Season 8 - Week 10


Well, the year is up we have had four different top flight winners (Kelly, Rosser, Gurd and Shakespeare) and three different overall winners (Rosser x 2, Gurd and Simms).  It is worth noting that Gurd managed to go from first to last in the overall season in consecutive years, a special feat indeed..... on to more impressive matters, the overall champion this season is Nik Simms with a record breaking +£13.55, valiant efforts from Shakespeare, Callan, Stapleton, Hughes and Kelly who all ended above £7 and indeed to the 26 of us (43%) who ended in positive figures.

Finally in the all-time league Nick Kelly surpassed David Rosser this season and sits atop the league with an impressive all-time tally of £18.70 profit.  At the other end James Holland has lost £20.27!!!

The Pele League

Congratualations to Paul "Shakey" Shakespeare, who was anything but Shakey and becomes the 7th different winner of the top flight in 8 seasons, ending with the highest ever top flight performance of £9.65.  If it wasn't for Inter failing to beat Siena he would have broken the magic £10 barrier.  Gallant in second is Nick Kelly, all-time leader, previous champion and always a force to be reckoned with, he is now officially a big gun.  His last week pick would have given him the title, but his pick (Blackburn) lost convincingly, so he had to settle for second.  A long long long long long long long way back (£5.94) was Darren Clare in 3rd, the only other player in positive figures.

At the bottom Rosser escaped relegation in the battle of the big guns, consigning the previously well regarded Ingham (let down by the Hammers), Lewis (nancy pick never would have got him safe) and Gurd (well at least he went down swinging, Bolton nearly overturning Chelsea at 17.00!) to the second tier of predicting.

The Maradona League

Smith and Gibbons (M) safe picked their way to promotion (no mean feat in a week where Chelsea, Inter and AC Milan all failed), but their work had been done early season and it was 3rd where the battle seemed likely to rage, he wasn't to know, but Britcliffe just needed to find a winner to get promoted, but Gould's swapping of picks and mind-games forced Britcliffe to back Blackburn, ultimately rendering Gould's failure irrelevant.  So congratulations to Gould who gained promotion, beating what was in front of him.  It is worth noting that his £0.70 would not have been enough in any other league!

At the bottom, a heroic pick from Lloyd (Napoli to beat AC Milan) gave him his miracle escape, a phoenix like rise from 10th to 5th consigning Chadbourne to relegation, despite his winner.  Pilkington didn't even try to escape relegation opting instead to try to find a winner, in a disappointing season, his final pick (Chelsea) summed up his ineptitude, he was relegated by a clear margin.  Southworth was the other unlucky relegatee, despite a solid pick in the final week, his maths was not good enough to ensure the pick got him safe!!

Trevor Gibbons lives to fight another season, changing his pick (from Chelsea!!!!) on the advice of his illustrious and talented son (sorry tony!)

The Gary Lineker League

By some margin the worst performing league, you cannot criticise Lines (N), Rodgers and Bailey for only beating what was in front of them, but a £2.21 total for Champion Lines is meagre indeed.  Of the trio Rodgers had the most to do and his backing of the Evertonians saw him home, rendering Kinsella's impressive Hull pick useless.  The other two lost, despite safe picks, but had done enough early season to ensure promotion.  Is this the start of a recovery from the only two-time Pele league champion Lines (N).

At the bottom big winners for Dunk and Kinsella saw them jump clear of relegation, and Dunk's knowledge of Lille is impressive indeed.  It is hard to over-emphasise the impressiveness of their escape, as they both jumped three places to avoid relegation.  Finch's assessment of the situation was flawed (as his pick would not have dragged him clear), whereas Lowe's pick was naive at best, as he didn't need such long odds to ensure survival, in fact a 1.17 would have been enough.  They both pay the price for poor picking stategy.

The Paul Dickov League

Stapleton and Booth cruised to promotion, and have been planning life in the third tier for some time now, so easy was their passage out of this league.  Given the paucity of quality in the Lineker league, they must surely be hoping for back-to-back promotions.

Steve Reeve failed at the last, allowing Wickett to sneak into the third promotion spot.  In a league of predominantly autopickers (which will be cleared out over the summer) it is hugely disappointing for Haywood (failing with a long shot to achieve promotion) and Malone (getting relegated) that their performances were not enough to beat what is effectively a random (albeit short) pick.

The Jason Lee League

Three (count 'em three) people ended with over £6.50 making this by far the hardest league to escape, Callan, Hughes and Roberts were hugely impressive and look set to rise the leagues, if they can continue this form.  Ross (and to a degree Andrew) Jones can consider themselves unlucky to not achieve promotion given their successes and must buckle down and repeat the performances next season.

At the other end Ben Drury must be gutted to get relegated, despite ending the season in positive figures, his maths was fine, he only needed a banker to survive, but sadly his execution was poor, allowing Jamie Jones and Julia Ingham to escape, the latter with a great Liverpool away pick.  Joining Drury is Firth and Ricky Jones, unfortunate to be in such a competitive league.

The Ali Dia League

Nik Simms storms out of the league with a winning margin of over £10 and also gains the overall title, may his fine form continue.  Ayako Ono joins Julia Ingham in the Lee League and we will have direct competition between our two lady pickers, a fine promotion season was secured with an Everton home win in week 10.  Curphey gets the final promotion spot despite his last week loss, neither Tustin x 2 or Bradley doing quite enough to catch him (aiming as they doubtless were for Ono)

Hickey, Martins and Nikuradze prop up the league, and must hang their collective heads in shame.



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