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Men’s Pool A
Last season saw Lonsdale triumph by 12 points over Graduate to win the title, with Cartmel and Bowland finishing 22 and 24 points off top respectively. This season I see the same two teams taking the top two spots, with Graduate this year narrowly edging out their familiar rivals. Lonsdale have lost a huge number of players from their title winning side but still have a very strong team. Graduate have kept a solid base and acquired A-team players from at least three other colleges as they go on to further study.
Men’s Pool B
Natural rule of thumb sees that the teams that do better in the A-Team leagues do better in the Bs. So I expect Lonsdale and Graduate to be towards the top. However, it can be expected that the usual colleges will contend for the title, in Pendle, Bowland and Fylde. It is harder to know exactly what will happen in the Bs with so many ins and outs with people leaving the University and better B team players making the step up to the As. I think Lonsdale’s strength in depth will show as they secure the Bs league, as they did two years ago.
In Men’s Darts there seems to be two teams, over and above the other colleges; Pendle and Graduate. Graduate won the league by just one point over Lonsdale last season. Whilst Lonsdale have lost players, Graduate have acquired them, with ever-important experience of inter-college darts. However Pendle, who have held on to their top four players, three of which have played for the University, look to build on last year’s fine performance. For that reason, I see it somewhat as a two-horse race, with Pendle just edging out Graduate. I expect Furness to be this year’s surprise package.
Last season saw Pendle pick up the league title by eight points, ahead of Bowland. I see a familiar pattern emerging as in the previous two seasons, with the same teams challenging again. I expect Cartmel and County to be towards the top of the table and may even challenge for top spot. But I see Bowland triumphing narrowly over Pendle this season, with Pendle suffering from a loss of three of their Roses players from last year.
Bowland edged out bitter rivals Lonsdale by just two points last season, with Bowland’s 5-4 and 7-2 wins over Lonsdale ultimately deciding the final resting place of the league trophy. I expect Lonsdale and Bowland to be battling it out for top spot once more. I think County will cause the most trouble to these two with the University Captain and at least one University player in their ranks. I think they will pick up a top three finish at the very least and could even surprise everyone by picking up the title for themselves.
By far the hardest league to predict is the Dominoes. Last season saw Pendle and Grizedale tied at the top at the end of the season, with the league decided in a playoff. I expect Pendle to be towards the top once more, as they have kept so many of their darts players from last season. This is because Men’s Darts and Dominoes take place together on the Monday night, and experience counts a surprising amount in this league, as the luck factor is minimised, and the intricacies of Dominoes are utilised.