The biggest match in the Blackpool league for over 20 years between Fleetwood A and Poulton took place on Wednesday. Fleetwood were defending their title whilst Poulton were defending their 100% record ! Fleetwood went into the match 1 point ahead but having played an extra game. Poulton had won their previous match, and knew that a win or even a draw would probably be good enough for their first ever Division 1 title. With both teams fielding their usual line ups, a close match was anticipated. However the match was virtually over after the levels as Fleetwood's stronger all round team overwhelmed Poulton. A great win in the ladies 4-2 and a comfortable 5-1 win in the mens gave Fleetwood an unassailable 9-3 lead. In the first half of the mixed, Fleetwood won the 4 games required for victory with 6 games still to play! Fleetwood maintained their form winning the last 4 games to stop Poulton from even getting a bonus point. Final score Poulton 7 Fleetwood 17 !!
Michelle Skinner won 5 and was the only Poulton player to win more than 50%. A brilliant all round team performance by Fleetwood, led by POTM Dave Wiseman for winning all 8 games, but backed up by Tim Vickers, Caroline Andrew and Cath Bagley who all won 6. Great credit also to Andy Wiseman and Elizabeth Andrew who gave their team a great start by winning 3 levels each. This result means that Fleetwood will win the title for the 24th consecutive time if they win their last 2 matches.
Kingfisher B continue to fight and with their 18-6 victory over rivals Hesketh A have given themselves an outside chance of catching Pilling. Young star Rachel Dewhurst continues to impress as she was POTM for winning all 8 games. She was backed up by good performances from Sarah Woodhouse and James De Wolf who won 7. Kingfisher now 3 points behind Pilling but with a game in hand whilst Hesketh are set for a return to Division 2.
A great 10-2 start in the levels meant Albany A were comfortable 19-5 winners over Pilling A. Albany's ladies dominated their levels winning 6-0. Sian Meakin was POTM as she won all 8 games. Andy Davis won 4 of his teams 5 games. Albany pretty much assured of 4th place this season whilst Pilling are a distant 5th but looking over their shoulders.
Pilling B started their New Year with an emphatic 18-6 away win against Albany B. Their ladies won all 6 for a 9-3 lead after the levels and the mixed ended in the same score.
Pilling well clear at the top whilst Albany languish in mid table. Alison Crosbie and Kath Coleman won all 8 whilst Amit Mistry and Rob Cockerill won 4 each for Albany.
A close encounter between 2nd and 3rd ended in a narrow win for Project 12 against Fleetwood B. After the levels, Fleetwood led 7-5 as their men took 5 games. Project then took the next 2 sets to lead 9-7. Fleetwood responded by taking 3 of the next 4 games to tie the match at 10-10 ! Kat Platt and Jon Jackson then took both games for Project. In the final set Fleetwood took the first game but Project were not to be denied as Sarah Coultas and Mark Pickles easily took the last game 21-10 to give Project the 3 points and increase their lead over Fleetwood to 5 points. Sarah won 7 to be POTM whilst Nick Metcalfe won 6 for Fleetwood.
Lids A comfortably beat a Hesketh B team who have yet to win a match this season. Although the ladies was split at 3-3 Lids won the men's 6-0 and the mixed 9-3 for an emphatic 18-6 away win. All the Hesketh ladies won 3 but Will Booth was easily the POTM as he won all 8
1st placed Stanley A march on with a comprehensive 18-6 win over 3rd place Lids B. They completely dominated the mens and mixed, winning 6-0 and 11-1 respectively to ensure they maintain their 100% record. Lee Meakin and Steve Canavan won 8 for the leaders and Helena Lemper and Julie Bennett won 4 for Lids.
Mid table Stanley were far too strong for the division's bottom team in a one sided 16-0 win. Apart from 1 setting and a couple of other close scores Stanley were never in danger of losing a game. Rob Lee was statistically the best player on the night.
Warton B had a tougher match than the league table suggests as they just managed to beat Bloomfield 9-7. Warton were cruising at 7-3 but a spirited fight back from the visitors just fell short. Bloomfield at least win a consolation point which moves them a little bit further away from the foot of the table. The experience and youth of Mike Cooper and Stephan Martinovsky for Warton proved decisive as they both won 5 as did Phil Hough for the unlucky losers.