FCPTL_LogoLike Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, most teams are still staying alive in the race for a division title or promotion with league play 40% of the way complete. On the other hand, a few teams need to get their moves on if they are to rise from the bottom and avoid the dreaded relegation to a lower division. Below are quick highlights from last week’s play and the Featured Match of the Week.

Division 1
Wilton Y remains on top of Division 1 with a solid 3-1 win over an always tough Rowayton 1.A. Rowayton got its only point at the 1 spot when Jared Palmer and Bill Pank defeated JP Johnson and Evan Paushter in 3 sets. Despite missing its top 4 players, Darien Town impressively rebounded from its loss to Milbrook to sweep New Canaan Field Club 4-0 and move to into 2nd place, 1 point behind Wilton Y. Milbrook could only split with Lake Club and now sits in 3rd place, 2 points in arrears. Meanwhile the relegation fight tightens each week. With the New Canaan Field Club loss and Woodway’s 3-1 win over Middlesex Club, Middlesex sits in last place with 6 points while New Canaan Field Club and Woodway are just a point ahead at 7. However, 4 other teams are within 2 points of the last relegation spot, so no team is breathing easy. On a final note: it was nice to see David Mueller finally notch at win for Country Club of Darien. Hopefully he won’t be so hard on himself now in reporting scores.

Featured Match of the Week:
Wilton Y 1.a vs Wee Burn 1.A: Last year, Wilton Y and Wee Burn battled to the final week to decide the Division1 title which Wilton Y eventually took. This year, Wee Burn has gotten off to a slow 10-10 start due to injuries and player absences. However, one would expect Wee Burn to be looking for some revenge against Wilton Y as well as win to get back in the hunt for the division title. However, it may be a tall order as Wilton Y’s depth is the best in the league.

Division 2
Stamford Yacht Club took a decisive 4-0 win over Wilton Y 2.C to vault into the lead in Division 2. Led by the 1 team of Mark McEnroe and Marc Powers, Stamford didn’t drop a set to improve their record to 15-5. Despite a 3-1 win over Tokeneke, Wilton Y 2.B dropped to 2nd place with a 14-6 record. New Canaan Town continued their impressive upswing with a 3-1 win over Wilton Y 2.D. While they are tied at 13-7 in third place with Round Hill and Wilton Y 2.D, New Canaan Town could eventually make it to the top if they are able to finally get Juan Arraya on the court for them. At the other end of the standings, New Canaan Field Club is lagging badly with a 2-18 record after being swept by the Round Hill Club and needs to make up 5 points at this point to avoid demotion. The race to avoid for the 2nd relegation spot looks to be fierce. While Burning Tree currently occupies that spot with a 6-14 record, they are still within 3 points of 5 other teams.

Featured Match of the Week:
Round Hill Club 2.A vs Wilton Y 2.D: Historically known for its strong teams, Round Hill Club has been fighting to return to Division 1 for several years. Currently Round Hill Club has a 13-7 record and is only 1 point out of 2nd place and 2 points from first, so this might be the year. This week, they face another 13-7 team, Wilton Y 2.D. A win for Round Hill would definitely help their cause, however a 10 am start and a far away venue might make it difficult for Round Hill to get their best lineup out to play.

Division 3
First-place played second-place last week and predictably, it ended in a 2-2 tie between Wilton Riding Club 3.A and Wee Burn 3.C, although Wee Burn got a break when the 4 match was defaulted to them. Wilton Riding still remains the class of the division with a 17-3 record, while Wee Burn 3.C is second at 15-5. Lake Club 3.B re-inserted itself into division title and promotion contention with a 4-0 sweep over Stamford Yacht 3.B that was not as easy as it looked as 2 of the matches were won in 3 sets. Lake’s record now stands at 14-6. Unfortunately for Stamford Yacht, the sweep leaves them at the bottom of the division with a 4-16 mark. Rowayton 3.D got a much needed 3-1 win over New Canaan CC 3.D but that only leaves them a point ahead of Stamford Yacht and still 2 points from the safety zone.

Featured Match of the Week:
Darien CC 3.B vs Wee Burn 3.C: Wee Burn 3.C is a bit of the surprise team as they are currently the Wee Burn team contending for a title and not Wee Burn 3.B. This week, Wee Burn 3.C faces a tough intra-town rival, Darien CC 3.B whose record is a solid 12-8. The match should prove to be a good barometer for Wee Burn 3.C’s chances to advance to Division 2. However, Darien CC will be looking for a win to enhance their promotion chances.

Division 4
Aspetuck Valley 4.A got back to its winning ways with a 4-0 sweep over Round Hill 4.B, and sits atop the division with a 17-3 record. In what was the match of the division, Darien Town 4.B was unable to keep pace with Aspetuck Valley as they tied New Canaan Town 4.B in a ridiculously tight match. New Canaan Town took the first 2 lines in 3 sets as Gil Rotchford/Mark Grzymski defeated Brad Mahaney/Jon Perkins 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 at the 1 spot while Mike Devito/Charles Goodwin beat Ben Adams/Rory Callagy 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 at the 2 spot. Darien took their own 3 setter at the spot when James Hansford/Simon Little took down Bill Dial and Chris Reed. Darien took the 4 match in straight sets for the split. Darien Town now trails Aspetuck by 2 points with a 15-5 record. At the bottom of the division, it currently looks like a 3 team race for the 2 demotion spots. Wilton Y 4.G fell to Middlesex 4.C 3-1 and sits in last at 3-17. Lake 4.C and Greenwich CC 4.B also both lost 3-1 to Milbrook and New Canaan FC and sit in 2nd and 3rd to last with 5-15 and 6-14 records.

Featured Match of the Week:
New Canaan Field Club 4.C vs Middlesex Club 4.C: While Aspetuck and Darien Town appear to be taking a quick early lead in the division, New Canaan Field Club 4.C and Middlesex Club are lurking in the wings with records of 13-7 and 11-9. The two clubs face off this week and will be looking for a decisive win to see if they can close the gap to the top two front-runners.

Division 5
Division 5 remains a topsy-turvy field with landmines everywhere. Anything can happen each week and Week 5 was no exception. Weston Field Club 5.A had been cruising at the top of the standings but faced a Stanwich team that brought out some of their big guns. The result was a 3-1 victory for Stanwich that has totally bunched the standings. Weston Field Club remains in first at 14-6, but is now tied with Rowayton 5.F who managed to win all 3 matches that went to 3 sets against Darien CC 5.C for a 3-1 victory. New Canaan CC 5.C, who split with Middlesex 5.D is in 2nd place with 13 points, whle Stanwich has risen to 3rd place in a tie with Woodway CC 5.C at 12 poins. With only 8 points separating the top team from the bottom team, Division 5 is clearly the tightest and most competitive FCPTL group.

Featured Match of the Week:
New Canaan CC 5.C vs Woodway 5.C: New Canaan CC is in 2nd place, 1 point out of first. Woodway CC is in 3rd place, just 2 points out of first. A win by either team could vault the victor to the top of the standings. The only safe prediction is probably that this match will feature a number of 3 set matches and be very close.

Division 6
Darien Town 6.D continues to dominate Division 6. Darien Town posted an easy 4-0 victory over Lake Club 6.E and remains one of only 2 unbeaten teams in any division of the FCPTL with a perfect 20-0 record. With the sweep, Darien Town has opened a 3 point lead over Silver Spring CC 6.A, who split with Patterson Club 6.C in a match that featured three 3-set matches. Aspetuck Valley 6.B took a 3-1 win over Middlesex 6.E and now only trails Silver Spring for the 2nd promotion spot by 1 point. At the bottom of the standings, several teams are bunched together in the dreaded relegation zone. After a 3-1 loss to Lake Club 6.F, Burning Tree 6.B is in last with only 2 points. Middlesex 6.E occupies the other demotion place with 3 points. However, 3 other teams have 6 or fewer points (Lake Club 6.E, Wee Burn 6.E and Roxbury 6.D), so there is plenty of time for Burning Tree and Middlesex to climb out of the basement.

Featured Matches of the Week:
Darien Town 6.D vs Burning Tree 6.B: It’s a bit unusual to choose a first place team versus a last place team as the featured match. However, this could be do-or-die for Burning Tree. Darien will be motivated to keep their unbeaten streak alive, so another 0-4 loss for Burning Tree could make their hole too deep to get out of for relegation. That motivation can sometimes lead to surprising results especially if Darien Town takes this match lightly.

Division 7
Belle Haven Club 7.A must be following the lead of their new paddle pro, Marco Grangeiro whose recent tournament success has pushed him into the top 5 of the APTA rankings. Belle Haven took another 4-0 sweep – this time over Woodway CC 7.D – to keep their record a perfect 20-0 and join Darien Town 6.D as the other unbeaten team in the FCPTL. But Belle Haven hardly has any breathing room at the top. It looks like 4 teams will be battling for the 2 promotion spots. Brooklawn CC 7.A took a 3-1 victory over Shorehaven 7.A to take 2nd place with a 16-4 record. Innis Arden 7.A blitzed Wilton Y 7.I 4-0 and while they have 14 points, they trail Belle Haven by only 2 in the loss column as they have had their bye week already. New Canaan Town 7.C was on bye this past week but is firmly in the mix with a 13-3 record.

Featured Match of the Week:
Belle Haven 7.A vs Brooklawn 7.A: First place versus second place. Need we say more.

Falatek-Najdek Take Delaware Nationals
FCPTL Week 6 - Halfway Home

David Lee