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Milnsbridge could be relegated this week

Veterans League

Preview of matches in the 10-Man League Divisions 1 & 2 to be played on Tuesday 22 August

Milnsbridge 'A' could become the first team in the League to be relegated this season if results go against them in Tuesday's fixture programme. They are 45 points from safety with six matches left to play but a big defeat this week at home to Waterloo could make their relegation official depending on the other results. A 0-9 home defeat would see them drop through the relegation trapdoor.

In early July I wrote about the targets that teams in each of the 10-Man League divisions would need to get to avoid being relegated. I estimated that teams in Division 1 would need to get 88 points to avoid relegation. I already think that I was wide of the mark as there are currently 7 teams in the 80's battling hard to avoid being in that 3-team drop zone. I now think that teams should be aiming for 100 points to stave off relegation this year.

Longwood sit in one of the three relegation places and will be the latest trying to halt the winning run of Marsh United 'A'. That currently stands at six on the trot with the latest being a 9-0 demolition of Cowcliffe who find themselves hurtling towards the drop zone after only one win in the last eight matches. This week they host one of the five teams below them in the table, Lockwood Con 'A'. Meltham 'A' are also in the relegation mix and with their last 5 fixtures being against top six teams starting at Rastrick this week then the future is daunting.

Elland C&BC are also in dire straits sitting in the third relegation spot and no match this week. Of their remaining 5 fixtures 4 of them are against teams in the bottom half of the table although only two of those are at home. Waterloo are also in trouble being just 3 points ahead of the relegation places and are away at Milnsbridge 'A' this Tuesday. It is just a matter of time until Milnsbridge are officially relegated but which teams will accompany them into Division 2 for next season?

It is going to be a few weeks before any team gets relegated from Division 2 but a match between the bottom two teams this week offers an opportunity to both to pick up some much needed points. Even a big win for either will not move them out of the bottom two places this week but it would be a start.

The same can be said for the next two teams as well assuming that four teams will be relegated in line with the League's declared intent to rebalance the divisions for the 2024 season. That puts Holmfirth 'A' and Thorpe Green very much in the picture and both have tricky away fixtures this Tuesday. Holmfirth 'A' are at Lindley BC 'A' who remain in contention for the second promotion place although their recent form hasn't done them any favours in pushing them towards that objective. Thorpe Green are at Broad Oak 'A' who have only been beaten once at home this season so will do well to pick up points on the road this week.

The leaders Netherton Con 'A' could take their present winning run into double figures should they win at New Mill 'A' who are still smarting after that 0-9 reversal at Shepley last time out. However they have only lost one home match all season so will be pushing the leaders all the way to preserve their 11 points lead towards the title.

Shepley have been involved in 9-0 scorelines in their last 3 league matches having won 2 of them but the latest saw them on the wrong end of a whitewash defeat at Netherton Con. This week Shepley have home advantage over Lindley Lib 'A' who sit one place and one point behind them but they haven't won an away match since April so will need to find another gear if they intend capturing one of the promotion places as the final run-in continues.

Thongsbridge 'A' and Almondbury BC 'A' sit in 6th and 7th places fairly comfortable from getting involved in the action at either end of the table. They face each other this week and both would appreciate a good win to settle any fears of being dragged into matters at the wrong end of the table.

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