With only a couple of matches still outstanding due to unavoidable postponements, the first half is complete and some clear favourites for promotion are beginning to appear, as well as those in the relegation zone.
The Norton B and A teams are in that order at the top of the premier Division and also hold the top 6 position in the averages and are 5 points clear of nearest rivals Bradwell A. Dave Savage is the only player with a 100% record out of all players who have played at least 30% of the games, but Paul Malkin, Chris Bailey and Mark Evans all have more than 90%. Down at the bottom are Kidsgrove B, with Bradwell C only 1 point ahead and after the break, Bradwell have the misfortune to be travelling to face the Norton A side.
In Division 1, only Neil Colville has a 100% record and after a 7-3 win over Fenton, he has helped to keep his Bradwell F side above the relegation zone, but Andy and Roger Bateman have picked up some good wins and it is now the Kidsgrove C and D teams languishing at the bottom, although Kidsgrove C’s Edy Barbatel is second in the averages with a creditable 87.5%. Norton E now head Division 1 with MESC B still second, despite a 4-6 loss to Bradwell D when they only had 2 player. A little bird tells me that their missing player had locked himself out of his house and couldn’t get his gear – hope everything is now ok Alan! Norton D again had another 5-5 draw, this time against hosts Bradwell E. Norton D were 5-2 up at one stage, when, in the penultimate game Peter Degg beat Tony Stanway, to make it 4-5, leaving Ken Perry to face Cyril Merriman, who battled to win with a great 14-12, 11-7, 12-14, 13-11 scoreline.
MESC D leaped to first spot in Division 2, but only because of an error on the part of Norton, who played an ineligible player in the Norton H team. Norton had won 6-4, but players should themselves be aware that they are only allowed to play twice in a week up to a maximum of 4 times in the season, so all the games were classed as a “forfeit” giving MESC D a 7-3 win. Unfortunately, Norton K also had problems as 3 of their 4 players were unavailable and they lost 1-9 to MESC C, but they still remain sharing the first place with the MESC D team on 21 points, with the Norton J and MESC C teams also sharing second spot, but some 3 points adrift from the promotion places.