My first job this Week is to congratulate Magic Eight Balls on their convincing victory in our fifth Hot Spot game of the season. In the end they held on to their lead convincingly in the final Week and were never seriously threatened by the chasers. As previously mentioned, no team has ever won three Hot Spot games in the same season before in all the years of the Golden Boot game. Their record for victories in Hot Spot games now stands at eleven, well clear of nearest rivals Oxford Orange in this category. This latest victory also takes them ahead of Spartak Gringley in the overall total number of prizes won with this being their fifteenth award.
On the very day that our last web log was published the remaining Premier League fixtures were also made public. We now know when every outstanding Premier League match will be played until the end of the season. The first thing to note is that both Week 33 and Week 34 will start with a Friday night match and, consequently, a Friday night selection deadline. These two Weeks happen to be the ones we have set aside for the Arrowvean Cottage Cup Final and its replay (if required). In Week 33 the final fixture will now be on Wednesday night between Southampton and Arsenal which means that the Cup final will not be over until late on 10th May. We are really hoping that a replay is not required as Week 34 sees matches on every day from Friday through to Thursday 18th May. This all means that Week 32 is the only remaining ‘normal’ Week of the season.
When most of the really popular strikers score but no strikers score more than once it usually leads to a fairly high points average and very close scoring among the best teams. Week 30 was definitely one such Week with both Lancashire Rover and Oxford Orange getting goals from their top five strikers for a total of 30 points. These were not the teams with the most goals, though, as both Ard Mhacha Abu with 29 points and fdringo with 21 points managed to find six scorers from their selections. Those of a mathematical bent will already have realised that fdringo unluckily had goals from their bottom six strikers – that’s not the way to do it.
The overall standings saw no changes in the top ten places this Week. The three leading teams matched each other within one point. A point which saw Cheshire Town in third close slightly on donnyvegas and Magic Eight Balls in first and second respectively. For J1 back in fourth it was another Week when they lost ground. Perhaps the excitement of their first ever Cup final being just a few Weeks away is causing them to lose focus in the league.
The Final Five game has been our traditional closing Hot Spot game every season since 2004 - 2005. In the final five Weeks of the season we play a mini Golden Boot game with every team starting out from zero. The premise is that some teams may have made costly mistakes early in the season and been unable to close the consequent gap to the prize positions. However, armed with these harsh lessons they can now show their true potential over the final few Weeks of the season and put down a marker for next season’s overall competition. Unfortunately, like many of our plans, it doesn’t always work like that. The basic problem is that the final five Weeks are in no way typical of the rest of the season. For a start, those outstanding fixtures postponed earlier in the season need to be shoehorned into these final few Weeks to make sure the season finishes on time. Then as more clubs become sure of their fate for next season managers begin to prepare for life without those strikers who will be moving on. Add to this, those strikers who suddenly find form as they realise they need a new contract or at least a pay rise and it starts to get a lot more difficult to predict who might be the next hat-trick hero. Sometime on Sunday 21st May we will know which has been the most successful team at sorting out these Final Five game puzzles and they will be awarded the last Hot Spot game prize of the season.
As previously trailed, Week 31 is far from a normal Week. What it does have, though, is a normal Saturday morning selection deadline. There are eleven Premier League matches scheduled in Week 31 though West Brom do not have a match. Three clubs play two matches in the Week with both Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough playing home and away, while Man U have two matches away from home. The other 16 clubs all have the usual one match. The final match of the Week is on Thursday night, so we will not have the web sites finally up to date until after the final whistle in the Manchester derby. This means you are going to have to wait until Friday 28th April for the next web log to be published. We will try to get it done by lunchtime on Friday. As well as the initial standings in the Final Five game we will be taking a look at prospects for the final of the Golden Boot Cup sponsored by Arrowvean Cottage in Porthleven, Cornwall.
at: 16:08 on 19 April 2017Congratulations magic eight balls on winning get another hot spot game and setting a new record YNWA
at: 17:10 on 22 April 2017Thank you Cheshire!
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