Derbyfest in Sunday’s top flight

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The excitement generated by derby rivalry in local Saturday football is to be replicated on Sundays.

Hucknall Town, Bulwell and Linby Colliery Welfare are on a collision course in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.

And in the Notts Sunday Morning League, whose 2013/14 season kicks off this weekend, no fewer than FOUR of the 11 sides in the top flight are from Hucknall.

Champions and Notts FA Sunday Senior County Cup holders T8’S are back to defend their title.

And they are joined by old rivals, BARFLYS H2O, relegation survivors GREEN DRAGON and newly-promoted STATION HOTEL (HUCKNALL).

The fierce competition all adds up to 12 derbies during the course of the Premier Premier Division season.

And the first one is on the opening morning this Sunday when Barflys, who have moved from their base at the Plough and Harrow pub to the H2O bar further up the High Street, meet Station, who ran away with the Premier First Division title last season.

In all, the league comprises six divisions in two sections, Premier and Senior. But all Hucknall eyes are focused on the top division, which T8’s landed for the first time last term -- by seven clear points from runners-up Nuthall.

Manager Reece ‘Raj’ Jackson has not made any notable summer signings to strengthen his pack. But he is confident of a repeat showing and is also hopeful of a profitable run for the club in the FA All-England Sunday Cup. They were unlucky to bow out in the Third Round last season. This year’s First Round takes place on 20th October.

By their own admission, Barflys have been struggling to make an impact in recent seasons and do not boast the biggest squad.

But they will be hoping that the influence of manager John Chamberlain, one of the best local footballers of his generation, will rub off.

In contrast, Station are on the crest of a wave after going through the whole of last season without losing a league match and taking the champions’ crown by nine clear points.

It will be interesting to see if they can handle the step-up in class -- especially after the struggles of Dragon in their debut campaign at the highest level in 2012/13.

Not even ‘wonder woman’ manageress Norma Hatfield could prevent Dragon finishing bottom. But they weren’t out of their depth by any means, winning four of their games and ending up only eight points behind Barflys in fifth. Now Hatfield’s boys are raring to have another crack.

Lower down the league, three Hucknall teams -- THE EMPIRE, AFC H2O (formerly Masons) and ATHLETICO T8’S (switching from the Notts Combination) -- are set to do battle in Premier Division Two.

While THE NABB INN and BESTWOOD MINERS WELFARE add local spice to the Senior Section.

Four teams from the Dispatch district are also competing in the Notts Sunday Combination.