N&R Championship Final Table
It was week 24 when George Northover took the reigns to lead the N&R Championship and he did not let go as he charged off to the sunset to become the winner and take home the £140 in prize money and will be presented with a nice trophy for his great work. It is George’s second consecutive promotion and he will deserve to mix it with the big boys next season.
George started slowly but made some timely transfers, even holding a couple back until the end. He touched 8th in week 7, was back in the top 8 by week 12 and then slowly moved his way through the pack and hit top spot in week 24 where he stayed. He did get pulled back in the end as Mitesh Patel, John McGowan and Steve Harris threw the kitchen sink at him, but by then his name was already engraved N&R Championship trophy.
Mitesh bounces back to the top tier after a fine season. Just two weeks outside of the promotion zone, and numero uno for 6 weeks in the middle of the season. He lost a bit of form but came back strong to grab 2nd place ahead of John McGowan.
John had never been out of the top flight but struggled visibly early on at this level. But unlike Aston Villa, John did get to grips with it and had a tremendous 2nd half of the season moving from 8th to 6th to 4th and then 3rd for the final weeks and he will be back to where he belongs next season.
Last season’s Conference champ Steve Harris was expected to shine, and he did not disappoint. Just one week outside of the top 8 for Steve and another deserved promotion to test himself against the very best.
Stuart Wolstenholme had a cracking season winning prize money all over the shop. He will be disappointed though not to have given the top spot a better crack. Stu was top for 11 weeks but had a post Christmas stumble. He did use up his subs quite early but had played them well to finish a strong 5th.
In 6th was Neil Reynolds, who knows his way around this league. He’s not bad in the Cup too. Neil after a sluggish start was a regular feature in the top 8 and was top for 3 weeks. He stumbled a bit around April but had saved some transfers to finish strongly.
Dewbs is a popular return to the big time. Top after week 1, he did struggle a bit during the winter months but found a path to claim some prize money in 7th. Paul Hodges finished 8th and returns to the top level. He spent big chunks of time in the top 15 and was deservedly promoted.
Richard Carpanen clocks up his 2nd consecutive promotion although it took one hell of a finish in the last month. Richard Brown had a good start, a mediocre middle and a good finish and makes his 2nd promotion on the spin.
Luke Sloan finished bottom of the N&R Premier League last season but put that behind him to regain his PL status. The year round tanned Clarkie also cracked his 2nd successive promotion after taking a pink spot 20 weeks ago.
Jack Whalley is another who wins a second promotion on the bounce and joins all of his Gravity buddies in the N&R PL. Nick Kociuba was looking furiously over his shoulder the last few weeks but ended 34 points clear of the chasing pack led by Rory Freeman.
Mark Simmons likewise, but after being in the top 15 for the final 20 weeks deserved his spot back among the elite.
Rory Freeman, Nobby and Ben Kinsella all had hopes of making a late run into the pink zone but in the cold light of day were just not good enough. The gap between Rory and Mark ending at 24 points. Only Richard Carpanen and Luke Sloan were able to make the breakthrough during the last 6 weeks when there were lots and lots of points up for grabs.
Rory will fight another day whilst Nobby gets to spend another season in the Championship, incredibly with only a couple of places that don’t either go up or down, next season will be Nobbys’ 4th in a row!
Ben will be kicking himself the most because he made a great run into the pink zone after looking a relegation cert.
Of those relegated Emma Wells gave herself the best chance, but only has herself to blame for dropping into relegation contention in the first place. Emma was top in week 11 and then spent every week from week 6 to week 38 in the promotion zone, but will now end up in the Conference.
Jack Mann and Omar Dixon also blew it. We feel some pangs of sympathy for Greg Foulger who always starts so well. He also normally blows through his transfers in the first 6 weeks but inexplicably ended the season with some in the bank! We don’t think Greg has ever played as low as the 3rd N&R tier before.
Andrew Mitchell started well used all his transfers but still dropped down as did Rob Munden and Soozie Saveall who has now fallen from PL to Conference in one fell swoop.
Trevor Fairweather didn’t get his transfer strategy right and goes back to the Conference as does Chris Minchell and Ian Kennett, who even by his standards had a shocking season. Ian’s shit of the shovel start this season was constrained to just 2 weeks!
Alan Oakley did not leave the drop zone from week 1 like Soozie, Munden and Ray Legg, who we had come to expect more from, but probably now he is a broker, he has a lot more work to do!
Ray was in the PL last season and takes a further drop as does N&R FL Champion of just 3 years ago Chris Wright. Sad days.. but hopefully better fantasy ones ahead.