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After only two events of term three there has been a significant change in the overall leaderboard for this year’s Carter shield. After two terms and eight events, Fylde and Lonsdale were tied at the top with 94 points each, with Grizedale (88) and Bowland (85) in third and fourth spot respectively.
Fylde have made huge strides toward the title, topping their groups in the two events so far, Tag Rugby and Ultimate Frisbee, while title rivals Lonsdale have failed to field a team in the two events so far, missing out on a potential fifteen points per event, as well as the five bonus points for attending every event in the term. Fylde are now in the driving seat and will be confident of retaining their Carter shield title.
Group one saw Pendle, Grizedale, Bowland and County grouped together. County edged a 2-1 win over Bowland in the opening game, before Pendle with a strong University contingent dispatched of Grizedale 4-0, in spite of playing with one less player on the day. In an extremely tightly contested game County drew 2-2 with rivals for second spot Grizedale.
Pendle demonstrated their dominance once more in a fine display as they triumphed 3-0 over County. Pendle made sure of the clean sweep with a 3-1 win over Bowland, as they conceded for the first time on the day. Pendle had guaranteed top spot as they had won all three games, however all was still to play for in the battle for second place, and a semi-final spot on finals day.
Grizedale knew they needed to win by two to tie County and if they could win by three or more they would automatically qualify in second. They edged to a 2-0 win over Bowland. Bowland finished bottom with no points. However County and Grizedale had tied for points, goal difference and goals scored, as well as having drawn 2-2 in the head to head match.
A play-off between these two teams is yet to be played and could yet have a massive bearing on the final resting place of this year’s Carter shield. As if they crash out in third, the shield will be all but Fylde’s already.
Group two had only three teams, Fylde, Cartmel and Furness, with Lonsdale failing to field a team. The opening game of group two saw an entertaining 2-2 draw between Cartmel and Furness. This was in contrast to the match-up between Fylde and Cartmel, which saw just one score, in Fylde’s favour, immediately seizing control of their group.
Fylde managed to keep a clean sheet in both of their games on the day, as they eased to a 2-0 win over Furness. Cartmel progressed in second spot courtesy of conceding one fewer than Furness did in the match versus Fylde. Fylde will expect a tougher test in the semi-final, whether it is against County or Grizedale. The fixture that is determined is Pendle versus Cartmel, in the other semi-final.
With Lonsdale and Furness failing to field teams for the event, there were six fewer fixtures than scheduled meaning everything was finished earlier than planned, meaning those that were interested, could catch as much of ‘Survival Sunday’ as possible.
Group one saw Pendle, Fylde and Grizedale pitted together. The opening game saw Fylde romp to a 12-3 win over Pendle. Fylde secured top spot in group one courtesy of a 3-1 win over Grizedale. This meant that Pendle versus Grizedale had more than local pride resting on it, a semi-final place. Grizedale rose to the occasion magnificently as they defeated Pendle 9-4 to snatch second spot.
Group 2 placed Cartmel, County and Bowland together, which on the surface didn’t bode well for Cartmel. The opening game saw Bowland defeat Cartmel 5-2. County put paid to Cartmel’s Tag Rugby dreams as they ripped them apart 11-3, to see first and second spot resting on the final game of the day.
County were equally ruthless as they tore Bowland apart too, 9-2. This saw County go through top to play Grizedale in the semi-finals with the other match being between Bowland and Fylde.
Fylde and Grizedale seem to have edged away in the race for the overall title, with Lonsdale missing out on a potential 35 points already, whereas Bowland’s bottom placed finish in Ultimate Frisbee sees them losing at least another six points to title favourites and current holders Fylde.