PSL Playoff Prospects – who will be in the semis ???
With just two rounds to go before the League Season produces four semi-finalists, we look at the scenarios in each division …
- Can anyone stop Nottingham and RAC ?
- Will it be Pontefract or WarKen ?
- Will the last match be a Damp Squib or Decision Day ?
Despite suffering their first PSL defeat in 14 matches in their Round Eight home game, defending champions University of Nottingham are still top of the table on 110 points with one match to play. Victors Warwick/Kenilworth sit in second, 29 points behind but with two matches to play. They’re just one point ahead of Pontefract, who are on 80 points and also have two matches left.
University of Birmingham Lions also have two matches remaining, but on 63 points they will need two good wins and upsets elsewhere to make the top two.
At the bottom on 56 points and just one match left to play, UWE/Elite Squash Bristol are out of playoff contention.
Round NINE, 13-Mar: Birmingham v Nottingham , Warwick v Pontefract
Birmingham know a win – and a good one – is a must, while Nottingham need 10 points – but probably less – to secure a playoff spot, and 12 to guarantee top spot and a favourable semi-final draw.
The winner of the WarKen v Pontefract match will be in prime position for, in all probability, second spot. The home side will be looking to extend their winning run to 5 matches and grab a semi-final spot in their first season in the league, while Pontefract will be aiming for a first-ever PSL playoff spot.
Round TEN, 27-Mar: Pontefract v Birmingham Bristol v Warwick
If Birmingham do beat Nottingham, their trip to Pontefract in Round Ten could be pivotal, but all the maths really depends on the Warwick v Pontefract result – the winners will have a points target in their last match, the losers will be looking for a bagful of points and an upset in the other fixture.
In a nutshell : Nottingham odds-on to finish top, R9 match between WarKen and Ponte likely to decide second.
A thumping win for Tradition @ RAC in their final home match left the PSL newcomers clear at the top of the table on 112 points, with a semi-final place assured and top spot likely. That match left Bexley down in fourth place on 71 but with two matches to play they still have playoff hopes.
Coolhurst looked likely to bolster their playoff bid, but a Round Eight comeback from Luxfords St George’s Hill left their second spot with just one match to play in jeapordy, 87 points with St George’s in third on 76 but two to play.
Chichester, adrift on 42 points, cannot make the playoffs.
Round NINE: 13-Mar Chichester v RAC, 16-Mar Bexley v St George’s
Four points will be enough to ensure that RAC finish top of the dividion, and it seems unlikely that Chichester can stop them.
The Friday match could see St George’s take a giant leap towards the playoffs, leapfrogging Coolhurst, or Bexley could make it a close call three-horse race for second spot.
Round TEN: 27-Mar St George’s v Chichester, 29-Mar Coolhurst v Bexley
St George’s will most likely have a (fairly high) points target to grab second spot. If they attain it, the Friday match could be a damp squib, or it could be the crunch match of the entire league campaign, with Bexley and Coolhurst both having realistic points targets to reach the semis and St George’s hoping both fall short.
In a nutshell: RAC nailed on for first place, too close to call for second.