The Predictorship Week 36 – And the Winner is …

It’s been the mightiest title tussle in living memory, but when push finally came to shove, Christine Butters (Manchester City) had the nerve to edge out Dave Taylor (Chelsea) on “correct scores difference” and become the second female winner of The Predictorship. Congratulations Christine! The entire Predictorship community salutes you.

Christine was just nine minutes plus injury time away from chucking in the towel when Luke Moore rifled in a peach of an 81st-minute volley at Bolton to salvage a point for the Villa and secure the second point Christine (with a 1-1 prediction) needed to see off Dave. One-nil master Dave also bagged two points, but came horribly unstuck when no less than SIX of the 10 matches ended all square.

Here’s how close it was …

Pos. – Team – (Predictor) – Week 36 Points – Correct Results – Correct Scores – Total Points

1. MANCHESTER CITY (Christine Butters) – 2 – 187 – 48 – 235
2. CHELSEA (Dave Taylor) – 2 – 189 – 46 – 235

And here’s the rest of the Top 10 …

Pos. – Team – (Predictor) – Week 36 Points – Correct Results – Correct Scores – Total Points

3. MANCHESTER UNITED (Hope Arnold) – 1 – 185 – 42 – 227
4. LIVERPOOL RESERVES (Saleel Sathe) – 2 – 174 – 48 – 222
5. JERSEY UNITED (Mike Dufficy) – 3 – 179 – 42 – 221
6. WEST BROMWICH ALBION (Mark Young) – 5 – 180 – 40 – 220
7. PETERBOROUGH UNITED (Steve McHugh) – 5 – 176 – 43 – 219
8. BENFICA (Steven Dunlop) – 2 – 176 – 41 – 217
9. ANKARAGÃœCÃœ (Matthew White) – 9 – 184 – 33 – 217
10. IPSWICH TOWN (Nick Watson) – 3 – 169 – 47 – 216

Christine Butters – The Tribute …

Christine, an ever-present predictor this season, claimed the title after 17 consecutive weeks at No.1. That’s some achievement. In week 20, she had amassed 130 points to relieve erstwhile leader Nick Watson (Ipswich Town) of his table-topping duties. In the 16 weeks that followed, she rattled up 105 points at a weekly average of 6.56.

Although Haresh Mirani (Bengal Mumbai F.C.) ended up with the highest weekly return of the season (13 points), Christine netted three scores of 12 – in weeks eight, 23 and 25 – to lay claim to 60% of the five scores of 12 or more during the 2006-2007 campaign. That’s impressive.

Christine, who had no time to celebrate victory before news came through that her beloved City had sacked malfunctioning boss Stuart Pearce, said: “To say I’m happy is an understatement … I’m ecstatic!

“How my poor husband has put up with me these last few weeks I don’t know. (He deserves the trophy.) It’s been so incredibly close with Dave neck-and-neck and Hope not far behind. It could have been any one of us.

“I’ve been in the Predictorship for four years,” added Christine. “Every year I’ve had a bet with Dave R(oberts) and Dave T(aylor) and most years I’ve ended up out of pocket. This year, I didn’t bother to bet with them – sod’s law – but I’m not complaining”.

Rarely do I get the chance to talk about myself, so I must just add that I, Matthew White (Ankaragücü), aka The Nottingham Florist, was the top scorer in week 36 with nine points, which secured my third consecutive top 10 finish in The Predictorship and the hastily-arranged “GWR London Office Championship” (see below). My secret? Predicting six draws and getting five of them correct. Another few weeks of predicting and I’d have won the title.

Roll of Honour/Shame …

* Predictorship Champion: Christine Butters (235 points)
* Runner-up: Dave Taylor (235 points)
* Third Place: Hope Arnold (227 points)
* “Champions League” Qualification (4th): Saleel Sathe (222 points)
* “UEFA Cup” Qualification: Mike Dufficy (5th, 221 points); Mark Young (6th, 220 points); Steve McHugh (7th, 219 points)
* “Relegation” (not really): Stuart Claxton (47th, 135 points); Della Torra (48th, 132 points); Norman No Mates (49th, 122 points)
* Top Rookie: Saleel Sathe (4th)
* Highest Score of Season: Haresh Mirani (13)
* Most Correct Scores: Haresh Mirani (49)
* Most Correct Results: Dave Taylor (189)
* Most Weeks at Top: Christine Butters (17)
* Most Weeks at Bottom: Stuart Claxton (18)
* Most Weeks in Top 5: Dave Taylor (33)
* Most Weeks in Bottom 5: Stuart Claxton (36)
* Most Consecutive Weeks Without Submitting Scores: Paul Dolan (24)
* Predictorship Cup Winner: TBC
* Prediction of the Week: TBC
* “GWR London Office Championship”: 1. Matthew White (9th); 2. Nick Watson (10th); 3. Michael Whitty (19th); 4. Nicola Savage (20th); 5. Simon Gold (22nd); 6. Rob Molloy (29th); 7. Scott Christie (31st); 8. Paul Bentley (39th); 9. Rob Dimery (40th).
* “Stateside Championship”: 1. Hope Arnold (3rd); 2. Mike Dufficy (5th); 3. Mark Young (6th); 4. Gabe Bevilacqua (11th); 5. Pete Yoder (15th); 6. Brian Dunlop (28th); 7. Patrick Bevilacqua (32nd); 8. Paul Dolan (46th); 9. Stuart Claxton (47th). Apologies to anyone I’ve omitted!

Week 36 Stats…

Players: 35 out of 49. Points scored: 139. Highest score: 9 (Matthew White). Average score: 3.97. Total correct scores: 23. Prediction of the Week: Sanjiv Sachdev (Liverpool 2-2 Charlton Athletic). Seasonal High: Michael Whitty (19th).

Results: Blackburn Rovers 3-3 Reading (0); Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Aston Villa (1); Chelsea 1-1 Everton (4); Liverpool 2-2 Charlton Athletic (1); Manchester United 0-1 West Ham United (0); Middlesbrough 3-1 Fulham (0); Portsmouth 0-0 Arsenal (2); Sheffield United 1-2 Wigan Athletic (2); Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Manchester City (7); Watford 1-1 Newcastle United (6).

Next Week …

The Predictorship Cup final: Clapton F.C. (Cathryn Harker) v Sheffield Wednesday (Janet Jones). Have you got your ticket?

Still to Come …

Your chance to vote for the ‘Prediction of the Season’. Stay tuned!