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Last throw of the dice for Champions

Veterans League

A preview of the Veterans 6-Man League fixtures scheduled for Monday 31 July

I say with some confidence that if Shepley 'A' don't come away from their trip to play leaders Marsh United 'A' with a good win then there is no way that they will retain the Division 1 title that they have won for the past two seasons. Any widening of the 13-point gap that is currently there will surely see the Champions waving the white flag and returning heads bowed to their clubhouse for a post-mortem on what went wrong.

It is quite remarkable that the top two in the table are the two teams that were both promoted at the end of last season. Marsh United 'A' and Skel Windmill 'A' have surpassed all expectations and shaken up the top division as they march away from the chasing pack. This Monday the Skel Windmill 'A' side are at relegation-threatened Longwood who have lost their last 4 fixtures and suffered a 0-7 reversal when the two teams met earlier in the season. Same again?

Golcar C&BC are on a run of four straight wins and I would expect them to be too strong for Lockwood Con to keep themselves involved in top-of-the-table matters but they have also proven to be short of the top two at this level.

In Division 2 the leaders, Slaithwaite, continue in top form and are enjoying a run of 8 successive wins before trying to complete a double over visitors Milnsbridge 'B' this week. With the top three teams all having home fixtures this week we shouldn't expect any shuffling of the order at the top level especially as they are so spaced out as they are, although Golcar Lib will need to be on their toes against Lindley Lib 'B' who could close that 3-point gap between the two teams with the right result.

Paddock I&C could gate-crash the promotion places with a big win at Denby Dale and Holmfirth 'A' should be noted if they continue in the form that has seen them win their last 5 matches.

Relegation still looks to be reserved for 2 from 3 who have taken up residence at the foot of the table and are separated by a single point and two of those teams meet each other this Monday. Skel Windmill 'B' only escaped relegation last season on a better Aggregate For total and the way things are heading it could take something similar to save them again this season. Maybe home advantage will give them the edge over Linthwaite Hall who had shown signs of a recovery before having to face the top two teams in their last two matches.

The top three teams in Division 3 all have away fixtures this week. Marsh Lib are the leaders and they have a tricky-looking encounter at Holmfirth 'B' who were unbeaten at home until their last match. The teams nearest to challenging the leaders are New Mill and Meltham who are both aiming for an instant return to Division 2 where they both played last season. Whilst New Mill shouldn't be too phased by a trip to Shepley 'B', Meltham have a much more difficult match at Thongsbridge 'C' in the Friday fixture.

Marsh United 'B' seem to have got themselves into a bit of a rut where they lose to all the teams above them in the table and beat all those below them. Unfortunately, this has led to them having more teams above them than before. However, their next two matches are against Hemplow and Shepley 'B' so a surge up the table is anticipated and as they are only 4 points off the second promotion place things could get interesting. The opposite trait is evident in Primrose Hill Lib's recent results with 3 wins out of 4 with the sole defeat coming against the one team they played that was below them in the table. This week they go to Thongsbridge 'B' and if they run true to recent form they should return with the bulk of the points.

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