Winter league reaches crunch time at Burghley

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Six of the eight places in the knockout phase will still be up for grabs as the winter league reaches crunch-time at Burghley Park.

Round seven is due to be played this weekend when the draw for the quarter finals will become clear.

Organiser Paul Woods said: “I am delighted that the strength in depth of the 32 teams in the competition is keeping interest alive until the very end.”

Bob Emmins and Chris Bradshaw moved to the top of league A with 3&2 defeat of James Longbone and Harry Tee, two points clear of long-time leaders Chris Townsend and Alan Cole, and Stuart Blesset and Martin Ash beat Chris Lees and Bob Chapman 4&3.

Emmins and Bradshaw are the team in form in this league, and later won their final match to confirm that they go through as group winners. Townsend and Cole subsequently lost their final match, meaning that Blesset & Ash need only a point to go through as runners-up.

League B was marked by upsets in round 6 with the top two teams both losing.

Long-term leaders Paul York and Mark Duffen faltered, going down 5&4 to Terry Austin and Peter

Seyderhelm, and second-placed Stuart Ward and John Tyrrell lost 3&2 to Doug Hunter and Brian Barber. Another win for Phil and Lewin Auciello (beating Richard Allen and Paul Ramm 1 Up) continued their rise up the table, where they now sit in second spot.

York and Duffen subsequently won their final match, to claim the group winners spot, leaving

Auciello and Auciello, Austin and Seyderhelm, and Ward and Tyrrell to scrap for the final place. A win for the Auciellos will see them through.

Two teams have dominated in League C and still shared the lead after Round 6.

John Mayman and Paul Wilkinson beat Gary Steadman and Robert Fisher 5&4, while John Tilley and Charlie Gardiner beat Dave Marsden and Gary Harrison 2&1. Both teams ended the round on 15 points, two clear of third-placed Dean Vaughan and Matt Lem who overcame Clive Knox and George Tee 5&4.

Mayman and Wilkinson later won their final match, to confirm their place in the quarter-Finals. Another win for Tilley and Gardiner would see them into the knock-out stages too, although defeat would open the door to Vaughan and Lem.

The final 100 percent record of the league fell at the weekend, with Graham Camp and Steve Hopkins losing 1 down to second-placed Javan Argent and David Jackson in a tightly fought struggle which went all the way to the wire.

Both teams now have 15 points, five clear of third-placed Jon and Jake Brown, and have already qualified for the knock-out stage.

The outcome of the final games this weekend will determine who takes the glory as league winners.

l Seniors’ captain Peter Hickman may be thinking of taking up skiing as, yet again, his

monthly seniors’ coffee morning competition, scheduled for last Monday, was cancelled

due to snow.

The January event was cancelled for the same reason, so 6 weeks into

2013 the Seniors have yet to see their new skipper in action.