FCPTL team captains were anxiously monitoring the weather forecasts in the days leading up to the Week 2 matches. An unusual October snowstorm was in the making and it would be touch and go whether the Saturday and Sunday matches would get played. Fortunately, the Saturday Division 1-3 matches were completed just ahead of the storm. Unfortunately, though paddle is usually played in all types of weather, nor’easter took out much of the power in southern Connecticut and forced the cancellation of many of the Sunday Division 4-7 matches. Below is a quick recap of some of the big matches that were played and a preview of some of the key matches for Week 3. As always, current standings can be found here.

Division 1

Many eyes were turned to Rowayton where last year’s #1 (Rowayton 1.1) and #2 (New Canaan Field Club) teams were squaring off in an early-season grudge match. In addition, the 1 match featured two of the league’s best players, Jared Palmer (Rowayton) and Brad Easterbrook (NCFC). The match, not surprisingly, was a nail-biter with Easterbrook and Hardy Manges prevailing in 2 tiebreakers over Palmer and Billy Pank. New Canaan also managed to take the 3 and 4 matches in equally close 3-setters to seal a 3-1 victory and take an early leg up in the division standings. Wee Burn CC swept Milbrook and thus pace with New Canaan FC atop the league standings. Meanwhile, D1 newcomer, Darien Town, continued their inaugural season with an impressive 3-1 victory over a strong Wilton Y 1.2 team.

Featured Match of Week 3: New Canaan FC vs Wee Burn. Another critical early-season match which pits the two current division leaders against each other. It is believed that neither Easterbrook or Sebastian Bredberg, Wee Burn’s paddle professional, are making the trip to Chicago for the Charities tournament, so the 1 match should be another tight, exciting contest. The match could go either way, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the two teams split the 4 points.

Division 2

Patterson Club continued its undefeated ways with a 4-0 sweep over Lake Club. Based on early results, it’s starting to look like the rest of the division will be fighting it out for the 1 remaining promotion spot. It’s still early and much could change but for now, watch out for Patterson. Round Hill Club posted a sweep over Wilton Y to move into a second place tie with Stamford Italian Center, who defeated Tokeneke Club 3-1. However, as expected this division remains tight with 6 teams within 2 points of each other for 2nd place.

Featured Match of Week 3: Middlesex Club versus Round Hill. Middlesex’s #1 team of Faycal Rhazali and Michael Bennet come off a nice win last week versus Woodway. With continued performance at the top, Middlesex could be the surprise of the division. This week will be a good test for Middlesex as they face 2nd place Round Hill, who are always capable of rolling out a deep lineup.

Division 3

Division 3 has started off as the most competitive one in terms of league standings. Four teams are currently tied for first with a 6-2 record. Town of Darien took the top 3 matches in defeating Burning Tree 3-1 as they continue their quest to return to Division 2. New Canaan Field Club swept Rowayton 3.1 in a match tighter than the final score to move into the first place tie with Darien, along with Wilton Y and New Canaan Country Club.

Featured Match of Week 3: New Canaan CC vs Wilton Y. A match-up of two of the 4 first place teams. Last year, New Canaan CC managed a 3-1 victory of Wilton Y but the results could have been different with a few breaks. The match will probably come down to which club has the better depth in their lineups.

Division 4 – 7

More than half the Sunday Division 4-7 matches were postponed due to weather. The most significant result among the D4-7 matches that were played was the D6 Aspetuck Valley CC versus Darien CC. While Darien CC lost the match to Aspetuck, Darien’s #3 team of McCluty-O’Brian managed to win their point and finally end Aspectuck’s win streak at 51 matches – a streak that is unlikely to be matched anytime soon. Meanwhile, Town of Darien’s Division 6 team took a 4-0 sweep over Tokeneke and has moved ahead of Aspetuck in the Division 6 standings. The showdown between these two teams is scheduled for December 18th, giving both teams plenty of time to get into form for the match.

Division 4

Featured Match of Week 3: Wilton Riding Club vs Middlesex. A win by either club could propel them to the top of the standings and eventual promotion; however, home court advantage for Wilton Riding Club and the motivation of trying to regain promotion might spell the difference in this match.

Division 5

Featured Match of Week 3: Rowayton vs New Canaan CC 5.1. New Canaan finished 3rd last year and just missed out on promotion. Rowayton was promoted from Division 6 and looks to continue their climb up the division ladder. As this is the first-ever meeting between the two teams, the match could go either way.

Division 6

Featured Match of Week 3: Middlesex vs Milbrook. While Aspetuck Valley CC and Darien Town appear to be the front-runners for promotion thus far, the winner of this match can at least stake a claim to get involved in the race.

Division 7

Featured Match of Week 3: Lake Club 7.1 vs Weston Field Club. Two undefeated teams. ‘Nuff said.

Shore CURE honored their rain or shine commitment
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David Lee