Veterans 10-Man League
Review of matches played on Tuesday 21 September
As we move into the final week of the 2021 Veterans League season the important matter of Section winners remains in the balance. Whilst most of the promotion places have been decided, four of the five section titles are still to be claimed with 2 or 3 contenders still in the frame for each of them. Only in Section 2 where Kirkheaton Con claimed the title last week is the matter fully resolved.
Elland C&BC 'A' have played two League matches over the past week, won them both and moved closer to Section 1 leaders Lockwood Con 'A' but probably not close enough to pass them in the final week of the season. Winning 6-3 away at Rastrick last Friday was followed by an 8-1 home victory over Longwood to leave them just 3 points adrift of the leaders with both teams having one match to play. Lockwood Con continue to dominate the table and a 6-3 away win at Waterloo emphasised the strength of their determination to retain the title for a record-breaking 7th consecutive season. Meltham 'A' will have been pleased to collect two points from their trip to Cowcliffe on Tuesday which are just enough to ensure their Section 1 status for another year. The same cannot be said for Crosland Moor who lost 1-8 at Marsh United 'A' to leave themselves still in range of both the teams below them in the table which currently occupy the relegation places. Mathematically both can pass Crosland Moor but it is Netherton Con who pose the greatest threat just 3 points off safety and both teams have final day home games to decide their destiny. Netherton Con 'A's situation was not helped by a 3-6 defeat at bottom-placed Thongsbridge 'A' but they live to fight at least one more day at this level.
The top three teams in Section 2 all lost this week and whilst that doesn't do any damage to the leaders Kirkheaton Con 'A' it is a setback to both Lindley BC 'A' and New Mill 'A' in their quest to slot into the second promotion place. A 4-5 home defeat by mid-table Almondbury BC 'A' was a surprise for the leaders as was the manner of the collapse of Lindley BC 'A' at Thorpe Green by 2-7 and New Mill 'A' losing for only the second time in their last 14 matches at Lockwood Con 'B'. That 6-3 win for the 'B' team from Lockwood Con confirmed their Section 2 place for another year and sent down Paddock I&C despite their 7-2 away win over already-relegated Kirkheaton C&BC 'A'.
The interest at the top of Section 3 is which of the two prime contenders is going to end up as Section winners separated as they are by a single point with both having one match to go. Lowerhouses's 9-0 home win over Meltham 'B' announced their intent on pushing the leaders, Slaithwaite, who were 7-2 away winners at Brockholes 'B', all the way to the final day match. That whitewash defeat for Meltham 'B' keeps them in range of the teams occupying the two relegation places. The one-point gap to the Outlane team looks particularly threatening and both teams have final day home fixtures. The home defeat for Brockholes 'B' all-but signals their relegation as even a final day unlikely 9-0 away win at third-placed Golcar Lib 'B' may not be enough to save them.
It is a similar situation in Section 4 with just the title to be decided between two already promoted teams. Both Huddersfield Recreation Club and Denby Dale had 7-2 wins last Tuesday to maintain the 2-point gap between them as they go into the final match of the season knowing that they are already both promoted. Matters are also resolved at the foot of the table as a 7-2 home win for Netherton Con 'B' over an 8-man Kirkheaton Con 'B' was insufficient to save either of the two teams from relegation. That was because Thongsbridge 'B' secured an invaluable 7-2 away win at Almondbury BC 'B'.
A new twist at the top of Section 5 as leaders Huddersfield RUBC lost away to third-placed Marsh Lib to concede top spot with New Mill 'B' taking full advantage with an 8-1 home win over Kirkheaton C&BC 'B' to go 4 points clear. The final day throws the two leaders together with the Rugby Club having home advantage needing a 7-2 win to secure the title, anything less hands it to New Mill 'B'. Marsh Lib could still come up on the blindside to deprive the Rugby Club of even a promotion place if they lose heavily to New Mill as they have an away trip to lowly Kirkheaton C&BC 'B'.
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