Week 21 Report W/E 21st February
Champions Pilling B rounded off their season with an emphatic 20-4 win against Fleetwood B. Pilling were much better in every part of the match, winning both the ladies and mens 5-1 and then the mixed 10-2. Sue Pelham was the star of the match as she won all 8 games . Sue McAusland won 3 for Fleetwood, who end their season with a run of 4 defeats in 5 matches. Pilling worthy division winners, finishing well clear of second place. They dropped just 2 points all season and averaged an impressive 18 games per match.
On a wet and windy Wednesday the match that decided the runners up spot featured promotion chasing Albany B and much improved Lids A. And it could not have been any closer! The match was tied at 6-6 after the levels and the first 3 sets of the mixed ended away win, split, home win to take the match to 9-9. When Lids took the next set it left Albany needing 3 wins from the final 4 games, for a draw. Albany then won a pair to take the match to a 1 set showdown. The 1st game went easily to Lids. The second game, despite being match points down, went to Albany pair of Claire Thompson and Amit Mistry, for a 12-12 draw and the much needed 2 points! Amit and Rob Cockerill both won 5 for Albany but Steph Tsang of Lids was the clear POTM as she won all 8. Lids finish the season in mid table and unbeaten in their final 4 matches. Albany tie with Project 12 on 27 points but finish second by virtue of just 6 extra games!
Kingfisher C delivered a hammer blow to the promotion aspirations of Ribby Hall A. The match was very close throughout, starting with the levels which ended all square with both Kingfisher men and Ribby ladies winning 5. In the mixed, 5 of the 6 sets were split! The only decisive set was won by mixed pair Debbie Oddy and Adam Cowell which gave Kingfisher the narrowest win 13-11. Adam and teammate Chris Hodkin won 6 as did Melissa Jones of Ribby. A much improved season from Kingfisher, who comfortably finish mid table after receiving last season's wooden spoon! Ribby finish on 27 points but may be overtaken by Lids B who sit 2 points behind. Lids need all 3 points next week to secure 2nd spot.
Top v bottom resulted in a 23-1 win for new champions Stanley A when they visited Kirkham Charter B who weren't helped by having to concede 8 games. Only a mixed split in the very last game from Verity Parker and Dave McKay, prevented the bagel. Steve Canavan played 8 games and won all 8. Kirkham meet fellow strugglers Ribby Hall B next week in a match they must win to avoid the wooden spoon. For Stanley this is a rapid return to Division 2, as they finish the season on maximum points and averaging a superb 19 games per match.
In the big match to decide the title, Warton A cruised to victory against their arch rivals Fleetwood. The first 3 sets were tight and were all split, but a mid match surge by Warton gave them the match and the championship. The visitors proved too strong as they won 8 consecutive games before 2 consolation games from Fleetwood at the end.
Ant Cross won 4 for the runners up but star man was Jeremy Cara with 7, ably supported by Jenish Prajapati with 6 with Nathan Bunting and Graham Cooper. Warton retain their title with 100% record with an average of nearly 14 games out of 16 !
Stanley had a comfortable 13-3 away win to Bloomfield to end the season in mid table. Colin Davison won all 8 and Ken Gerrard won 3 for Bloomfield who finish outside the bottom 2 in their debut season.
There were many close games and settings in the clash between bottom team Warton C and Broughton, who were next to bottom. Only 1 point separated these 2 teams before the match and only 1 point separated the teams afterwards, as they battled to a draw. Warton led 5-1 and then 8-6 going into the final set. However, a last set equaliser from Broughton's James Townson and Bipin Lad over Richard Bates and Gregor Creelman, who played on despite an injury. meant the match ended 12-12! Consolation for Gregor as he won 6 for Warton but James went 1 better for his 7 games.