Continuing my round- up of league and cup final standings from around the south west, today I'm going to report on the Bristol Leagues.
There are 4 divisions in the Bristol Leagues. Div's 1, 2 have 9 teams each, Div. 3 has 10 teams, and Div. 4, 11. with each team playing each other twice over the course of the season. There are 2 teams promoted and 2 teams relegated from each league.
In Division 1 Clifton A continued their recent domination, with 31 match points meaning they dropped just one draw en route to winning the league. Trailing 5 points back in second place were Bath. In a close group from 4th- 6th were Horfield A (18 points), Downend A (17), Clifton B (15), and Clevedon A (14). Downend B were next, 11 points being enough to fairly comfortably see them clear of relegation. The 2 teams that were relegated were Horfield B (7), and University A (3).
In Division 2 it was a very close run race for first place, with Thornbury (26), edging out South Bristol by a single point. Nevertheless, both clubs will be playing in Division 1 next season. 3 points back were Clifton C, followed by Horfield C (16), Bath B (14), and Grendel (13). It was incredibly tight between the 3 teams battling to avoid the 2 relegation places, and in the end 1 point was the difference between the 3. Hanham A just avoided relegation with 10 points, ahead of Keynsham A (9), and Clevedon B (9).
Division 3 featured a runaway winner, with Bath University scoring the maximum 34 points from the 17 matches played so far. Certainly a team boasting Chris Dorrington (grade 217), Peter Poobalasingam (197), and James Jackson (194) is going to be a tough test for any team in the Bristol League. Taking the 2nd promotion spot were Yate A, who took 24 points from their 18 matches. In third place were Downend C (20 points), and then followed Clifton D, Hanham B, and Cabot (all on 17). At the bottom of the table South Bristol B (12) have definitely avoided relegation, whilst Harambee A (11 from 15 matches), just need a single match point from their remaining 3 matches to guarantee another season in Div. 3. Which leaves Patchway (10) confirmed as relegated, whilst Keynsham B (9 from 17 matches) need to win their final match and hope other results go their way to have any chance of avoiding relegation.
Division 4 is slightly different from the other 3 in that teams comprise of only 4 players rather then 6. This means that it's quite possible for teams to decline the offer of promotion, finding it easier/ preferable to have a team of 4 players rather then 6.
With most teams still having some games left to play, the exact final places are still to be determined. Definitely finishing first are Yate B, who with one match left to play are 6 points clear of 2nd place, on 34 points. Currently 2nd and 3rd respectively are Horfield D (28 points from 19 matches), and University B (24 points from 19 matches). They could both be caught, however, by the team currently in 4th place. Nailsea are currently on 23 points from 16 matches, and a good end of season run could see them in promotion contention. Downend D are definitely 5th, with 21 points from all of their matches. Below that the positions are still very much undecided. Downend E have 18 points from 20 matches, Downend F 17 from 19, Pete's Potential 14 from 17, Harambee 8 from 14. So potentially any of those teams could still finish 5th. Occuping the bottom 2 places at the moment are Hanham C with 3 points from 17 matches, and UWE with 1 point from 12 matches.
The Bristol League Knockout Cup, which is played over 8 boards, was won for the second year in a row by Bath. Playing as a combined Bath and Bath University team, they defeated Clifton in the final 4.5-3.5.
In the Minor Knockout Cup, which is played over 6 boards, South Bristol drew 3-3 with Grendel in the final, with the board count tie break being favourable to South Brisol.
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