The Predictorship: Week 24 – Mike’s Table-Topping’s Unstoppable

Mike Dufficy plunges another 42 nails into the coffins of the Predictorship’s similarly-numbered also-rans, extending his lead to a potentially insurmountable NINE points.

Jersey United’s most distinguished VIP plunders another 10 points, including an impressive four correct scores (the games at Chelsea, Everton, West Ham and Bolton were his blockbusting predictions), to take another giant step towards the league title. If Mike does indeed lift the league trophy in May, not only will he join Steven Dunlop (champion in 2002-03 and 2004-05) as the only two-time winners of The Predictorship following his championship-winning 2005-06 season but he will also create a Butters sandwich, book-ending Christine’s 2006-07 triumph.

Charlton not-so-Pathetic’s Nigel Birrell has fallen down the pecking order in recent weeks but is right back in the thick of the runner-up-chasing action after matching Mike’s 10 points with three two-point beauties of his own (Derby, Everton and Middlesbrough). Nigel is up to fifth and, with a superior correct score tally, is just four points off snatching second place from Chelsea’s Dave Taylor.

Anuradha Shenoy (10th), Simon Gold (19th) and Gary Waller (30th) all deserve a mention for racking up nine points and, in other table news, Norma No Mates’ 15-week run at the bottom comes to an end as Arsenal and Liverpool’s unexpected draws lift her above Cypriarkos F.C.’s Neil Hayes, who now has SIX red cards to his name and has not been seen in these parts for 12 weeks. With Panama searched from top to toe and still no sign of an abandoned canoe, hawk-eyed detectives will be looking for a lead at the African Cup of Nations in Ghana, where this interested spectator predicts a feast of fun-filled BBC commentary. Who will be the first pundit to describe a Guinea foul?

As Neil slumps to the foot of the table, also spare a thought for Everton’s Hope Arnold, the most under-performing predictor of the season. Hope finished third last May but now finds herself in 34th after picking up her third yellow card of the campaign. The Predictorship’s Card Panel could be asked to determine her fate after she finally established contact with Predictorship HQ at 3.20pm on Sunday afternoon from “the middle of Africa”. “Damn this internet access,” cursed Hope. “I didn’t get my scores in because I couldn’t get online”. Better luck next week …

We now have the 32-man/woman line-up for Round 1 of The Predictorship Cup on 26th-27th January after this weekend’s four Preliminary Round replays were won by Steve McHugh’s Peterborough, Trevor Morris’ Sunderland, Stewart Newport’s Wycombe and Michael Whitty’s Bunch of Losers (full details below). If you possess a ‘1’ in the latest table’s PC (Predictorship Cup) column, you’re in the hat and should be in a state of high excitement ahead of the all-important draw. Who’ll get Jersey United?

Preliminary Round Replays

1. LINFIELD (James Bradley) (41) 2-6 SUNDERLAND (Trevor Morris) (36)
2. THE NIL-NILS (Norma No Mates) (43) 2-5 WYCOMBE WANDERERS (Stewart Newport) (29)
3. PETERBOROUGH UNITED (Steve McHugh) (25) 5-4 WINCHESTER CITY (Nicola Savage) (39)
4. CYPRIARKOS F.C. (Neil Hayes) (42) 2-5 BUNCH OF LOSERS (Michael Whitty) (40)

* Figures in brackets show league position on 5th January.

Premier League Results (Week 24): Arsenal 1-1 Birmingham (0); Aston Villa 3-1 Reading (5); Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham (7); Derby 0-1 Wigan (6); Everton 1-0 Manchester City (10); Manchester United 6-0 Newcastle (0); Middlesbrough 1-1 Liverpool (6); West Ham 2-1 Fulham (11); Bolton 1-2 Blackburn (5); Sunderland 2-0 Portsmouth (0).

* Figures in brackets show the number of correct predictions for each game.

Highest Score (Week 24): 10 – Nigel Birrell and Mike Dufficy.
Average Score (Week 24): 6.20.
Prediction of the Week (Week 24): Alex Iskandar Liew, Rob Molloy, Wendy Nathan, Ben Wallis and Matthew White (Aston Villa 3-1 Reading).

Top of the Table (Week 24):

1. Jersey United (Mike Dufficy) – 179 pts
2. Chelsea (Dave Taylor) – 170 pts
3. Nottingham Forest (Matthew White) – 168 pts
4. Manchester City (Christine Butters) – 167 pts
5. Charlton Athletic (Nigel Birrell) – 166 pts
6. West Ham United (Wendy Nathan) – 163 pts
7. Clapton F.C. (Cathryn Harker) – 163 pts
8. Crystal Palace (Dave McAleer) – 162 pts
9. Liverpool Reserves (Saleel Sathe) – 161 pts
10. New England (Anuradha Shenoy) – 160 pts

“This club lacks a bit of devilment and Robbie will bring that to the club” – Derby gaffer Paul Jewell on his new signing, combative midfielder Robbie Savage.

Footy factoid … £84.8m – Nicolas Anelka’s total value in transfer fees following his £15m move from Bolton to Chelsea last week. For the record, Anelka’s transfer history is as follows: Paris St. Germain to Arsenal (£500,000); Arsenal to Real Madrid (£22.3m); Real Madrid to Paris St. Germain (£20m); Paris St. Germain to Manchester City (£12m); Manchester City to Fenerbahce (£7m); Fenerbahce to Bolton (£8m); Bolton to Chelsea (£15m).

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