WITH Pheasant no longer around to defend the Shoestrings Chargrill-sponsored Chippenham & District Sunday League Premier Division title, the fight to become this champions has all the makings of a thriller.

Worton & Cheverell opened the season with a stunning 8-1 victory over AFC Melksham.

Ben House struck twice to give Worton a 2-0 interval lead and any hopes of a Melksham comeback were extinguished after Tom Slatter netted a hat-trick to make it 5-0. Matt Lever added a sixth before Slatter netted his fourth of the morning. Marhill Islam grabbed a consolation for Melksham before House completed the scoring with his hat-trick goal.

Last season’s runners-up, FC Lacock, got off to a winning start with a 3-1 home success over FC North Wiltshire.

Patrick Kapelka saw his first-half effort for Lacock cancelled out by Josh Thompson, whose goal looked to have earned North Wilts a point until two late strikes from Mark Dolman and Kieron Gleed sealed the win for Lacock.

Semington got their campaign under way with a 1-0 triumph over Box Rovers.

Jon McElhone’s first-half finish was all that separated the teams, although he also missed a penalty.

Bromham made a winning start as they defeated Westbury Rangers 5-4.

After falling behind to Corey Gardiner’s opener, Bromham then roared into a 5-1 lead. Sam Wallis made it 1-1 at the break, before Adam Richards and a Luke Child treble put them in control. Josh Gardner and a Matt Mead double made things interesting at 5-4 but Bromham held on.

Division One

LION & Fiddle got off to a resounding start with a 7-1 success at North Star Club.

Conner McKay top scored with a hat-trick and Jordan Pinder, Tom Blackman, Jake Hiscocks and Alex De Silva added the others, while Tyler Beattie got Star’s consolation.

Biddestone gave a good account of themselves away at New Inn Wacker before slipping to a 4-2 loss.

Tom Armstrong’s 35-yard volley cancelled out New Inn’s opener before Ryan Armstrong put Biddestone ahead. However, New Inn found an equaliser with five minutes to go before two more late goals sealed their win. Brentley Roberts’ hat-trick led the way for Wacker as Steve Badger got the other.

A second-half brace from Adam Greeves earned Sporting Box a 2-0 win at home to Kingfisher.

Sutton Benger also claimed a 2-0 victory over FC Libby thanks to two goals from Ethan Jones.

Jake Waters was the star of the show for The Bell with a hat-trick in their 4-1 success at The Foresters Arms.

Waters’ efforts put Bell 3-0 up before a penalty from Graham Griffiths reduced the arrears. Declan Blandford netted the visitors’ fourth late on.

Westbury Railway and Old Road shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

The Railwaymen led through Mark Allard but Seamus Nickless-Mooney restored parity prior to half-time.

Division Two

FC DEVIZES United are one of eight newcomers to the league and began life with maximum points thanks to a 6-1 home success over Steeple Ashton.

Declan McStravick and Gabriel Armstrong helped themselves to a brace each, while Callum Keates and Jordan Anning added one apiece. Ollie Nash was on target for Ashton.

Bremhill View had to come from behind on two occasions before beating fellow newcomers Spartak Rudloe 4-2.

Having fallen behind to a Max Bray goal, Tom Sigee got Bremhill back level prior to half-time. After the break, Josh McCrae reclaimed the lead for Spartak only for Jamie Crump to level for the hosts before goals from Luke Bennett and Jake Mizen sealed the points for Bremhill.

Chippenham Icons overturned a half-time deficit to claim a 4-2 victory over FC Trowbridge.

Goals from Jamie Morris and Toby Murden gave Trowbridge a narrow lead at half-time. Ryan Nicholls, who had also scored in the first half, doubled his tally after the break to level the scores and Joey Hylands also netted a brace to complete Icons’ comeback.

Lavis coasted to an emphatic 6-0 success at home to London Road Inn.

Reuben Spong led the way with a hat-trick, while Nick Taylor, Jamie Hancock and a Darren Jones header made up the half-dozen.

Royal Oak got the better of fellow newcomers Misfits after roaring to an 8-0 victory.

Richard Tandy top scored with four, while Jake Harris, Josh Duckett, Alex Bailey and George Thomas shared the others.

Wednesday Warriors were beaten 3-1 by Pack Horse.

Horse were 2-0 up at the interval courtesy of a Matt Spear double. Kieran Fitzwater added a third, with Bradley Edwards replying for Warriors.