Saints’ crusade to get back to VBL summit

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Please note - this news article was published more than three months ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Bribar St Neots Saints are in pole position to win back ‘their’ Premier Division title as the Veterans’ British League comes to a head at Derby Arena this weekend.

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Saints won the league five years in a row until being usurped by Musketeers last season. But with the Musketeers languishing in fifth place, Saints are leading the way and will have designs on reclaiming the crown.

Not that they will necessarily have it all their own way. P Pong Vets are level on points at the top and, having held the leaders to a 3-3 on weekend 1, know they are well in the mix.

Draycott are two points behind the top two and The Rams – who also drew with St Neots back in September are another point adrift and may also have a say in who comes out on top.

The defending men’s champions are out of the running, and women’s title-holders Market Rasen will need a big weekend to retain the trophy. Only two points separates positions two to five – Market Rasen are third – suggesting a competitive division. However, leaders PPong have a three-point lead over the rest, meaning it is theirs to lose.

Wolves and Football Wise are unbeaten in Division 1A but Wolves have a two-point lead, having won four matches to the footballers’ two. Team Ecosse are in the picture another point behind the leaders.

Division 1B features a 100% record from Weekend 1 – that of Topspin Fusion, though they are only two points ahead of Foresters A. With the rest of the field at least another three points back, it is between the top two for the title.

There is another perfect record in 2B, Cippenham holding a three-point lead over Foresters D and having dropped only two individual matches on the first weekend.

The parallel Division 2A is led by Draycott III, who are unbeaten on 9pts, two ahead of Wirepoint Bulldogs who in turn have a two-point cushion over third place.

Both Division 3 tables are led by teams with 100% records holding five-point leads over the rest – which means barring a complete meltdown, the two titles are all but in the bag.

In 3A it is Whitworth Academy at the top and, in 3B, it is Nailsworth Phoenix. Both leaders have identical 24-6 records in terms of individual matches won and lost.

The two Division 4 tables will split after the first two rounds of fixtures on Saturday and, unlike Division 3, the destination of the titles is far from clear.

Border Reivers are top of 4A and unbeaten, but only one point ahead of Crusaders, with Foresters E and Graham Spicer II two points further adrift.

Joola Plymouth have a bigger buffer in 4B, holding a two-point advantage over Halton. Graham Spicer and Crawley Community II are the next two, a point behind Halton.

Women’s Division 1 could build up to a dramatic climax, with Foresters out in front with nine points and two other unbeaten sides – Lyncrest and Ellenborough – two points behind.

Fusion B also retain an interest, sitting on 6pts, with Ashford and MK within range of the top half. The eight-team league will split after the first two matches of the weekend, so there is plenty to play for.

Division 2 is also close, though the top four are pretty much already in a group of their own and should remain that way at the split. Northern Belles lead by a point from Sutton at Hone and HEL, with Ellenborough B another point back.

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