Concluding the Veterans 10-Man League preview by looking at the teams in the top two divisions and helping you finalise your Fantasy League selections with this posting. The tables below show the 2021 final table positions and points won to aid your selection process. The summary is there to help you further or maybe to confuse you more.
If you had backed Lockwood Con over the past 7 seasons you would have been on a serial winner but can they extend their title-winning exploits to an eighth successive season? The gap has been narrowing over the last two years and maybe this is the year that Elland take over from them, or maybe a surprise new contender? Fantasy League entrants are likely to start off with the reigning Champions and have a watching brief thereafter with the new facility to swap one team every month offering scope to counter any drop in standards. Well Bowled Fantasy League Entry Form
JOINING THIS DIVISION IN 2022
Kirkheaton Con A & Lindley BC A
Lockwood Con A have won the Division 1 title for the last 7 years so you have to be a brave man to bet against a continuation of that record. Elland C&BC A have been the runners-up for the last 3 years and for the last two years have really pushed them all the way as the gap has narrowed to 5 points last year (153-148) and then 2 points in 2019 (156-154) so maybe it is time for a change? Nothing is forever but bet against it at your peril!
An improving Longwood, a reinforced Golcar Lib and persistent Waterloo all have claims as do me and my boys from Kirkheaton Con A after our runaway success in Division 2 last year. Only 3 of the team were part of the Cons team that was last in the top division in 2015 so unchartered territory for some but winning the title by 27 points was no fluke.
Crosland Moor have withdrawn from the League due to team-raising difficulties after the fixtures had been published so a blank 2-weeks for each team during the season. It is a real blow to lose such a well-established club and as much a blow to lose a green of the calibre of this one which has served the Inter-District team for so long over the years and been a pleasure (and challenge) to bowl on by visiting Veterans League teams. David Brown Sports share the green with the host club and if you play in Division 5 then you will continue to enjoy the green.
JOINING THIS DIVISION IN 2022
Promoted from Division 3:
Lowerhouses & Slaithwaite
Relegated from Division 1:
Thongsbridge A & Netherton Con A
The claims of the two promoted teams figure prominently in this preview as they came up together and were only separated by an 'aggregate for' difference. Both Lowerhouses and Slaithwaite will be looking forward to the higher-level test and their momentum could serve them well.
Of last season's also-rans, New Mill look the strongest to me. Broad Oak had a bad spell mid-season or otherwise would have been a live threat for the second promotion place and they cannot afford a repeat dip if they are to be serious contenders. Thorpe Green's strict team rotation policy will always count against them in the big games but as a club, you can't fault it. Milnsbridge A have hung on to their top bowlers along with some new names so hopes are high that they will improve on last season's top-half finish.
The two teams coming down from Division 1 will expect to feature at the top end as well although Netherton Con seem to be losing some of their better bowlers so it remains to be seen what impact that has.
However it is almost guaranteed that Thongsbridge will be involved in the title race if you look at their record over the past 6 years.
2016 - relegated from Division 1
2017 - promoted to Division 1
2018 - relegated from Division 1
2019 - promoted to Division 1
2020 - no competition
2021 - relegated from Division 1
Too good for Division 2 and not good enough for Division 1, the ultimate yo-yo team. Surely they must be a Fantasy League banker to return to the top flight at the first time of asking.
With this final episode of the Veterans League preview you have everything you need, or are likely to get, to aid the selection of your 8 teams to make up your Fantasy League entry and put yourself in the running for the £200 worth of Well Bowled vouchers. Entry Form
6-Man League Preview 10-Man League Preview Divisions 3-5