This evening sees Yeovil play host to Taunton in Div 1 of the Somerset League. Taunton are neck-and-neck with Frome at the top, whilst Yeovil are struggling near the bottom of the league.
I should point out here that there is no promotion/ relegation in the Somerset leagues, as there simply aren't enough teams. Currently there are only 5 teams in Div 1, and of the 6 in Div 2, 4 are essentially the same teams as in Div 1, bar one of the top players. It's a shame that clubs such as Burnham and Street are no longer active, and I'm surprised there's never been a club in Minehead, but I'm wandering from the original point of my post here.
Currently Frome have 10 points from 6 games, whilst Taunton have 8 from 5, so a win tonight will draw Taunton level at the top. Yeovil have 3 points from 5 games, and although they are out of the title race, a win tonight would see them move above Sedgemoor into the top half of the league.
On the basis of who plays for each club, Taunton should be favourites. Whilst not quite as strong as say Clifton 'A', they can still boast a team that at full strength would have Mike Redman (186 grade) on top board, and Dave Littlejohns (167),on board 5. However, it's never easy getting every player available to play on any given evening, and Taunton's achilles heel has always been a lack of strength in depth.
Yeovil on the other hand have a long list of very solid players, but don't quite have the same strength at the top as Taunton. Patryk Krzyzanowski (186), and Andrew Footner (180), are both very strong players, but after that the next few boards will usually be around the 140-160 grade range.
Earlier in the season Taunton managed to win 3.5-2.5 against Yeovil, but that match was effected to a huge extent by 2 defaults on Yeovil's part. I've a feeling tonights match will be very close, and if I had to make a prediction, I'd bet on Yeovil to win 4-2.
I'll let you know the result later in the week.
Happy New Year!
4 weeks ago