FCPTL_Week_5Last week had many teams in the FCPTL wondering if week 7 would be their lucky number. With the season crossing the halfway mark, teams are furiously trying to get points to move up or avoid moving down. Of course, luck never hurts either – whether it’s an upset from a close competitor or a let-cord winner on break point. Below is a recap of the play from matches last week and the Featured Match of the Week for this weekend’s play. After this week, the FCPTL will be off until the new year. Happy Holidays.

Division 1
At this point, Wilton Y looks like they will run away with the Division 1 title. Blessed with great depth, Wilton Y swept Darien CC last week 4-0 which also meant that Darien’s Dave Mueller saw his two-game winning streak snapped. Darien Town had only trailed Wilton Y by 2 points prior to the weekend, but unluckily was missing three of its top players when it faced Wee Burn CC. The result was a 4-0 defeat. Neither Greenwich Field Club nor Milbrook could keep pace with Wilton Y either as GFC split with Rowayton 1.B and Milbrook lost 3-1 to New Canaan. With a 6 point lead over Darien Town, Milbrook and Greenwich Field Club, Wilton Y looks to have firm control over the division especially as they have played most of the top teams in D1. On the other hand, the bottom of the standings are getting congested. Middlesex and Lake Club currently occupy the 2 demotion spots; however, only 5 points separate the bottom 8 teams.

Featured Match of the Week:
Middlesex 1.A vs Rowayton 1.B: With the race for the division title looking like a one-team race, the race to avoid demotion is getting tight. This week, Middlesex, who is in last place with 9 points, faces off against Rowayton Paddle 1.B who is just above the demotion line but only 2 points ahead of Middlesex. Middlesex will be looking hard for a win to get them out of the danger zone, while Rowayton will be looking to add some distance between them and Division 2.

Division 2
The race at the top of Division 2 remains extremely close. New Canaan Town, Stamford Yacht and Wilton Y 2.B are tied in first place with 19 points while Round Hill Club trails the triumvirate by 1 point. Of the four teams, only Wilton Y 2.B was able to get a victory when it took 2 3-setters to defeat Darien Town 2.B 3-1. New Canaan Town tied Stamford Italian Center 2-2 while Round Hill did the same with Roxbury. At the other end of the division, last-place New Canaan FC picked up 2 needed points, pulling a semi-upset in tying division leading Stamford Yacht 2-2, who seemed to be missing some key players. With the tie, New Canaan was able to make up some ground on Burning Tree CC and Greenwich CC, who lost 3-1 and 4-0 to Wilton Y 2.C and Tokeneke Club. Even so, New Canaan FC still trail Greenwich CC and Burning Tree CC by 3 and 4 points.

Featured Match of the Week:
Stamford Yacht 2.A vs Round Hill Club 2.A: Round Hill Club is just on the outside of first place, trailing Stamford Yacht, Wilton Y 2.B and New Canaan Town by 1 point. Round Hill will have a chance to break into the first place crowd with a match against Stamford Yacht this week. As always with these two teams, it will most likely come down to which team can get its best players to play.

Division 3
Co-leaders Wilton Riding Club and Lake Club faced off last week. While two teams entered the match riding different sides of momentum (Wilton Riding had just come off a tie and loss while Lake had won their last 3 matches), it made no difference once the balls were in the air. Wilton Riding Club took a hard-fought 3-1 victory, clinched John McReynolds and Mark Rice winning the 4 match 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. With 21 points, Wilton Riding now reclaims sole possession of first place, one ahead of Patterson Club which defeated Tokeneke 4-0. At 19 points, Lake Club is tied for third place with Wee Burn 3.C who took down Middlesex 3-1 in a close duel that saw 3 of the 4 matches go 3 sets. In the relegation zone, 3 teams are tied for last place with 9 points: Rowayton, Roxbury and Stamford Yacht. Just above them is Wee Burn 3.B. With only two teams getting demoted to Division 4, these 4 teams will be scoreboard watching for sure the rest of the season.

Featured Match of the Week:
Patterson Club 3.B vs Wee Burn 3.C: A second-place versus third-place match with only 6 weeks left should have great impact on the Division 3 race. Patterson enters the match in slightly better form, going 3-0-1 in their last 4 matches. They also will have the home court advantage. However, Wee Burn has one of the deepest platform tennis programs around, so expect this to be a tight match.

Division 4
Aspetuck Valley 4.A finds themselves in a familiar position: first place. But the ride has not been as easy as it was in the lower divisions. This past Sunday, Wilton Y 4.F managed to gain a split with Aspetuck by taking the bottom two matches. Consequently, co-second and place teams, Darien Town 4.C and New Canaan Field Club 4.C were able to make up a little ground on Aspetuck for the division lead. Darien Town defeated Wee Burn CC 3-1, while New Canaan FC took a 4-0 victory over Wilton Y 4.G, although they needed to squeak out 2 3-setters in the process. However, Aspetuck still holds a 3-point lead over Darien Town and New Canaan FC. At the other end of the spectrum, Wilton Y 4.G’s defeat puts them firmly in last place with 5 points, 4 shy of their next 2 competitors, Lake Club 4.C and Greenwich CC 4.B. Lake and Greenwich CC each have 9 points and look to be battling it out for the last relegation spot.

Featured Match of the Week:
Aspetuck Valley CC 4.A vs Darien Town 4.C: As everyone should know by now, a first-place versus second place match will always get Featured Match of the Week. However, this match should be a doozy. These two teams know each other all too well. Aspetuck and Darien Town joined the FCPTL together four years ago and have worked their way up from Division 7 to Division 4 in tandem. However, Aspetuck has always managed to grab the division title banner. A win by Darien Town might finally reverse the previous years’ results, so expect this to be a fight to the finish.

Division 5
As noted in previous posts, Division 5 is crazy, close and competitive. Every week is a roller-coaster ride and highlights why platform tennis is so much fun. First-place Weston Field Club 5.A faced off against middle-of-the-pack Darien CC 5.C. The result: a wild 2-2 tie. While Weston FC easily took the 1 spot, the other three matches all went the distance. The highlight match was the 3 line, where Weston took the point to tie the match 6-7 (22-24), 6-4, 6-4. Yes a 46 point tiebreaker. Fortunately for Weston FC, they did not lose any ground in the standings as 2nd and 3rd place, Rowayton 5.F and New Canaan CC 5.C faced off and predictably split 2-2, in a match where 2 of the lines went 3 sets. So Weston FC leads with 20 points followed by Rowayton with 19 and New Canaan CC with 18. Milbrook got swept 4-0 and now sits at the bottom of the standings with 9 points. However, they are within 5 points of the next 7 teams, and given how Division 5 has played out, nothing will probably be decided for demotions until the last week.

Featured Match of the Week:
Rowayton 5.F vs Woodway CC 5.C: It’s very tight at the top of the standings for Division 5. With title contenders, Weston FC and New Canaan CC, looking to have easier matches this week, at least on paper, 2nd-place Rowayton looks to have the tougher match versus 5th place Woodway CC. Rowayton will most likely need a win if they hope to keep pace with the other leaders in Division 5.

Division 6
The list of undefeated teams shrunk by one this past week, when Darien Town 6.D saw its unblemished record get tarnished after a 2-2 tied with Tokeneke 6.C. Darien lost both the 3 and 4 matches in third-set tiebreakers for their first match losses of the year. Darien remains in first place with 26 points; however, Silver Spring CC 6.A swept Lake 6.F to pull within one point of Darien Town. Aspetuck Valley 6.B also swept Burning Tree 6.B to pull within 3 points of Darien Town and really tighten the title race. With the sweep, Burning Tree remains mired in last place with only 2 points. Just above them are Middlesex 6.E and Wee Burn 6.E with 5 and 6 points. It currently appears that these 3 teams will be battling it out for the 2 relegation spots.

Featured Matches of the Week:
Darien Town 6.D vs Silver Spring 6.A: Our third first-place versus second-place match of the week. Silver Spring enters the match with the better momentum and the home court advantage. When the two teams played last year, Silver Spring dominated with a 4-0 sweep. Something says that it will be much closer this year.

Division 7
Belle Haven Club 7.A kept its record unblemished and remains the only team with a single match loss. However, that’s because they were on bye last week. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams all kept pace with Belle Haven and each other this week. Innis Arden 7.A ran their unbeaten streak to 20 matches with a 4-0 sweep over Silver Spring 7.B and now trails Belle Haven by only 2 points. New Canaan Town 7.C also swept Wilton Y 7.I to stay within 3 points of Belle Haven. Finally Brooklawn CC 7.A swept Wee Burn 7.F and trails Belle Haven by only 4 points.

Featured Match of the Week:
Belle Haven 7.A vs Wilton Riding Club 7.C. Belle Haven returns from its bye week as the only team without a match lose on its record. Belle Haven will look to maintain their spotless record against Wilton Riding Club but will have to make the long trip there to do so. Long road matches often lead to tired or missing players, so Belle Haven will have to stay sharp if they hope to stay undefeated.

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