FCPTL_Week_2Although the FCPTL expanded the number of teams in each division this year, things really haven’t changed too much. The matches continue to be fun and competitive and not surprisingly, you are seeing many of the same names at the top of the divisional standings. Below are some highlights from Week 2 and the Featured Matches of the Week.

Division 1
Wilton Y took advantage of Lake Club missing a couple of key player and recorded a 4-0 sweep. Had Lake been able to field its full team, the result could have have gone a different way as the match was closer than the final score would indicate with 2 matches decided in the 3rd set. Milbrook Club took a 3-1 victory over Rowayton 1.B and currently is tied with Wilton Y for first place but the two teams will battle this week. The surprise result from last week was perennial power Wee Burn splitting 2-2 with Middlesex as Wee Burn appears to be hurt by the absence of Sebastian Bredberg, their pro, to injury.

Featured Match of the Week:
Wilton Y 1.A vs Milbrook 1.A: It’s early in the season but if you follow this column, you know that a match versus two first-place teams will always get the feature nod. Milbrook hasn’t contended for the D1 title since they moved into the division a few years ago; however they have steadily moved up the ranks and hope to finally challenge for a title. Wilton Y, however, is the defending champion and always roll out a deep lineup, so it will be no small task for Milbrook to take this match.

Division 2
Wilton Y 2.B and Wilton Y 2.C both recorded 3-1 wins over New Canaan Town and New Canaan Field Club respectively. Thus, an interesting scenario is potentially developing in Division 2 with two of the three Wilton Y teams currently tied for first place at 6-2. Can Wilton Y make a clean sweep of the 2 promotion spots and put 3 teams into Division 1 next year? However, Stamford Yacht looks like a strong contender to spoil the plans of Wilton Y. Stamford Yacht, strengthened by the addition of upcoming pro, Bhaskar Chowdhury, defeated Rowayton 2.C by a score of 3-1 (their only loss being a default) to join the 2 Wilton Y teams in first place. Division 2 is always highly competitive and with 4 teams at 5-3, this race is far from over. With a record of 2-6, Town of New Canaan, on the other hand, will need to get their rumored new players on board soon if they are to avoid relegation.

Featured Match of the Week:
Stamford Italian Center 2.A v Stamford Yacht 2.A: Stamford Yacht will have a tough test on its hands this week if it is to remain in first place. Stamford Italian Center is one of the 4 teams in second place with a 5-3 record and can usually put together a strong lineup led by Bob Morse and Felix Yamasoto. A victory by either team could propel them to the Division 1 promotion, while a 2-2 split might leave both teams treading water given how competitive the division is.

Division 3
As expected, Wilton Riding Club and Patterson Club had tight match last week. At the one spot, WRC’s Rory Capener and Chris Fuentes won a tight 3-set match over Liz Cruz and Ed Boyle. Wilton Riding took another 3-set win at the 2 spot as well as a good win at the 4 spot for a well-deserved 3-1 victory to keep them atop the division. Meanwhile, Wee Burn 3.B swept struggling Rowayton 3.D to join Wilton Riding with a 7-1 record. At the other end of the division, Stamford Yacht will need to re-group after getting penalized for an illegal lineup in Week 1 and getting swept 4-0 by Tokeneke Club. Fortunately there are 11 weeks left in the season for SYC to overcome their 0-8 start.

Featured Match of the Week:
Darien CC 3.B vs Patterson 3.B: Assuming the normal rosters, the 1 match between Darien CC and Patterson should be exciting as Darien should have their assistant pro, Mark Innes, facing Patterson’s assistant pro, Liz Cruz. Liz has proven she is the equal of any male pro last week against WRD, so she will get another chance this week. Patterson and Darien CC are both 5-3 and both will need a victory if they want to keep close distance to the division leaders.

Division 4
The bullet trains of Aspetuck Valley CC and Darien Town continues to speed along. Darien Town swept Wilton Y 4.G 4-0 while only dropping 1 set in the process. Greenwich CC must have known what was coming as they forfeited the last 2 spots to allow Aspetuck Valley to easily gain the 4-0 victory. The Milbrook Club swept its match to improve its record to 6-2 and currently stands alone as the closest competitor to Aspetuck Valley and Darien. If things don’t change quickly, the 2 promotion spots could be settled fairly quickly in Division 4.

Featured Match of the Week:
Wee Burn 4.D vs New Canaan Field Club 4.C: Wee Burn and New Canaan FC both opened strong with 3-1 wins but could only manage 2-2 splits this past Sunday with Middlesex and Rowayton respectively. With both teams sporting 5-3 records, another split will probably just move them further behind the 2 D4 juggernauts. Even though it’s early in the season, given Darien and Aspetuck’s records, a victory is probably imperative for either squad to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Division 5
What a bunch of great matches in D5 last Sunday. The closest and probably craziest was Middlesex vs Wilton Riding Club. The two teams split 2-2 but all 4 matches went to 3 sets with Middlesex appropriately taking the middle 2 spots and Wilton taking the top and bottom. Rowayton meanwhile took a 4-0 victory over Roxbury but needed 3 sets at the top 3 spots which included 7-5 and 7-6 3rd set wins to do so. Similarly, New Canaan CC needed two 3-sets victories to sweep Stanwich. With the sweeps, Rowayton and New Canaan CC take the division lead along with Weston Field Club who beat Milbrook 3-1, with the sole loss a 3-setter of course. Two other matches (Lake vs Wilton Y and Darien CC vs Woodway CC) also had 3 of the 4 matches go 3 sets. Division 5 looks like it is shaping up to be a wild ride with any team capable of beating any team on any given day. Should be a fun division to watch this year with a ton of parity.

Featured Match of the Week:
New Canaan CC 5.C vs Wilton Riding Club 5.B: New Canaan CC will try to stay atop the division this week but faces a tough Wilton Riding Club who is 5-3 but could easily be higher. If last week is any indication, expect at least two 3-setters in this match and don’t be surprised if it’s actually four. Wilton Riding probably needs a victory a bit more than New Canaan CC but given the competitiveness of the division, no team looks to be out of it this early in the season.

Division 6
Division 6 continues to be full of haves and have not teams. Darien Town and Silver Spring sit atop the division with perfect 8-0 records, having swept Burning Tree and Roxbury respectively. Meanwhile, 4 other teams are just behind the leaders with 7-1 records. At the other end of the table, Burning Tree and Stamford Italian Center have yet to win a match, while 3 other teams sit at 1-7. If things remain this way, it will definitely create two interesting races for promotion and relegation as unlike Division 5 which seems to be very even across teams, Division 6 may be separating into two distinct parts.

Featured Matches of the Week:
Darien Town 6.D vs New Canaan FC 6.E AND Silver Spring CC 6.A vs Tokeneke 6.C: Yes, two featured matches this week in Division 6 as both feature an 8-0 team (Darien and Silver Spring) going against a 7-1 team (New Canaan FC and Tokeneke). This week should give some evidence whether race for promotion will be competitive amongst the top teams or if there truly are some juggernauts at the head of the pack.

Division 7
Belle Haven continued their strong debut with another 4-0 victory, this time over Stamford Yacht Club, and remains atop the division at 8-0. Brooklawn took a 3-1 win over Wilton Y and is tied for second at 7-1 with New Canaan Town. The other two new clubs to the FCPTL had more disappointing Sundays. Shorehaven Golf Club lost 3 of their matches in the 3rd set and eventually got swept by Darien Town. Meanwhile Innis Arden won the matches it played on the courts against Wee Burn but also defaulted the 3 and 4 spots to record a 2-2 split with Wee Burn.

Featured Match of the Week:
Darien Town 7.E vs Belle Haven 7.A: Belle Haven looks to be the class of Division 7 at this early point in the season. However, they face a tricky match up this week against Darien Town. Although only 4-4, Darien Town comes off a good 4-0 victory versus Shorehaven and if Belle Haven isn’t prepared, Darien could ride that momentum to a big upset.

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David Lee