Season 7 - Week 9

Simon Gurd solidifies his lead at the top of the overall league with another winner (8/9 now!), although with Richard Ingham and Ian Booth both picking longer winners, the overall title looks set to go to the last week, with even Matt Bailey in 4th having a reasonable chance of clinching the title (beat that Premiership, a true four-horsed race!).

Pele League

A truly outstanding season for the Pele League sees 7/10 guaranteed to end the season in positive figures.  Despite excellent seasons for the top 7, Simon Gurd is still leading the league by £3.36 and looks assured of his first Pele league title, the 6th winner in 7 seasons.  Nick Lines (a true candidate for the where is he now programme) is the only person to have won the top flight twice.   Having said that neither Gary Lewis, nor reigning champion David Rosser have given up the ghost, and good away winners for both have kept them in with an outside chance of the title.

Solid seasons for Lines (T), Kelly, Noyce and Shakespeare have all but consigned the bottom three to relegation.  A small win for Drury leaves him needing a 3-4 shot to have even a chance of escaping relegation, whereas Gibbons (unlucky as he picked the right result in the Carling Cup final, but not in normal time) and Lloyd are left needing a miracle (read lucky) pick.

Maradona League

Ingham is bitch slapping this league and is over £5 clear of 4th and most bookies have already paid out on his promotion.  Behind him Clare's knowledge of the Scottish leagues is finally exposed, with Alloa proving too much for Raith.  It was a bad week to slip up, as 3rd to 9th all won, compacting the league dramatically.  In fact it has compacted so dramatically that were Nick Lines in 8th to pick a winner of 2.75+ then a loss for Cornwall in 3rd could propel Lines from relegation to promotion in one week!

A tough league to call, I expect Ingham and Clare to gain promotion, joined by the in form Southworth, on the back of another fine away winner.  At the bottom I expect Lines and Chadbourne to escape relegation, taking advantage of Holland and Gould's overambition, chasing dreams and promotion, sending them down with Jones (J).

Lineker League

Mr 'shot-in-the-dark' Pilkington still leads the way, despite only picking two winners all season, but with four others within £2.66 he probably can't afford another outrageous bet... But he still will.  57p separate 2nd to 5th, opening up the opportunity for some skilful picking in week 10.  Britcliffe and Gibbons are in the box seats following great 2.62 & 2.60 winners, but can they repeat the feat!  Dunk drops out of the promotion zone, having occupied it nearly all season, will he be stung into action, in his defence he had gone safe, but Leeds let him down.

The bottom 5 are equally tight with Virdi, Haywood and Rogers separated by on 21p, but not only will they have to watch each other, Joel 'wildcard' Wrigley and Martin 'You are not' Malone will both be looking to sneak up the rail.

In my humble opinion Pilkington, Britcliffe and Gibbons will all maintain their positions and gain promotion, Haywood, Rogers and Malone will go down, relegated by some ridiculous bet from the wildcard.

Dickov League

Winners for the top four, keeps up the pressure all around.  Bailey has probably done enough (with his two winners all season - but oh what winners!) to secure promotion, but Lowe, Willshire and Kinsella (slightly unlucky to be in 4th with £2.55) are battling it out for the other two spots... However, I think the 90p margin may prove too much for Kinsella, and the top three should go up.

At the bottom Ross Jones and Tim Hughes need 3.00+ winners to come in and others to lose, or else 4.00+ winners!  So the real question is who will be joinng them in the Lee League.  With Reeve, Wickett, Hanvey and Jones all separated by less that £1 it is a tough choice, but I think the force is with Andrew Wickett (pick of the week Wolves away at Palace) and Andrew Jones, leaving Hanvey the job of overhauling Reeve... 'sound of a spinning coin' heads says it is Hanvey going down.

As an aside Hughes looks set to win the 'furthest to fall award' looking set to 'achieve' his fourth relegation!  You are officially rubbish.

Lee League

First up, apologies for forgetting you last week!

Ian Booth looks like another player destined for promotion and his guaranteed £5+ season represents excellent work, well done!  Behind him Stapleton, Jones and Fields all are above £3 and look to duke it out for promotion.  Stapleton and Fields are showing the form and should secure promotion, but Callan, Firth and even Ingham have outside chances of going up.

The bottom five are separated by only 86p.  Having been marooned at the bottom for almost the whole season, Roberts picks the winner of the week (okay I know I said Wickett's was, but they were both good!) He clearly knowa something we don't, picking Genoa to beat Udinese.  Ben Drury is slowing being sucked back into the relegation zone and with Roberts showing form it is he (Drury) Simms and Lewis who look most in danger.  I back Hickey to survive.

Good luck all!



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