 South. Promotion from Southern Counties North was now to the new South West 2 East[k] while relegation was now only to Bucks/Oxon 1.[l]

Southern Counties North Honours
Season No of teams Champions Runners-up Relegated teams Ref
1996–97 10 Stow-on-the-Wold Bicester Grove
1997–98 10 Slough Olney Milton Keynes, Witney
1998–99 10 Olney Bicester Farnham Royal [6]
1999–00 10 Witney Beaconsfield Oxford, Wallingford [7]
Green backgrounds are promotion places.

Southern Counties North (2000–2009)

Southern Counties North remained a tier 7 league, with promotion continuing to South West 2 East. However, the transfer of Berkshire clubs from the Dorset/Wilts leagues to the Bucks/Oxon leagues, meant that relegation was now to new Berks/Bucks & Oxon 1 (formerly Bucks/Oxon 1).[m]

Southern Counties North Honours
Season No of teams Champions Runners-up Relegated teams Ref
2000–01 11 Windsor Grove Drifters, Bletchley, Phoenix [8]
2001–02 10 Oxford Harlequins Grove Oxford, Milton Keynes, Chipping Norton [9]
2002–03 10 High Wycombe Aylesbury Wallingford, Beaconsfield, Swindon [10]
2003–04 10 Aylesbury Amersham & Chiltern No relegation[n] [11]
2004–05 12 High Wycombe Henley Wanderers Phoenix, Bicester [12]
2005–06 12 Redingensians Swindon Slough, Stow-on-the-Wold, Olney [13]
2006–07 12 Bletchley Tadley Supermarine, Chipping Norton [14]
2007–08 12 Olney Wallingford Newbury Stags, Amersham & Chiltern [15]
2008–09 12 Buckingham Marlow Beaconsfield [16]
Green backgrounds are promotion places.

Southern Counties North (2009–present)

Despite widespread league restructuring by the RFU, Southern Counties North continued as a tier 7 league, with promotion to South West 1 East (formerly South West 2 East) and relegation to Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier.

Southern Counties North Honours
Season No of teams Champions Runners-up Relegated teams Ref
2009–10 12 Witney Amersham & Chiltern Bicester, Slough [17]
2010–11 12 Swindon Aylesbury Chipping Norton, Oxford, Crowthorne [18]
2011–12 12 Beaconsfield Milton Keynes[o] Marlborough [19]
2012–13 12 Buckingham Grove Slough, Tadley [20]
2013–14 12 Bletchley Aylesbury Swindon College Old Boys, Reading Abbey [21]
2014–15 12 High Wycombe Aylesbury Milton Keynes, Alchester [22]
2015–16 12 Reading Abbey Aylesbury Drifters, Swindon College Old Boys [23]
2016–17 12 Marlow Bicester Bletchley, Milton Keynes [24]
2017–18 12 Beaconsfield Windsor Drifters, Gosford All Blacks [25]
2018–19 12 Windsor Buckingham Littlemore, Slough [26]
2019–20 12 Witney Reading Didcot, Chesham [27]
2020–21 12
Green backgrounds are promotion places.

Promotion play-offs

Since the 2000–01 season there has been a play-off between the runners-up of Southern Counties North and Southern Counties South for the third and final promotion place to South West 1 East. The team with the superior league record has home advantage in the tie. At the end of the 2019–20 season Southern Counties North teams have been the most successful with twelve wins to the Southern Counties South teams seven; and the home team has won promotion on thirteen occasions compared to the away teams six.

Southern Counties North v Southern Counties South promotion play-off results
Season Home team Score Away team Venue Attendance
2000–01[28] Salisbury (S) 49-20 Grove (N) Castle Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire
2001–02[29] Grove (N) 30-13 Oakmeadians (S) Recreation Lane, Grove, Oxfordshire
2002–03[30] Oakmeadians (S) 24-17 Aylesbury (N) Meryick Park, Bournemouth, Dorset
2003–04[31] Amersham & Chiltern (N)[p] Tadley (S) Ash Grove, Amersham, Buckinghamshire
2004–05[32] Frome (S) 12-38 Henley Wanderers (N) Gypsy Lane, Frome, Somerset
2005–06[33] Oldfield Old Boys (S) 32-33 Swindon (N) Shaft Road, Monkton Combe, Somerset
2006–07[34] Wootton Bassett (S) 17-20 Tadley (N) Ballards Ash Sports Ground, Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire
2007–08[35] Wallingford (N) 22-3 Wootton Bassett (S) Wallingford Sports Park, Wallingford, Oxfordshire
2008–09[36] Marlow (N) 18-15 Wootton Bassett (S) Riverwoods Drive, Marlow, Buckinghamshire
2009–10[37] Amersham & Chiltern (N) 45-12 Frome (S) Ash Grove, Amersham, Buckinghamshire
2010–11[38] Aylesbury (N) 10-39 Oldfield Old Boys (S) Ostler's Field, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
2011–12[39] Windsor (N) 22-15 Dorcester (S) Home Park, Windsor, Berkshire
2012–13[40] Grove (N) 39-20 Trowbridge (S) Recreation Lane, Grove, Oxfordshire
2013–14[41] Trowbridge (S) 27-19 Aylesbury (N) Doric Park, Hilperton, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
2014–15[42] Salisbury (S) 34-16 Aylesbury (N) Castle Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire
2015–16[43] Midsomer Norton (S) 29-22 Aylesbury (N) Norton Down Playing Fields, Midsomer Norton, Somerset
2016–17[44] Bicester (N) 53-20 Trowbridge (S) Oxford Road, Bicester, Oxfordshire
2017–18[45] Windsor (N) 29-31 Marlborough (S) Home Park, Windsor, Berkshire
2018–19[46] Frome (S) 10-23 Buckingham (N) Gypsy Lane, Frome, Somerset 400
2019–20 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. Best ranked runner up - Frome (S) - promoted instead.
2020–21
Green background is the promoted team. N = Southern Counties North and S = Southern Counties South

Number of league titles

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Oxford Marathon would merge with Oxford Old Boys in 1996 to form Oxford Harlequins.[2]
  2. ^ Oxford Old Boys would merge with Oxford Marathon in 1996 to form Oxford Harlequins.[2]
  3. ^ Redingensians are currently known as Rams.
  4. ^ South West 2 is currently two regional divisions - South West 1 East and South West 1 West.
  5. ^ Berks/Dorset/Wilts 1 no longer contains Berkshire clubs and is currently split into Dorset & Wilts 1 North and Dorset & Wilts 1 South.
  6. ^ Bucks/Oxon 1 has since involved Berkshire clubs and is currently known as Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier
  7. ^ 3rd place Windsor also promoted.
  8. ^ No relegation due to league expansion from 11 to 13 teams for the 1992–93 season.
  9. ^ Due to the cancellation of Courage League Division 5 and subsequent restructuring of the leagues at the end of the 1995–96 season, six clubs were promoted from Southern Counties including Chinnor, Chippenham, Marlow and Swindon.
  10. ^ The cancellation of Courage League Division 5 and splitting of Southern Counties into Southern Counties North and Southern Counties South at the end of the 1995–96 season, meant that there was no relegation.
  11. ^ Another change at the end of the 1995–96 saw South West 2 also split into two regional divisions - South West 2 East and South West 2 West.
  12. ^ Relegated Southern Counties South clubs dropped to Berks/Dorset/Wilts 1.
  13. ^ Berks/Bucks & Oxon 1 would be renamed as Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier ahead of the 2004–05 season.
  14. ^ No relegation due to league expansion from 10 to 12 teams for the 2004–05 season.
  15. ^ Although the RFU website has Milton Keynes as runners up, third place Windsor actually went into the playoffs and won promotion.[19]
  16. ^ The result of the 2003-04 playoff between Amersham & Chiltern and Tadley is unknown due to all the south-west promotion playoff games from this season missing from the RFU website. However, as Amersham & Chiltern were in the higher division the next season (and Tadley were not) it is assumed they won the playoff game. Amersham & Chiltern would also have hosted the game as they had a better points record in their league than Tadley did in theirs.
  17. ^ Both of Banbury's titles were won when league was a single division known as Southern Counties.
  18. ^ one of Marlow's titles was won when league was a single division known as Southern Counties.
  19. ^ One of Redingensians titles was won when league was a single division known as Southern Counties.
  20. ^ Amersham & Chiltern's title was won when league was a single division known as Southern Counties.
  21. ^ Bournemouth's title was won when league was a single division known as Southern Counties.
  22. ^ Dorchester's title was won when league was a single division known as Southern Counties.
  23. ^ Sherborne's title was won when league was a single division known as Southern Counties.
  24. ^ Swanage & Wareham's title was won when league was a single division known as Southern Counties.

References

  1. ^ Rugby First
  2. ^ a b "Rugby Union in Oxford". Oxford Mail.
  3. ^ Jones, Stephen; Griffiths, John (1994). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1994–95. London: Headline Bookline Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7850 4.
  4. ^ Cleary, Mick; Griffiths, John, eds. (1995). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1995–96. London: Headline Bookline Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7816 4.
  5. ^ Cleary, Mick; Griffiths, John, eds. (1996). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1996-97. London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7771 0.
  6. ^ "1998-99 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  7. ^ "1999-00 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  8. ^ "2000-01 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  9. ^ "2001-02 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  10. ^ "2002-03 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  11. ^ "2003-04 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  12. ^ "2004-05 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  13. ^ "2005-06 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  14. ^ "2006-07 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  15. ^ "2007-08 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  16. ^ "2008-09 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  17. ^ "2009-10 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  18. ^ "2010-11 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  19. ^ a b "2011-12 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  20. ^ "2012-13 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  21. ^ "2013-14 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  22. ^ "2014-15 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  23. ^ "2015-16 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  24. ^ "2016-17 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
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  26. ^ "2018-19 South-West Division". England Rugby. RFU. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
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  33. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 29 April 2006.
  34. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 28 April 2007.
  35. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 26 April 2008.
  36. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 25 April 2009.
  37. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 7 May 2010.
  38. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 23 April 2011.
  39. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 28 April 2012.
  40. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 27 April 2013.
  41. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 26 April 2014.
  42. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 25 April 2015.
  43. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 30 April 2016.
  44. ^ "South West Play-Offs". England Rugby. 29 April 2017.
  45. ^ "Marlborough win promotion after play-off win at Windsor". Gazette & Herald. 30 April 2018.
  46. ^ "Frome RFC 10 - 23 Buckingham RFC". Frome RFC. 27 April 2019.