3 teams fight it out for the runners up place.
First up was Kingfisher B who overcame Project 12 by 16-8. With both the ladies and mens levels ending 5-1 in Kingfisher's favour the win was almost secured. However Project fought hard in the mixed and won 6 games to gain a vital bonus point. Lynne Williams won 7 and was best player on the night whilst Project's games were spread amongst the team with 4 players winning 3 games each. Kingfisher will probably need to win their final match - however it’s against league leaders Hesketh! Project with a tough final match v Pilling to play but this bonus point may just keep them up.
Pilling B kept up the pressure at the top with a strong display against bottom team Lids C who continue to fight despite the 21-3 score line. Alison Crosbie won all her 8 games and Mark Green was involved in all the 3 games that Lids won. Pilling have 2 winnable games left (including a game in hand) though they are 3 points behind Kingfisher.
Relegation threatened but much improved Fleetwood B were involved in a close match against promotion outsiders Lids B. With the score tied at 6-6 going into the mixed and both teams needing the points, it was no surprise when the first 2 sets were split for 8-8. When Fleetwood won the next 2 sets to lead 12-8 it looked like game over, however Lids fought hard and managed to win the final 4 games, including a 24-22 setting to earn a draw.The 2 points for Lids means promotion is now unlikely but the 2 points for Fleetwood may prove crucial in their fight to stay up.
League leaders Hesketh A put in a dominant display to win 20-4 against Stanley A. Nicky Johnson and Richard Percival were the most successful players on the night for winning all 8 games. For Stanley Lynsey Rees and Lee Meakin won a levels game and 2 mixed. Stanley drop into the bottom 2 and needing points from their final 2 (tough) games. Not only does this win secure promotion but it means that Hesketh, who have been in pole position all season, are deserving Division 2 champions!
A crucial, tense match with second place potentially at stake between Kirkham A and Ribby A, was held on Monday with both teams affected by injuries and missing players. Ribby stormed into an early 4-2 lead but then, importantly, Kirkham fought back to win the remaining 6 levels to take an 8-4 advantage into the mixed. Ribby fought back well and won 4 of the next 6 games (two of which finished 21-19 and 22-20) to make it 10-8 and all to play for! The tension began to rise again with both teams studying the match card closely to check the scores. There were 6 games to play and the result could still go either way. The match then flowed in Kirkham's favour as they won the last 6 games for a final score of 16-8. Katie Kinder and Ian Chase won 7 for Kirkham and Carol Howarth replied with 5 for Ribby who are now 4 points behind and unable to catch their local rivals. Kirkham finish the season in second place and probable promotion.
The match between Ribby Hall B and leaders Hesketh B proved to be a rather unexpected close match. With Ribby ladies and Hesketh men winning 5, the match was tied at 6 all. In the next 4 mixed sets 1 set went to Hesketh and 1 to Ribby with 2 sets split leaving the match in the balance at 10-10! However Hesketh were then able to win the last 2 sets for a too close for comfort win 14-10. Melanie Bunney played well for her 6 games for Ribby but Andy Manson was unstoppable on the night and won 8 games for Hesketh. Ribby safe in mid table but the 3 points for Hesketh means they, not only retain their unbeaten record but more importantly, are Division 3 Champions.
Stanley B entertained Kirkham Charter B with both teams needing points at the bottom end of the division. It was the ladies which ended 4-2 for Kirkham which proved decisive on the night as the mens and mixed ended all square. Both Steve Whyatt for Stanley and Katie Kinder for Kirkham won 6 games. First win of the season for Kirkham who are now 5 points behind Stanley with 2 games in hand.