It’s the second to last week in the FCPTL and it only makes sense that the divisions are coming down to the wires, given how well you need to play the wires in paddle tennis. While a small number of promotions and demotions have been secured, not a single division title has been decided and multiple teams are still vying to secure a top two finish or avoid a bottom two ending. Only Divisions 1-3 played last weekend, and the results did little to settle things. Now with only two matches to go, everything is on the line with many of the FCPTL teams.

As always, standings can be found here.

Division 1
For the first time all season, Wee Burn did not capture a victory. Playing last year’s champions, Rowayton 1.1, Wee Burn could only manage a 2-2 tie to break their 8-match winning streak. Second-place Wilton Y 1.2, meanwhile, took a 3-1 victory over Rowayton 1.2 and gained a point in the standings against Wee Burn. By closing the gap to four points, Wilton Y 1.2 now enters this week’s match against Wee Burn with a shot to overtake the front-runner for first place. At the other end of the standings, New Canaan CC faced Darien CC in a match that New Canaan CC needed to win if they were to pass Darien for the second relegation spot. It was a close fight that ended in a 2-2 tie which unfortunately for New Canaan CC keeps them three points behind the field for demotion with only 2 matches left.

Featured Match of the Week: Wee Burn vs Wilton Y 1.2. First place versus second place always merits Featured Match of the Week status. Wee Burn has been the front-runner all season and now only Wilton Y 1.2 realistically stands between Wee Burn and the Division 1 title. However, trailing by four points, Wilton Y 1.2 will need a sweep to pull ahead of the title. While Wilton Y 1.2 has shown considerable depth this year, Wee Burn has also yet to lose more than two points in any match and it’s hard to see them losing four at this point in the season.

Division 2
For the first time all year, Patterson Club no longer sits atop the Division 2 standings. Patterson faced Round Hill and split the match 2-2. The match was probably disheartening on both sides as Round Hill needed a victory to have a shot at promotion back to Division 1 while Patterson now sits behind Middlesex. Middlesex, meanwhile, swept a perennially tough Roxbury team 4-0. The number 1 team of Faycal Rhalzi/Michael Bennett who remained undefeated on their season paced Middlesex to their victory and their first place standing. At the bottom of the division, Stanwich managed a 2-2 tie with Wee Burn which pushes them two points ahead of Lake Club, who got swept by Stamford Italian Center, before their critical match this week.

Featured Match of the Week: Stamford Yacht vs Middlesex. Middlesex has been the surprise of Division 2 and needs to get through their final two matches unscathed to clinch the division banner. However, this week, they face a strong Stamford Yacht team who had just been in Division 1 last year. A win by Stamford Yacht would throw the Division 2 race into total confusion going into the last week. Middlesex will need their stalwarts of Rhalzi/Bennett to continue their fine play if they are to beat a team that features Mark McEnroe, Nick Bergman, Rick Swift, Gaynor Brennan, et al. On a side note, 10th place Stanwich plays 11th place Lake Club in a match that will most likely determine the second team to get relegated to Division 3.

Division 3
New Canaan FC had a chance to put a stranglehold on the division race yet could only manage a 2-2 tie with Wilton Y as Wilton’s Greg Fennessey and Ron Gayda took a 3-set victory over Jed Duncan/Bob Mylod. Meanwhile, Greenwich CC and Darien Town faced off in a battle of 2nd and 3rd place teams. Predictably, the match ended in a 2-2 tie with Greenwich taking the 3 and 4 matches in 3 sets to keep them only a point behind Darien in the race for the 2nd promotion spot. Thus, going into the final two matches, New Canaan FC holds a 2 and 3 point lead over Darien and Greenwich CC. In the race to avoid relegation, Wee Burn secured a key 3-1 victory over Rowayton 3.1 to jump ahead of Rowayton 3.1 and Burning Tree for the 2nd demotion spot.

Featured Match of the Week: Burning Tree CC vs Rowayton 3.1. Burning Tree currently sits in 11th place, the 2nd relegation spot. This week, they face 10th place Rowayton 3.1, who sits just two points ahead of them. Thus, Burning Tree will need a victory over Rowayton 3.1 if they are to avoid the move to Sunday play. Rowayton 3.1 can probably clinch their spot in D3 with a victory.

Division 4
Featured Match of the Week: Wilton Y vs Wilton Riding Club. Although another first-place versus second-place face-off, this match most likely has greater import on the 2nd promotion spot. Wilton Y has dominated Division 4 and looks like it will take the Division title as they currently sit with a 5-point lead and even a loss would still keep them in first place. Wilton Riding, however, stands only 1 point ahead of New Canaan Town 4.1 in the quest for Division 3 advancement. Wilton Riding Club will need to get all the points they can against Wilton Y if they are to remain ahead of New Canaan Town 4.1 who not only hold the tiebreaker over Wilton Riding but also face an easier match on paper versus 10th place Patterson Club.

Division 5
Featured Match of the Week: New Canaan FC vs New Canaan CC 5.1. When we get into the final weeks of the leagues, inevitably there are matches that can ultimately decide which team gets a promotion or relegation. In Division 5, New Canaan FC sits in the 11th place and looks demotion squarely in the face. They have a chance to avoid that fate this week when then play New Canaan CC 5.1 who is in 8th place only 3 points in front of them. A sweep by New Canaan FC would reverse their place, so expect them to come out firing. Add in the cross-town rivalry and one imagines that this match should be a barn-burner.

Division 6
Featured Match of the Week: Tokeneke vs Stamford Yacht Club. Another match with relegation consequences. Stamford Yacht sits 4 points ahead of Tokeneke for the last demotion place but a sweep by Tokeneke would reverse their positions. A tall task sits in front of Tokeneke but with the stakes at hand, one would expect them to put up their best fight.

Division 7
Featured Match of the Week: Wilton Y vs Weston FC. With Lake Club 7.1 holding a comfortable lead in the division, the race is really for the 2nd promotion spot. This week, 2nd place Weston FC takes on 3rd place Wilton Y in a match that most likely will determine who joins Lake Club 7.1 in Division 6 next year. With a 1-point lead, Weston FC only requires a split to stay ahead of Wilton Y, which faces the harder task of needing an outright victory. That said, a split would open the door for Wee Burn and Roxbury to be playing for promotion in the final week of the season.

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