And so the romance continues. Yes, January saw the second oldest FFUK Cup competition in the world reach its second round, and what a buzzer it was. While some of the fixtures in the FFUK Cup were exciting, the tension in the Challenge Cup was a whirl of excitement by the final gameweek of January. So now, as you sit pondering the form of Lukaku or the impact of Shawcross’s injury on the Stoke defence, let’s have a look at the Challenge Cup!
When I say tight, I mean tight. Think of some jeans you put on that actually stopped blood flow. Yes. That tight. If there was an incessant stream of such tightness, someone would release it as a compilation, ‘Now that’s what I call tight’.
Yes, the fixtures between Mark Leathem (37th) & Robert Browne (18th) and Matt Judd (40th) & Kevin Trotter (64th) were pretty damn close, with Mark beating Robert, and Matt beating Kevin by just a single point. More and more, after the bitterness of my own cup exit I have found these scorelines which have allowed me to be a little more reflective. Many different decisions across the four gameweeks could have meant that these fixtures would have ended differently, a single yellow card or West Ham not scoring a second goal against City would have been difference enough, underlining the unpredictably of the cup.
But alas, not all fixtures were quite so close. Indeed the highest scoring winners showed how it’s done with some sizeable scores. Jordan Davison (48th) beat Top Ten staple Stan Packham (8th) by an impressive 223 points to 171, a lead of 52 points. Unsurprisingly with that score, Jordan was third in the entire league for the month of January. Stan’s exit means that only one high-flyer is still in the Challenge Cup as Richard Harrison (5th) won his match to Nick Wilkins (15th) by a respectable 183 points to 171. Only three of the Top Ten still have places between the Challenge and FFUK cups (the other players are Paul Baker and Toby Glicher) so it will be interesting to see if an unknown, wildcard team can beat the big guns to the prizes over the next few months.
Another high scoring match involved Duncan Galloway (22nd) and Paul Monger (49th). Uncle Dunc has gone a bit under the radar as far as I’m concerned, his strong score of 219 beat Paul’s by 70 points, not to be sniffed at. Looking at Duncan’s team, it was he who was 49th in the league at the end of December rising 27 places across the four weeks. And worryingly, he happens to now be just two places behind me!!! Duncan’s use of his wildcard in GW21 will have certainly played a part in this, with the early inclusion of Aguero into his side. I will be definitely be watching Duncan very closely over the next couple of weeks…
Which brings me to the lowest scoring match, where Daron Russell (54th) beat Andy Macdonald (78th) by 46 points. Yes, that’s correct, although Daz’s total for January wasn’t the highest, he still whooped Andy who only came up 124 points across 4 weeks. Oddly, Andy was one of the top scorers in December so I can’t really explain why he didn’t come up with the goods in January. All the better for Daz. And it’s those two that will match up in the next round of fixtures, Daron Russell is playing Duncan Galloway, and I think it’s safe to say you can expect to hear more on that one…
Elsewhere Prebble (27th) beat Coward (16th) by 10 points, as Tarbox (14th) got the good over Calabrese (58th) by 31 points. A couple of old vets will be meeting in the next round too, as the wins for Allan Tomkins (41st) and Jamie Stewart (51st) mean they will have to battle it out in the last 16. Both of those guys are previous FFUK winners and it will be interesting to see who goes through, there’s only space for one winner.
And that’s it, on to February and the last 16. Best of luck to all who got through and for the rest of us, there’s always next season. For full fixtures please refer to the Challenge Cup tab. Peace.
Ps. Please have a vote on the End of Season awards here