Message from Paul Eastham:
All the final rearranged matches have now all been complete on time and have settled the final places as regards to vital promotion and relegation places. Firstly in division 1, David Lloyd polished off their season with a 17-1 win at St. Andrews B. The result means that they only lost 2 points all season and 31 games lost in the 16 matches!
The runners up spot was finally taken by St. Andrews who won their final 3 matches in style, taking max points to throw them into the runners up spot by just 2 points over their closest rivals, Hawks A. Hawks had lead the division for a few weeks & were in the runners up spot at the end of the close of the scheduled fixtures. The match that decided that Hawks fell back into 3rd place was when they hosted St. Andrews A & nothing could separate the 2 sides as the final result was indeed a 9 all draw; Nick Hodgson was the star on the evening, he took all 6 games & was awarded the MOTM. If Hawks would have won it 11-7, they would have sneaked the Runner up spot by a single game! At the other end of the table St. Andrews B were relegated some weeks ago, but the fight continued who would join them; either MGS B, Hawks B or David Lloyd B. Hawks B’s final match was at DLB and managed to win the match 8-10 to give Hawks division 1 security next season; Ric Wallbank won his 6 to be MOTM & assist to keep his side up. So the final match of the season took place on Thu 3rd April on the turf of DLB and their relegation rivals MGS B. The match did not disappoint any neutral, as it really was a winner takes all. After the levels DLB were staring defeat in the face, as 2-6 down going into the mixed looked bleak! But in the mixed, they battled hard & Abdul Malik & Lynn Hosegood needed to win the final 2 games of match to pull off a draw. They did indeed did that winning 15-13 & 15-2 to share the points on the evening and help save their team from the dreaded drop by a single point. However, the silver lining regarding MGS B, is that their C team gained promotion & therefore the B team will maintain their division 1 status after all…… Phew!
In division 2, as I’ve stated, MGS C took the winners spot by winning their final match of the season 11-7 at home to potential promotion rivals Carlton B, who then had to wait for the ‘runners up match’ between Spring A & Hawks C. Hawks C had been in the promotion mix all season & Springs A had been a couple of rearranged matches behind which had put them in a bit of a false position and they also had lost a couple of points on the way. So…. In the final match of the season, Hawks just needed a point (6 games) on the night, but guess what? The pressure must have got to them, as a fully loaded Hawks team started to crumble as the match started to unfold and cutting to the chase, it was left to Jason Loffman & Claire Ashton to deliver the final blow in the final set to win the match 13-5 & snatch the runners up spot by a single GAME!!!!! Claire also took home the LOTM for winning all her 6 games and assisting to gain the promotion that they deserve. As for Hawks, I bet there were a couple of people who didn’t get that much sleep that evening!! At the other end of the table Springs B were sunk into division 3 by their own hungry promotion A team who also sunk Garstang A to the realms of division 3 next year by game difference over Hawks D.
In 3, Clitheroe sealed the shield some weeks ago and Clayton took runners up spot with 2 back to back wins over Spring C. Battledore secured their place in 3 with a 14-4 win over Penwortham A who are relegated alongside Flight who slipped in the final weeks.
In division 4, Clayton B were runaway leaders and winners from the starting pistol, although in their final match they were held to a draw at home by 3rd place MGS F HAD to win the final pair of games to share the points. Hawks F came 2nd. At the foot College A ended up at the foot despite drawing their final match with Whittle A. The other spot was taken up by Penwortham B who drew their final match at home to Whittle B.
In 5, Clayton C won the division by 12 points over St. Andrews E who secured the runners up spot with a 14-4 win over Whittle D in their last match to deny Preston College B in the final weeks of the season of snatching the promotion place ‘and’ they did it in them final weeks of the season without their main backbone of the team…. Graham Harrison!!!!
Well, that’s it from me for another season…. I hope to see some of you at the dinner dance and look forward to next season kicking off in September again.