It’s the final week of play for 6 of the 7 FCPTL divisions and with only a few exceptions, the divisional races for titles, promotions and demotions are all up for grabs among multiple teams. (Note: Division 7 will continue play for 2 more weeks, so most of this post will focus on the top 6 divisions).
Of the 6 divisional titles, only 2 have been decided. Of the 10 promotion spots in Division 2-6, only 4 have been secured. Of the 12 demotion spots in Divisions 1-6, only 4 have been decided. Consequently almost every match this week will have some impact on the divisional title, promotion and demotion.
As so many matches could be a Featured Match of the Week, we will instead focus on the different races and all the key matches impacting those races. The mathematically possibilities are numerous and it’s a given that most teams will be scoreboard watching this weekend. Check back next week to see how it all shook out.
Wee Burn and Wilton Y both swept their matches last week, setting up the ultimate season ending finale: a showdown of 1st vs 2nd with a divisional title at stake. Wee Burn has a 2 point lead and only needs a split. However, with their pro Sebastian Bredberg, scheduled to play the Boston Open, Wee Burn loses its best player, making their task just a bit harder. A 3-1 win by Wilton Y would create a tie with Wee Burn but give Wilton Y the title with the head-to-head tiebreaker.
At the other end of the standings, 9(!) teams are still mathematically at risk for demotion to Division 2. Last place Patterson Club still has a chance to avoid demotion. It would need to sweep Greenwich FC and have Middlesex or New Canaan FC get swept. Daunting task but with Greenwich FC missing both its pros, Lennart Jonason and Martin Bostrom, for the Boston Open as well as making Greenwich FC drive the 25 miles to Patterson, the circumstances are as good as they can probably be.
Two of the other 17 point teams, Lake Club and New Canaan FC, face off this week in what is most likely the pivotal match in the demotion race. A win by either team probably secures their spot in D1 for next year, so you expect both teams to bring out their best lineups. The four teams at the top of the bottom (Milbrook, Rowayton 1.1, Darien CC and Rowayton 1.2) are probably just looking to avoid the sweep, but that is never a guarantee.
Woodway CC clinched the D2 title last week and will be hanging a banner in their paddle hut this year. Meanwhile, there are 6 teams who are still mathematically in the hunt for the second promotion spot. Round Hill Club controls its own destiny. While tied with Wilton Y 2.1 at 24 points, Round Hill holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. Thus a sweep by Round Hill over Stamford Yacht would guarantee them the promotion. However, sweeps are never easy to achieve and with each of the 6 teams in the hunt for promotion playing each other, it should make for a wild weekend of scoreboard watching.
Round Hill (24 pts) plays Stamford Yacht (22 pts). Wilton Y 2.1 (24 pts) faces Darien Town (21 pts) and New Canaan CC (23 pts) meets Tokeneke (21 pts). Darien and Tokeneke can only advance with sweeps and then hope that Round Hill/Stamford Yacht finishes 1-3, which puts the decision to the tiebreaker. Meanwhile Wilton Y 2.1 and New Canaan CC need wins combined with a Round Hill loss to get promoted.
At the other end of the spectrum, Stanwich will definitely be headed to D3. Meanwhile, 4 teams remain mathematically at risk for the 2nd demotion spot. Roxbury (19 pts) only needs 1 point over Stamford Italian Center (15 pts) to be safe but Stamford Italian Center will be aiming hard for the sweep.
Interestingly, the other two teams at risk, New Canaan FC (16 pts) and Wilton Y 2.2 (15 pts) play teams with nothing to play for: Woodway CC (division champ) and Stanwich (division laggard), respectively. Both Roxbury and Stamford Italian Center have to hope that Woodway and Stanwich don’t roll over at this point in the season.
Rowayton and Greenwich CC have secured promotion to Division 2. However, they are still battling for the Division 3 title and banner. Greenwich (31 pts) trails Rowayton (32 pts) but has the head-to-head tiebreaker in hand so only needs to make up one point this weekend.
Greenwich CC has the slightly easier match on paper versus Wee Burn 3.1 (18 pts) while Rowayton faces Lake Club (21 pts). However, Greenwich CC will be missing their pro Patricio Misitrano, who will also be playing in the Boston Open.
In terms of relegation, Wee Burn 3.2 has already booked their trip to Division 4. Meanwhile, Woodway CC (10 pts) will need both a sweep over Wilton Y 3.2 and Wilton Y 3.1 (13 pts) to be swept by Burning Tree CC to avoid joining Wee Burn 3.2.
Division 4 has been the most competitive division all season. As the final weekend approaches, 7 teams are still in the running for the 2nd promotion spot, while 6 teams are in risk of filling the 2nd relegation spot. Yes, 3 teams (Rowayton 4.1, Milbrook, Wilton Y 4.2) are mathematically eligible for both promotion and demotion depending on their results this weekend.
Middlesex (27 pts) appears to have clinched promotion to D3, but may need another point against Stamford Yacht (22 pts) to secure the division title. However, Stamford Yacht will be looking for a sweep to try and keep their chances alive for the 2nd promotion spot. Wilton Riding Club (23 pts) actually controls their own destiny for promotion as they hold the tiebreaker over Patterson Club (23 pts) and would clinch the other promotion spot with a sweep over Wilton Y 4.2 (19 pts).
Tokeneke (22 pts) is also lurking for the other promotion spot. Facing Lake Club (18 pts), Tokeneke probably needs a sweep with ties by Wilton Riding, Patterson and Stamford Yacht. In terms of demotion, Rowayton 4.2 cannot avoid relegation.
New Canaan FC (17 pts) currently sits in the 2nd demotion spot, but has the good fortune of playing Rowayton 4.2 this week. A win by New Canaan FC could be lift them out of relegation as two teams ahead of them, Milbrook (19 pts) and Roxbury (18 pts) play each other. Meanwhile Lake Club (18 pts) will need to avoid a sweep by Tokeneke who as mentioned earlier needs a sweep to have a chance at moving up to D3.
The least exciting race all season was Division 5. Aspetuck Valley has rolled to a unblemished 40-0 record and the only question is whether they can complete their perfect season against Stamford Italian Center. In the race for the other promotion spot, Darien Town (27 pts) has a 4 point lead over Round Hill Club (23 pts), but guess who play each other this week? Yup, Darien Town vs Round Hill. Round Hill will need a sweep over Darien Town to get the promotion spot, but at least the ball is in their court.
At the other end of the standings, New Canaan FC will definitely be moving down. 5 other teams are mathematically at risk for the other demotion spot. New Canaan Town (15 pts) currently occupies the 2nd relegation spot but gets to play Greenwich CC (18 pts) and could leap over GCC with a sweep. At a minimum, New Canaan Town probably needs 3 points to have a chance at avoiding demotion.
Middlesex (16 pts) looks to have the easiest match up this week as they face last-place New Canaan FC who are playing for only pride but have not put up much resistance against any team this year. Meanwhile Wilton Riding (16 pts) faces a precarious situation. While 1 point ahead of New Canaan Town, Wilton Riding Club loses in the head-to-head tiebreaker. Thus, Wilton Riding must get 1 more point than New Canaan Town this week or face possible demotion.
Division 6 has been another tightly contested race both at the top and bottom. Weston FC (28 pts) holds a 1 point division lead over Darien CC (27 pts). And as luck would have it, Weston FC and Darien CC face off this weekend with both a division title and promotion at stake.
Weston FC controls their own destiny and only need 2 points to clinch the division title. If Weston FC loses 1-3, they will still clinch the 2nd promotion spot although lose the division title to Darien CC. On the other hand, should Darien CC tie or lose, it will open the door for Lake 6.1 (25 pts) to sneak into the 2nd promotion spot if Lake can beat Stanwich or even tie as Lake 6.1 holds the tiebreaker over Darien CC.
Wilton Y (24 pts) still has a mathematical chance for promotion but needs Darien CC to be swept and Lake Club to not win with a sweep to secure the spot. At the bottom of the standings, 7 teams are mathematically in danger of getting demoted.
Last place Lake 6.2 (14 pts) has a chance to pass Stamford Yacht (17 pts) with a sweep. 2nd to last place Roxbury (15 pts) also can pass their opponent, Middlesex (19 pts) with a sweep. Meanwhile, Milbrook (16 pts) and Rowayton (17 pts) face off and while both would like a win, they might both take their chances with a split. Woodway CC (20 pts) is the only club in Division 6 who is playing for neither promotion or demotion and will surely sleep well Saturday night.
With 13 teams, Division 7 will play for another 3 weeks. Currently Aspestuck Valley (33 pts) and Darien Town (31 pts) hold the dominant position ahead of Silver Spring CC and Patterson in the race for Division 6 promotion. Aspetuck Valley has already defeated Darien Town 3-1, so they have the tiebreaker as well in the race for the division title. This week, Aspetuck Valley plays Patterson Club. Another win by Aspetuck should put the divisional races to bed, so Patterson will need a win to keep things close in this division.