FCPTL_LogoThe break in action for the Thanksgiving holidays marks the halfway point of the season for the FCPTL. As we roll into the second half, it’s getting to be make or break time for teams looking to either win the division or avoid demotion. There will be 2 more matches in December before a break for the holidays and then we hit the homestretch. As always the play has been very competitive with a few surprise results every week. Below is a recap of the play from matches prior to the Thanksgiving break and the Featured Match of the Week for this weekend’s play.

Division 1
Wilton Y continues to set the pace in Division 1 and defeated the always tough Wee Burn squad 3-1 with Wee Burn’s only win coming at the 2 spot with the return of pro Sebbe Bredberg, who partnered with Boie Bogardus, for the win. Wilton Y currently is 2 points ahead of Darien Town, who split with Rowayton 1.A. Darien CC managed to win all 3 matches that went to 3 sets and secured a sweep over Rowayton 1.B. Likewise, Lake Club was failed to secure a point versus New Canaan FC. Rowayton 1.B and Lake now find themselves among the bottom four teams (along with Middlesex and Woodway CC) for the 2 demotion spots.

Featured Match of the Week:
Wilton Y 1.A vs Darien CC 1.A: Wilton Y continues to stay atop the division and has yet to lose a match. After a slow start, Darien CC has climbed to 4th place in the standings. Led by rejuvenated captain, David Mueller, who personally sports a lengthy two-game winning streak, Darien CC will face its stiffest challenge this week as they face Wilton Y. If Darien CC has its pro, Karl Levanat, in the lineup, they could possibly take the top 2 spots and maybe pull off the upset with a split at the 3 and 4 lines. An upset may be necessary if any other team is to have a chance to catch Wilton Y in the standings.

Division 2
There’s new team co-leading the Division 2 standings. New Canaan Town took all 4 lines against Rowayton to climb into a first place tie with Stamford Yacht who could only manage a split with Darien Town. While New Canaan Town and Stamford Yacht are in first with 17 points, Round Hill and Wilton Y 2.B trail closely behind with 16 points. Round Hill took a 3-1 win over Wilton Y 2.D, when John Old and his not-old partner, middle-schooler Eliot Spizzirri, took the deciding point in 3 sets at the 3 position over Wilton Y’s Jeff Sussman and Phil Penny. Meanwhile, Wilton Y 2.B could only manage a split with their brethen team, Wilton 2.C. New Canaan Field Club continues to lag the field with only 3 points after a 3-1 loss to Roxbury and needs to make up significant ground if they are to avoid relegation. Meanwhile, Greenwich CC, Rowayton and Burning Tree CC look to be fighting off the 2nd relegation spot with 9, 8 and 7 points respectively.

Featured Match of the Week:
New Canaan Town 2.A vs Stamford Italian Center 2.A: There is probably no hotter team in the FCPTL than New Canaan Town 2.A. Boosted by the additions of Jim Lipinski and Roxy Enica, New Canaan Town has won its last 4 matches by a combined 15-1 score. This week, they will try to protect their co-first place standing against a tough fourth-place Stamford Italian Center squad. Stamford Italian Center has some talented racquet players and can win any match with the right lineup. Unfortunately New Canaan Town once again will not have Juan Arraya again this weekend as he will be playing the Long Island Invitational, but that hasn’t really been a problem for this team. However, if Enica makes the finals of the Long Island Invitational, her availability might be an issue which would really hurt New Canaan.

Division 3
Platform tennis is truly a sport where anything can happen. Wilton Riding Club had been comfortably atop the Division 3 standings going into its match with Wilton Y 3.E, a team with a sub-.500 record. Wilton Y came ready to play as they defeated Wilton Riding Club 3-1, with Wilton Riding Club needing a three-set win at the 1 spot to get their only point. On the flip side, Lake Club managed to win all three of the 3-set matches to take a closer-than-it-looked 4-0 sweep versus Wee Burn 3.B. Lake Club is now tied atop the division with Wilton Riding Club with 18 points. Trailing both clubs by only 2 points are Patterson and Wee Burn 3.C. However, while Patterson defeated Roxbury 3-1, Wee Burn 3.C suffered a tough 3-1 loss to Darien CC. Three teams, Stamford Yacht, Rowayton and Wee Burn 3.B, are currently tied at the bottom of the standings with 7 points. However, Roxbury and Woodway CC are only 1 and 2 points ahead of them, so the fight to avoid demotion looks like it will be a fierce one for the rest of the season.

Featured Match of the Week:
Wilton Riding Club 3.A vs Lake 3.B: When the division co-leaders are facing off, it will inevitably be a Featured Match. However, the two teams come in riding different sides of momentum. After an early strong start where Wilton Riding looked like they would run away with the division, Wilton Riding has tied and lost its last 2 matches. Lake Club, on the other hand, has won its last 3 matches to catch Wilton Riding in the standings. Hopefully Lake Club won’t have too many players pulled up to their Division 1 team this week. If not, expect a very tight match.

Division 4
Aspetuck Valley 4.A continued its winning ways with a 4-0 sweep over Stamford Italian Center and maintained its position in first place with a 21-3 record. Second place Darien Town could not keep pace after splitting 2-2 with a reinforced Rowayton club and now trails Aspetuck by 4 points. Of more significance, Darien Town now only holds the second promotion spot by 1 point over New Canaan Field Club, which beat Middlesex 3-1 and might have had the sweep had they not forfeited the 4 line. Wilton Y 4.G managed to pick up some needed points in their 2-2 split with Milbrook. But they still trail the division with only 5 points and failed to make up ground on the two teams ahead of them, Lake Club and Greenwich CC, which also both split their last matches.

Featured Match of the Week:
Greenwich CC 4.B vs Stamford Italian Center 4.B: Greenwich CC currently only sits 1 point ahead of Lake Club for the last demotion spot. Stamford Italian Center is only 2 points ahead of Greenwich CC. A loss by either team could put them into the relegation zone, so you can expect both teams to come out strong.

Division 5
After weeks of anything-goes results, it appears that the division might finally be getting some separation among its leaders. Weston Field Club rebounded from their first loss with a strong 4-0 victory over Wilton Riding Club to maintain its first place position with 18 points. Rowayton 5.F took a 3-1 win over Middlesex and sits in 2nd place one point behind Weston FC. New Canaan CC likewise won 3-1 over a tough Woodway team and now sits in 3rd place with 16 points. Things at the bottom of the division remain bunched. Only 4 points separate the bottom 9 teams. While New Canaan FC is in last with 8 points, there are 3 teams with 9 points and 2 with 10 points, so predicting anything at this point would be moot.

Featured Match of the Week:
Rowayton 5.F vs New Canaan CC 5.C: 2nd place New Canaan CC faces off against 3rd place Rowayton. Only 1 point separates the 2 teams and both closely trail division-leading Weston FC. To say that this match should have huge impact on the final standings is an understatement as both a division title and promotion spot are at stake here. A win would give either team the upper hand and keep them in contention for the title banner with Weston FC. A tie would not be devastating but would bring the rest of the pack closer for the 2nd promotion spot.

Division 6
Darien Town 6.D maintained its perfect record with a relatively easy 4-0 win over Burning Tree. With a 24-0 mark, Darien Town would appear to be comfortable atop the division, however, Silver Spring CC kept pace with their 4-0 sweep of New Canaan CC. Silver Spring trails Darien by only 3 points with the two clubs set to face off on December 15. With 19 points, Aspetuck Valley CC is trying to stay in the mix but despite their 3-1 victory over Lake Club, they actually lost ground to the 2 front-runners. Burning Tree CC and Middlesex currently occupy the 2 demotion spots. With only 2 points, Burning Tree may have a tough time climbing out of the relegation zone. While Middlesex only has 4 points, they are within 2 and 3 points of the three teams in front of them.

Featured Matches of the Week:
Darien Town 6.D vs Tokeneke 6.D: Darien Town will be looking to keep their unbeaten streak alive against Tokeneke. Although in 5th place, Tokeneke has a very strong 16-8 record and if Darien is rusty coming back from the Thanksgiving holidays, Tokeneke can definitely pull off the victory.

Division 7
Belle Haven Club kept its record unblemished against Brooklawn CC but it wasn’t easy. Belle Haven needed to win a 3-setter at the two spot while the 3 line was a tight 7-5, 7-6 victory. At 24-0, Belle Haven’s divisional lead is surprisingly slim. Innis Arden and New Canaan Town both swept their opponents, Darien Town and Wilton Riding Club, and trail Belle Haven by only 2 and 3 points in the loss column. Belle Haven is on bye this week, so we will see if Innis Arden and New Canaan Town can make up ground in the win column.

Featured Match of the Week:
New Canaan Town 7.C vs Wilton Y 7.I. Fortunately in Division 7, there are no relegation spots to worry about. So the critical matches revolve around the race for promotion to Division 6. New Canaan Town is currently 1 point behind Innis Arden for the second promotion spot so each match is critical for them at this moment. While Wilton Y 7.I is the club’s 9th team (!) in the league, Wilton Y is known for their strong deep program. New Canaan will need to play well if they hope to stay in the hunt for division promotion.

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David Lee