Defeats for 2 table toppers open title races

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

Veterans 6-Man League

Review of league fixtures played on 30 August

Section A leaders, Shepley 'A', were beaten at Thongsbridge 'B' 5-2 on Monday to open up the title race with 4 points now between the top three teams. Defeats at the start and end of August have undermined Shepley's bid for the title which has looked pretty secure for most of the season. However with Thongsbridge 'B' and Netherton Con both on runs of a solitary defeat in their last 9 matches the pressure is mounting on Shepley who are looking for their first title win since 2012. That contrasts with the Netherton record who are looking to make it a hat-trick of titles if they could retain it this year. Whereas no Thongsbridge team has ever won any division title in the 6-Man League so the incentive is certainly there for them which prompted this statement from the Thongsbridge 'B' captain prior to Monday's fixtures.

"We’re not thinking of the runners-up slot. If we make a significant dent in Shepley’s lead today and Netherton Con do the same next week it’s a 3 horse race for the title.

Then it’s down to the run-in and Milnsbridge could well be the king makers on 27 September.

It’s probably more interesting to the participants than to a neutral but wouldn’t it be good having a B team as champions?

When I inherited the team at Easter my hopes were to avoid relegation, the lads are doing great. I could have chopped and changed today and brought in an All England champion or two that are on our books but I’ve kept faith with the regulars."

Fighting talk indeed and his team backed his words with winning action and he got his win over the leaders. Maybe he is getting a little carried away with bringing in an 'All England Champion or two' but the positive intent is certainly there and has opened up the mind-games which may prompt a reaction from the other two contenders, on the green or off it.

At the other end of the Section A table, Longwood did themselves a real favour being the only winners in the bottom four to give themselves a 5-point cushion away from the relegation places. Their 6-1 away win at Oakfield coupled with away defeats for Lindley Lib and Paddock I&C puts a very different complexion on the situation with just 4 matches left to play.

The leaders in Section B were also beaten as Marsh United had the ideal preparation for their Julie Fuller Trophy Final on Friday when seeing off Golcar C&BC by 6-1. That setback allowed Honley Con to snatch top spot after an impressive 5-2 away win over third-placed Skel Windmill 'B'. That lead is only by virtue of a bigger 'Aggregate For' total with the top two locked together on 56 points, three ahead of Skel Windmill 'B'. A good 5-2 away win for Meltham over relegation-threatened Golcar Lib has moved them out of immediate danger of drifting into the drop zone and whilst Primrose Hill Lib may look doomed that didn't stop them registering their second win of the season this week in a commendable 4-3 home win over Skel Windmill 'A' with a 90-90 aggregate draw.

Slaithwaite continued their stroll to the Section C title with a 6-1 away win at Brockholes 'B' with the 2nd and 3rd placed teams, Almondbury Lib and Holmfirth 'A', also both winning away from home but not reducing the points gap at all. In fact the gap widened to 15-points with 4 games to go and Slaithwaite could be crowned title-winners as early as next week and need 7 points from next week's home match with bottom team Shepley 'B' to guarantee promotion. Thongsbridge 'A' completed a league double over Shepley 'B' with a whitewash 7-0 scoreline and move above Brockholes 'B' as a result.


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