Six of the seven FCPTL divisions finished their season this past weekend and for many teams, it was a weekend of happiness or misery. With many divisional titles, promotions and demotions on the line, the FCPTL had a wild final weekend that saw some teams rise to the occasion and others come up woefully short.
To make things even tougher, six of the races were decided by tiebreakers – in one case, a 3-way tiebreaker. Below is a recap of how the divisional races finished based on the current league standings as posted on the FCPTL website some teams have contested scores and protested matches so demotions may change. Congrats to all the teams who won titles and earned promotions. To those who suffered the pain of demotion, at least there’s a shot of redemption next year.
This Saturday is also the year-end Paul Fowler Invitational Tournament, the largest one-day platform tennis tournament in the country. 112 teams across seven divisions will compete for prizes, pride and enjoyment. The finals will be held at the Country Club of New Canaan at 2:30 complete with food and drinks. Feel free to come and watch the action.
Everyone knew that the Division 1 title would come down to the final match between Wee Burn and Wilton Y. Wee Burn had a two-point edge and just needed a tie to secure the title for another year. Unfortunately with their pro, Sebastian Bredberg, away at the Boston Open, Wee Burn was entering the match without their best player. Wilton Y, on the other hand, came fully loaded and took the 1, 2 and 4 lines in straights for a 3-1 victory. Although the two teams finished the season tied at 33 points, Wilton Y takes the Division 1 title with the head-to-head tiebreaker.
In the race to avoid demotion, 9 teams entered the weekend with a theoretically chance of being in the bottom 2 spots and earning an ill-fated trip to Division 2. Patterson was most at risk and needed a sweep over Greenwich FC and then some help. Lake Club also appeared to be at risk. When Lake lost to New Canaan FC 3-1, their ticket to D2 appeared to be punched. However, Darien CC was surprisingly swept by Rowayton 1.2 to give Lake a chance to avoid elimination, as Lake held the head-to-head tiebreaker over Darien CC. Darien CC would now need a Patterson Club win over Greenwich FC to avoid relegation. Unfortunately for Darien CC, Patterson Club could not pull out two three-set matches, resulting in a 2-2 tie against Greenwich FC and sealing both Patterson’s and Darien’s fate in one swoop.
Division Title: Wilton Y
Division Demotion: Patterson Club, Darien CC
Woodway CC had already clinched the division title, so the focus was on the second promotion spot for Division 2 as three teams (Round Hill, Wilton Y 2.1 and New Canaan CC) were in the hunt. Round Hill controlled their own destiny, but could not produce their full lineup and wound up splitting their match against Stamford Yacht. Wilton Y 2.1 could also only produce a tie against Darien Town when a sweep would have secured them a promotion. Consequently, with the door now open, New Canaan CC was able to rise to the occasion and overcome their 1-point deficit to Round Hill and Wilton Y 2.1 by sweeping Tokeneke and earning their way to Division 1.
With Stanwich already locked into last place, New Canaan FC, Stamford Italian Center and Wilton Y 2.2 were battling to avoid the other relegation position. New Canaan FC and Stamford Italian Center both took care of business with 3-1 victories. Wilton Y 2.2 could only manage a 2-2 tie against Woodway CC and thus will be headed to Division 3.
Division Title: Woodway CC
Division Promotion: New Canaan CC
Division Demotion: Stanwich, Wilton Y 2.2
Greenwich CC and Rowayton had already clinched the two spots for Division 2, so all that was left for the final weekend was determining the division title. Rowayton had a one point lead but Greenwich CC held the head-to-head tiebreaker. After Greenwich CC easily swept Wee Burn 3.1, Rowayton needed a sweep of their own to win the division. Unfortunately Lake Club took a 7-6, 7-6 win at the 2 spot against Rowayton for Lake’s sole point. With the two teams tied at 35 points, Greenwich CC takes home the Division 3 banner by virtue of their head-to-head victory.
Only 1 spot for demotion to Division 4 was in play as Wee Burn 3.2 had already secured their spot in D4 for next year. When Burning Tree CC swept Wilton Y 3.1, it opened the door for Woodway to avoid relegation if they could sweep Wilton Y 3.2. However, Woodway could only manage a 2-2 split and will join Wee Burn 3.2 on the trip down.
Division Title: Greenwich CC
Division Promotion: Rowayton
Division Demotion: Wee Burn 3.2, Woodway CC
Middlesex only needed 1 point to clinch the division title and managed to get 2 against Stamford Yacht although not without some sweat. Meanwhile, four teams were fighting it out for the second promotion spot. Unfortunately Stamford Yacht’s tie with Middlesex was one point shy of what they needed to advance. Tokeneke needed a sweep over Lake Club but could only manage a tie. Wilton Riding Club only needed a split with Wilton Y 4.2 but came up short with 3-1 loss. With their pursuers failing to step up, Patterson was able to gain promotion to Division 3 with only a split against Rowayton 4.1, giving them 25 points to the other 3 teams’ 24 points.
While Rowayton 4.2 was already guaranteed to move down to Division 5, four teams were battling to avoid joining them. Two of the teams, Roxbury and Milbrook, faced off and Roxbury brought the heat and easily swept Milbrook. With Roxbury now safe, Milbrook looked to be in the danger zone at 19 points. When New Canaan FC swept Rowayton 4.2 to get to 21 points and Lake Club split with Tokeneke to get to 20 points, Milbrook failed to get the help they needed and look to be headed to Division 5.
Division Title: Middlesex
Division Promotion: Patterson
Division Demotion: Rowayton 4.2, Milbrook
With their 11th straight sweep, Aspetuck Valley completed their second undefeated 44-0 season in the last three years. Aspetuck has been running roughshod over the lower divisions in the FCPTL and everyone will be watching to see if their run continues in the following years. Darien Town held the 2nd promotion spot but faced the one team that could pass them. Round Hill needed a sweep over Darien Town to earn promotion to D4, but Darien Town was able to hold off Round Hill by earning a 2-2 split.
Three teams – Greenwich CC, New Canaan CC and Wilton Riding Club – were battling to avoid being the 2nd team relegated to Division 6 (New Canaan FC had already secured their relegation spot.) After Wilton Riding Club split 2-2 with Wilton Y, both Greenwich CC and New Canaan CC only needed 1 point to avoid demotion. Unfortunately, neither team was able to get it done as New Canaan Town swept Greenwich CC and Wee Burn swept New Canaan CC. With the three teams all tied at 18 points, relegation would now be determined a three-way tiebreaker based on total points earned in the matches involving the 3 teams. New Canaan CC earned 5 points in their matches against Greenwich CC and Wilton Riding, while Wilton Riding won 4 points. With only 3 points in the tiebreaker, Greenwich CC takes the trip to D6.
Division Title: Aspetuck Valley CC
Division Promotion: Darien Town
Division Demotion: New Canaan FC, Greenwich CC
Weston Field Club entered the final week in control of their own destiny. A tie or better against Darien CC would secure them the division banner, which they brought home with a 2-2 tie. The split also proved to be enough for Darien CC to secure the 2nd promotion spot despite Lake Club’s 4-0 victory against Stanwich. While Lake and Darien CC finished tied with 29 points, Darien wins the tiebreaker by virtue of their head-to-head victory.
At the bottom of the standings, Lake 6.2 started the week in last place and managed to squeeze out a 2-2 tie against a good Stamford Yacht team. However, it would not be enough for them to avoid last place. After Milbrook lost 3-1 to Rowayton, Roxbury had a chance to pass them with a win over Middlesex. Unfortunately Roxbury could only get the 2-2 split and, after losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Milbrook, will be headed Division 7.
Division Title: Weston Field Club
Division Promotion: Darien CC
Division Demotion: Lake 6.2, Roxbury
With 13 teams, Division 7 will be playing for another 2 weeks. However, Aspetuck Valley, after their 3-1 win over Patterson Club, clinched their promotion to Division 6. Meanwhile, Darien Town swept New Canaan CC to reduce their magic number to 1 for the other promotion spot. Silver Spring CC can mathematically catch Darien Town, but will need to sweep their last 2 matches and have Darien lose all their remaining matches.