Mike O'Driscoll of Musketeers (picture by Melvyn Lovegrove)

Teams ready to go for VBL glory

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

New men’s champions are set to be crowned – for the first time in six years – when the Veterans’ British League comes to a conclusion at Derby Arena this weekend.

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With St Neots Saints, winners for five years in row, languishing at the foot of the table, the title is certain to change hands. And it is Musketeers who are in pole position.

The squad which was newly promoted into the Premier Division this season, won three and drew two of their five matches on Weekend One to lead the way by two points from PPong.

Foresters and XLNT Draycott are not out of the running a point further back – the former having completed an unbeaten weekend in October thanks to five draws.

In the Women’s Premier, the defending champions are still in contention, though PPong are in third place, two points off top spot held by Market Rasen, who were unbeaten with four wins and a draw on Weekend One. Second-placed Bribar Failand are level on points with PPong but ahead on countback.

In the lower divisions, the race for promotion from Men’s Division 1B is a close one, with no team unbeaten. Topspin Fusion are on 8pts, two points clear of Foresters B and Norwich, with Archway Peterborough another point back and still in position to mount a challenge. In Division 1B, The Rams are a point ahead of Team Ecosse at the top.

In 2A, XLNT Draycott III and St Georges are level on 9pts, having drawn with each other and won their other four matches on the first weekend. They meet in the final round on Sunday – will the position have changed by then or will it be winner-take-all? Unbeaten Bribar Failand lead 2B on 8pts, two clear of Foresters C.

In the next tier, there are two unbeaten sides in Division 3A – PSP Insurance and Norton Commandos both have 8pts and a two-point cushion over St Marys. In 3B, unbeaten Pudsey (8pts) lead by one from Ormesby and Ashford.

The two fourth divisions will split after the first two matches on Saturday and there is still all to play for to get into the top halves.

In 4A, Joola Plymouth have 8pts but there are three teams a point behind and another on 6pts – one of them will be disappointed to end up in the lower division after the split. It is similar in 4B, with Sycamore Zigabytes on 8pts, two teams on 7pts and two on 6pts – again, five clubs battling for four places in the top half.

The two lower divisions in the Women’s section will also split after Saturday’s second round but the positions are a little more clear-cut and the teams in fourth, as things stand, have a 2pt cushion on the teams in fifth.

In Division One, Bribar IPS Tigers (9pts) have one hand on the title with a three-point lead over three other teams, while in Division Two, Foresters are also on 9pts and are one ahead of Ashford and Cippenham.

Several players are defending 100% records. Those who have won 10/10 are Tom Cutler (Topspin Fusion), Garry Knights (The Rams), Kevin Edwards (PSP Insurance), Paul Giles (Joola Plymouth), Stephen Brunskill (Swerve), Lisa Sprackling (Ashford Ladies) and Sarah Jane Hilditch (Foresters Ladies).

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