A NEW weekly series summing up the respective seasons of our top sports teams prior to the suspension of all sport amid the coronavirus pandemic.

HELSTON Athletic were in the middle of a fine campaign in the South West Peninsula League Premier West, with the Blues sitting pretty at the top of the table and still enjoying a 24-match winning run.

A horde of new arrivals, namely Mark Goldsworthy, Liam Eddy, Neil Slateford, Olly Brokenshire, Cameron Wheat and Jason Robertson, put the Blues among the pre-season title favourites, and an opening-day 2-0 win at Newquay ensured the best possible start for Steve Massey’s side.

But a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to newly promoted Liskeard Athletic in game number two threw an early spanner in the works, tempering some of the early season optimism.

The Blues laboured to victory in their next game, a derby date with Wendron United at Kellaway Park four days later, with Alfie Flack’s injury-time goal sealing a narrow 2-1 victory over the Dron.

That proved to be the start of an unprecedented run of victories, with the Blues yet to drop a single point since then.

Massey’s men turned a few heads when they put 11 goals past Penzance, with Flack and Kai Cornish bagging hat-tricks as the Blues put the Magpies to the sword.

Victory at Bristol-based Keynsham Town in the FA Vase first qualifying round followed before a 2-1 win at local rivals Falmouth Town laid down another marker in the league.

Further league wins over St Dennis, St Blazey and Godolphin Atlantic, plus victories over Axminster Town in the FA Vase and Sticker in the Cornwall Charity Cup, ensured the Blues enjoyed a 100 per cent record in September.

October began on a high note, beating previously unbeaten Mousehole 3-1 at Kellaway Park, in which Goldsworthy bagged his 20th league goal of the season, but that was soured days later by a chastening 5-1 defeat at the hands of Falmouth on their own patch, dumping them rather unceremoniously out of the FA Vase in the first round proper.

Determined not to let that defeat derail an otherwise fantastic start to the season, the Blues pressed on and finished the month with wins over St Blazey and Sticker, with the 8-0 triumph over the latter securing a club record 12th league win in a row.

Falmouth Packet:

Mark Goldsworthy is the leading scorer in the SWPL Premier West

After a couple of weather-related postponements, Helston’s November finally began with another defeat to Falmouth, this time in the Cornwall Senior Cup on November 16.

But Helston did secure progression in two other cup competitions, beating Mousehole in the Charity Cup and Bodmin Town in the League Cup, while further league wins over Newquay, Camelford, Liskeard and Porthleven ensured the Blues ended 2019 just one point behind leaders St Austell with four games in hand.

January began in mixed fashion for Massey’s men. Victory over Bodmin in the league was followed by a late defeat at title rivals Saltash United, which ended their League Cup journey in the third round, despite a 19th goal of the season for Billy Tucker – now at Helston permanently – putting them 1-0 up with 20 minutes to go.

But they brushed off that disappointment in style with a 3-0 victory at home to Falmouth in the league three days later. Goals from Brokenshire, Phil Cattran and Slateford ensured revenge over Town for those two cup defeats and set a new SWPL record of 18 consecutive league victories.

Another three points over Penzance followed for the Blues, now top of the table, before they earned successive wins over fellow high-flyers Mousehole and St Austell to all but turn it into a two-way title fight with Saltash.

A 3-1 win at Dobwalls in their next outing was their last match for almost a month due to storms Ciara and Dennis, but they picked up where they left off with a 3-0 win at Launceston, with Goldsworthy finding the net for the 34th time in the league.

A hard-fought 2-1 win at home to Callington Town extended the Blues’ winning run to 24 games in what proved to be their final game before the abrupt suspension of all football on March 16.

When football continues is still up in the air, but Helston will be well placed to pick up their maiden SWPL Premier crown if and when the season does eventually resume.

League position: 1st

Points: 75

League goals: 100

Total goals: 119

Top scorer: Mark Goldsworthy 39 (34 league, 5 cup)