So what happened in Serie J???….. Well in what promised to be a close run season with lots of changes and new winners, ended with the Mad One walking away with the championship again and Julian picking up the wooden spoon again… so how did that happen I hear you ask ???
Well the season started with Paul as perhaps the favorite, a billing which he lived up to in the first half of the season, when he was up at the top until Christmas, leading for 11 weeks. The rest of the challengers had intermittent runs near the top. Mav was up there, although he only managed top spot for one week, Simon too was there for the early part of the season making top spot for 2 weeks until he fell away badly in Nov and Dec. Graham Y also took his turn near the top before Christmas but never quite made top spot. This left Maddo… who took over at the top in December and apart from the odd hiccup never really looked back.
At the other end of the table the other 4 teams were playing there own game of musical chairs. Nigel seemed to spend the most weeks bottom of the league but others certainly helped him out, with Julian, Graham R and Kev all taking their places in due turn at the bottom.
After Christmas, as usual, the positions stated to sort themselves out… Maddo & Graham tussling at the top with Graham actually making it to the top for one week… a mid table battle between Mavvo, Paul & Kevin…. with Nigel, Julian Simon & Graham battling it out for the Wooden spoon.
Then as last year, once Easter arrives and teams make there move. Maddo pulled away at the top to clinch his 3rd title by a convincing margin of 44pts in the end. Simon moved from 7th to 3rd in one week and then in the last 10mins of the season sneaked past Graham on the blind side to snatch 2nd place. Graham who had been the only team battling with Maddo after Christmas finally ran out of steam and limped in 3rd.
Mav although never really challenging finished 4th. Paul despite his early season promise fell away to 5th in the end. Kevin hauled himself to 6th spot mainly thanks to 1or 2 players and Graham R finished a disappointing 7th although he did have a great season overall in the other competitions.
Nigel at the end finished a very relieved 8th and some would argue that Julian's lack of internet access helped Nigel escape the dreaded wooden spoon, but I would never be so cruel. In the end the grand master of the wooden spoons is back... and by a margin of 11point's Julian is back to reclaim his 5th wooden spoon.
The other competition's in Serie J turned very much in to the Graham R show. He walked away with 3 trophies, a record equaling haul for one season, made all the more impressive by his 7th place finish in the League. In the league series Graham won the title by 2 points in a close finish from Maddo. Julian was 3rd with Nigel 4th !!
In the Cups, Graham R won the first 2 of the season. The Ken Bates Memorial (beating Nigel 18-14 in the Final), and the Coupe de Perry (beating Kevin 14-8). The final cup of the season, the 'FA to play for Cup' went to Simon who beat Maddo 9-4 in the final.
The FA Cup league was won for the first time by Simon with 62pts ahead of Maddo with 48pts and Mavvo with 43pts.
And so ended Serie J, a full run down of all the stats can be found down the left hand side of this page… now onward to Serie K, the PGW 10th season!!!
Page update on - 14 August 2003