Championship race will go right down to the wire

WITH the season entering its final phase, who will be crowned Yates & Greenhough Division 1 champions is far from being clear, Lodgers G and Penmaen A being separated by a mere four points after Penmaen A were held to a draw by Graves Park C.

Geoff Bourne led the way when Stickney hosted Lodgers E, beating all of the Lodgers players in some style.

Vince Lozynsky was also in good form, beating Colin Bell in straight sets, and Dave Kime in four ends before going down in four sets to Ian Stones – the final two ends going Ian’s way 12-10 and 13-11.

Paul Hartnett could only manage one victory against Dave, but joined forces with Vince to beat Ian and Colin to produce a highly satisfactory 7-3 victory for the home team.

With Tris Clow bound for Australia imminently, he took the opportunity to step up a division to appear for Graves Park A – against top team, Lodgers G. There were no shocks here, however, Tris having to wait until his last game, against Mark Hulme, to record his first set victory, 11-3, but Mark recovered to take the next three ends.

Nick Langley also picked up ends against Mark and Gary Hill, but it was Rob Smith who broke the Park’s duck, beating Gary in four very close ends, and narrowly losing out to Mark and Kelvin Clements, both in five sets.

Penmaen B fielded number one-ranked Richard Malik from Division 2 when they played Graves Park B, and he fully justified their confidence, winning his three, only Alan Reetham pushing him to a fifth and deciding end.

Indeed, Alan was the Park’s main man, beating Scott Sykes in straight sets, and Neil Snaith in four ends, with Mike Freeston also beating Scott.

It was not Mick Maltby’s night, however, and despite taking Scott and Neil to five ends, he was unable to add more points for the team.

One of the best matches of the season for Graves Park C saw them hold last season’s winners Penmaen A to a 5-5 draw, even with Brian Hill appearing for Penmaen. James Quinton and Martin Walters both beat Brett Heppenstall and Alan Ashberry, whilst Mick East took the game to Brian, winning the first end, and narrowly losing the third end at deuce to allow Brian to regain the initiative.

Two exhausting five-enders followed against Brett and Alan, Mick winning one, against Brett, to ensure that the teams shared the points.

Mat Lilly saved the day when Penmaen D visited Lodgers B, beating Trev Blackbourn in four ends to give Penmaen their solitary point. Mat also took ends out of Vic Clements and Tim Day, while Darron Kent took an end from Vic, but this was as close as they came to securing much-needed points.

All teams have been reminded of Rule 9.3, which states: ‘All matches should be completed within two weeks of the end of the season.’

There are three league matches involving six different teams outstanding. Please ensure match secretary Mick Maltby is kept informed of the situation regarding these matches.

Results: Stickney 7, Lodgers E 3; Graves Park A 1, Lodgers G 9; Penmaen B 7, Graves Park B 3; Graves Park C 5, Penmaen A 5; Lodgers B 9, Penmaen D 1

Top of the table

Team P W D L pts

Lodgers G 18 17 0 1 163

Penmaen A 18 17 1 0 159

Graves Park C 18 14 1 3 116

Lodgers B 19 10 0 9 90