FCPTL_LogoWith only 4 weeks to go in the FCPTL, it’s becoming crunch time for most of the teams. At stake are division titles, promotion to the next division or worse, demotion to the lower division. The recent bout of cold weather only makes the challenge heightened. Below is a recap of the play from matches last week and the Featured Match of the Week for this weekend’s play.

Division 1

Wilton Y 1.A continued its march to the Division 1 title with a 4-0 sweep of Middlesex Club 1.A. The sweep gives Wilton Y 29 points, and a comfortable 7 point lead over Darien Town 1.A and the Milbrook Club 1.A. The sweep was damaging to Middlesex as it puts them firmly in last place with only 9 points and a full 6 points below the relegation line. In a battle with demotion implications, Lake Club 1.A and Darien CC 1.A fought to a 2-2 split. Darien CC not only stays 2 points ahead of Lake Club but also picks up the crucial tiebreaker by taking the 3 match to a 3rd set. Lake now occupies the 2nd demotion spot with 14 points, however, they only trail Woodway CC 1.A by 1 point and do hold the tiebreaker over Woodway, so it is far from settled for the 2nd relegation spot.

Featured Match of the Week:
Lake Club 1.A vs Patterson 1.A: Lake Club has another chance to get into the safety zone and avoid demotion when they face off versus Patterson Club this week. While Lake Club will need a sweep to pass Patterson Club, at a minimum they will be looking for a victory to gain ground on the other teams ahead of them. While Patterson will be shooting for a victory, just picking any points should help secure their spot in D1 for next year..

Division 2

As is usually the case, Division 2 goes into the homestretch with a bunch of teams in the running for the division title and promotion to Division 1. 8 teams are within 6 points of each other with 4 matches to go. The tightness of the Division 2 race was evident in the Wilton Y 2.B’s thrilling 3-1 win over Round Hill Club. All 4 lines went 3 sets with Wilton Y 2.B taking the 1, 2 and 4 spots. The win makes Wilton Y 2.B co-leader in the division with 25 points, while Round Hill is now in 5th place with 20 points. Stamford Yacht 2.A is the other co-leader after their 3-1 win over Roxbury 2.A – only Roxbury’s 3-set win at the 4 spot prevented Stamford Yacht from taking a sweep and sole possession of first place. Wilton Y 2.C took a surprising 4-0 sweep against New Canaan Town 2.A, which had been the hottest team in recent weeks but unfortunately were without the services of their top 2 players, Jim Lipinsky and Roxy Enica, who were playing the Connecticut State Mixed Championships. Wilton Y 2.C now vaults 3rd place with 23 points while New Canaan Town is right behind with 22 points. At the bottom of the standings, New Canaan Field Club 2.B (7 points) faces a steep climb if they want to get out of last place after their 3-1 loss to Burning Tree CC 2.A (13 points). Burning Tree used the victory to climb into the safety zone past Rowayton 2.C (12 points) and Greenwich CC 2.A (11 points) both of whom suffered 3-1 losses.

Featured Match of the Week:
New Canaan Town 2.A vs Roxbury 2.A: New Canaan Town needs to rebound from its tough loss if they want to remain in the title and promotion hunt. However, they will have a tough challenge with Roxbury, who currently sit in 6th place with 19 points. It is especially important for New Canaan Town to pick up a win as the two co-leaders, Stamford Yacht and Wilton Y 2.B appear to have easy matches this week, at least on paper.

Division 3

Captain Paul Harding has been doing a fine job guiding the Wee Burn 3.C team. After beating Roxbury 3.B by a score of 3-1, Wee Burn 3.C is currently tied with Wilton Riding Club 3.A for first place with 26 points. Wilton Riding Club had been in sole possession of first, but could only manage a 2-2 against Rowayton 3.D. More importantly for Wee Burn 3.B, they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Wilton Riding Club. Patterson Club 3.B (23 points), Lake Club 3.B (22 points), Darien CC 3.B (22 points) remain in the hunt for promotion but will need to use these last 4 weeks to make up some ground. The race to avoid demotion is tightly contested. While Roxbury, after its loss to Wee Burn 3.C, sits in last place with 12 points, it only trails Woodway CC 3.B and Wee Burn 3.B by 1 point. Rowayton, New Canaan CC 3.B and Stamford Yacht 3.B only have 14 points and are by no means safe.

Featured Match of the Week:
Lake Club 3.B vs Wee Burn 3.C and Wilton Riding Club 3.A vs Darien CC 3.B: It was hard to chose between these 2 matches as both feature a first-place team facing off against a 3rd-place team. Wins by Wee Burn 3.C and Wilton Riding Club could provide just the gap needed to secure promotion to Division 2. Losses by both would totally throw the top of the division into a free-for-all.

Division 4

Aspetuck Valley 4.A suffered their first team loss since entering the FCPTL 4 years ago. Wee Burn CC 4.D managed to defeat Aspetuck 3-1 when Wee Burn’s Charlie Adams and Dom Napolitano took a third-set tiebreaker at the 3 spot to clinch the win. Darien Town 4.C took advantage of Aspetuck’s results and swept Stamford Italian Center 4.B to move into a tie for first place with 26 points each. If the two teams finish the season tied, the division title might be decided by a coin-flip as the two teams have the same sets and games won for the tiebreaker. New Canaan Field Club 4.C lost an opportunity to join the co-leaders after a 3-1 loss to 4th place Milbrook. However, New Canaan is still in contention with 24 points, while Milbrook lurks with 22. At the other end of the standings, a 4-0 loss by Wilton Y 4.G to brethen team, Wilton Y 4.F may have sealed their move to Division 5 as they sit with only 5 points. Greenwich CC 4.B managed to pull ahead of Lake 4.C by 2 points in the race to avoid demotion by splitting their match with Rowayton Paddle 4.E while Lake was swept by Round Hill 4.B.

Featured Match of the Week:
Greenwich CC 4.B vs Lake Club 4.C: Lake currently occupies the 2nd relegation spot to Division 5. Greenwich CC is only 2 points ahead of Lake. The loser of this match will move to the danger zone while the winner can breathe easy at least for 1 week.

Division 5

Weston Field Club 5.A defeated Wilton Y 5.H 3-1 to maintain their first place position with 27 points. In the wildest and craziest match of the day, 2nd place Rowayton 5.F only managed to take a split with last place Milbrook 5.C, in a showdown that saw all 4 matches go to 3 sets. With the tie, Rowayton trails Weston Field Club by 2 points, but more importantly maintains a 3 point lead over Stanwich Club 5.A for the 2nd promotion spot. Although Milbrook managed a tough split against the 2nd place team, they still remain in the basement with only 11 points and will need a strong finish to avoid demotion. The 2nd demotion spot is currently a tie among 4 teams with 15 points (Roxbury 5.C, Middlesex 5.D, Stamford Yacht 5.C and Wilton Riding 5.B) and the ultimate fate of the relegation team will probably be decided by a tiebreaker.

Featured Match of the Week:
Weston Field Club 5.A vs Rowayton 5.F: First place versus second place. Not much more to be said.

Division 6

Darien Town 6.D maintained firm control of first place with a dominant 4-0 win over Patterson Club 6.C. With 33 points, Darien Town has a 5 point lead over Silver Spring CC 6.A and Aspetuck Valley CC 6.B, after the latter 2 teams split their match 2-2. Unfortunately a forfeit at the 4 spot by Silver Spring gives Aspetuck the head-to-head tiebreaker, which may be crucial for the 2nd promotion spot. Even after their loss, Patterson still has a chance for promotion with 24 points, just 4 behind Silver Spring and Aspetuck. In the relegation race, Burning Tree CC 6.B’s 4-0 loss to Roxbury puts them in last place with only 4 points and their chances of not being demoted do not look good. Wee Burn CC 6.E and Middlesex 6.E are battling out to avoid the 2nd relegation spot. The two teams faced off last week and split 2-2, which gives Middlesex a 1 point lead over Wee Burn. They also now own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Featured Matches of the Week:
Middlesex 6.E vs Lake Club 6.E: While Middlesex is only 1 point above the danger zone, Lake Club 6.E is only 3 points. Middlesex could get some additional breathing room with a victory over Lake Club 6.E, while a loss could put Middlesex below Wee Burn. While Lake 6.E has a little cushion, they surely would like to get some more.

Division 7

Division 7 looks to turning into a two-team race between Belle Haven 7.A and Innis Arden 7.A. Both teams did not lose a match last week although Belle Haven did not complete its fourth match yet. Belle Haven now leads Innis Arden 31 points to 30. The two teams don’t face off until the final weekend, which looks like it will be a winner-take-all match. Stay tuned.

Featured Match of the Week:
New Canaan Town 7.C vs Shorehaven 7.A. New Canaan Town currently is tied for 3rd place with 25 points. If they are to make any traction in catching Belle Haven or Innis Arden, they will probably need to sweep new entrant, Shorehaven, who is currently sporting a respectable 14-14 record

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