The George Wyatt Cup presented one of the tightest finishes in years with Bowland’s strength from last year coming under a sustained challenge across the board. However this is not to say there were not some dominant performances in respective leagues.
Men’s A Team Pool often threatened to be close throughout the duration of the season. Bowland were without doubt the pre season favourites having finished runners up the year before and with the decimation of the ranks in Graduate. Bowland led from a very early stage with many of the first few games going to 5-4 either way their 7-2 win over Cartmel on the opening day led to them keeping an advantage, while in the meantime picking up 5-4 wins over main rivals County and Fylde. The only stutter during first term being a reverse at Lonsdale. This seemed somewhat less important considering the fact everyone was beating each other below them with County thumping Fylde before losing to Grizedale no one showed the required consistency. In the second term a similar pattern continued with none of the teams below Bowland producing the kind of run to reel them in, despite back to back 5-4 defeats versus County and Furness the other teams continued to beat each other. Bowland eventually secured the with their first frame against Pendle in their final game a week before the leagues completion. Although the 15 point gap masks the tight nature of the league this year but most will agree Bowland were deserving winners of this league.
Men’s B Team Pool quickly became a three horse race with County, Fylde and Bowland appearing a cut above the rest, none of the other sides were particularly weak in the way Pendle were the previous year, but they could not get results against the top three on a regular basis. At times County and Fylde threaten to run away from even Bowland with some early season inconsistency for the previous years champions leading to a gap, but crushing wins against weaker opposition dragged them back into the race. Going into a crucial second term there was very little to call between the teams. Fylde managed to inflict a second defeat on County in a perfect term however they did not pick up big enough results during the term to make this count. County eventually sealed the title in the final week of the year with a narrow defeat proving enough due to the string of crushing defeats handed out. The only pool or darts title to go down to the final week of the year and most would agree the best spirited closest fought league
Women’s Pool looked for much of the year to be following a similar pattern to the previous year where Bowland marched to the title, early season no one could touch them and they soon opened an enormous gap which left people wondering where any sort of challenge would come from. Out of the chasing pack two main challenges emerged in the guise of County and Grizedale, Grizedale seemingly pushing on from inflicting Bowland’s first defeat while Lonsdale remained very solid throughout the season. Despite a drop in performance in second term where Bowland lost 3 games they had built enough of a lead to leave Lonsdale an improbable 9-0 win in the final game, this did not transpire and Bowland took a victory with 109 points to Lonsdale and Grizedale’s 103 and 101 respectively.
Men’s Darts produced what was arguably the most dominant George Wyatt team seen in many years. Bowland topped the league from near start to finish and had a near unassailable lead by the end of the first term having recorded 8 victories. The only team that even attempted to sustain a challenge was County but they suffered the same fate as many chasing teams in other George Wyatt leagues in beaten by other teams less well prepared to challenge in the chasing pack, most notable being the loss to a resurgent Pendle in the opening game of second term. Despite inflicting Bowland’s only defeat this was only a blip for the Bowland bandwagon as they took their 3rd straight title with the highest point’s total of the 3.
Another team taking a third title in a row were the County Women’s Darts but no one would have bet on this at the end of first term with the team having a 50/50 record and languishing in 6th with Fylde and Furness setting the pace at the top of the league. These two teams continued to battle it out at the top and for a while it looked a two horse race but a number of crushing second term wins for County allowed them to latch onto the leading two, and when they inflicted back to back defeats on the two colleges the title was sealed with a week to spare. The team recorded a 100% record in the second term including a 7-0 win and they claimed a deserved hat-trick of titles.
The Dominoes was won by County.
The final result of the cup was far closer than the previous year but it was Bowland who managed to retain it from the challenge of County, the margin of victory in the cup was smaller than the margin in some of the leagues with Bowland winning by 16 points. The leagues were shared between Bowland and County but the difference was eventually one of County’s leagues being the dominoes which is clearly worth less than the other leagues in the table and this ultimately led to Bowland keeping hold of the cup.
The George Wyatt results are as follows…