The Predictorship: Week 32 – Better than All White: Forest Fan Barks Up the Right Tree

Congratulations to everyone who totalled more than one point for last weekend’s highly unpredictable FA Cup quarter-finals. Now let me put it another way. Congratulations to Rob Molloy and Marion Waller, the ONLY two predictors who totalled more than one point for last weekend’s highly unpredictable FA Cup quarter-finals.

Rob’s scarcely believable Middlesbrough 0 Cardiff 2 prediction (he missed out on a third Cup point with Bristol Rovers 1 West Brom 1) and Marion’s wildly optimistic Manchester United 2 Portsmouth 3 (the only Portsmouth win predicted) and the spookily close-to-the-mark (apart from the ‘2’ and the ‘4’ bit) Bristol Rovers 2 West Brom 4 rewarded each with two points when most collected a solitary point for a West Brom win, if they were lucky. Like big guns Chelsea and Manchester United, several unnamed souls fired FA Cup blanks.

“It should be a high-scoring week,” enthused mid-tabler Ted Warland. “I hope I join in!” His infamous “guest forecaster” must have left some cruelly optimistic voices in his head. The average score this week is a paltry 3.82 and there are just 19 correct scores, facts and figures that are country music to the ears of Predictorship “Statto” Matthew White. (Oh, and by the way, two-point Ted certainly did NOT join in.)

Forest and Sheffield United fan Matthew strengthens his strangehold on the runner-up spot in the table with a top score of seven. The tasty total, bolstered by correct scores for the Liverpool and Sunderland games, leaves him “just” 11 points shy of Mike Dufficy, who marches on towards the 2007-08 title with another five points.

Matthew’s Nottingham Forest and Hope Arnold’s Everton are now just one step away from Wem-ber-ley after reaching the semi-finals of The Predictorship Cup (unlike the FA Cup, the semi-finals will not be held at Wembley). Forest and Everton dumped Nigel Birrell’s Charlton Athletic and Tom Palmer’s Southampton out of the competition respectively in the quarter-finals. The other two ties finished all square, so Christine Butters’ Manchester City, Cathryn Harker’s Clapton F.C., Alex Iskandar Liew’s Tricky Trees and Sally Moon’s Blackburn Rovers will have to do it all over again this coming weekend. Here are the results of the quarter-final jury:

The Predictorship Cup – Quarter-Finals

1. TRICKY TREES (Alex Iskandar Liew) (14) 5-5 MANCHESTER CITY (Christine Butters) (4)
2. EVERTON (Hope Arnold) (22) 5-2 SOUTHAMPTON (Tom Palmer) (29)
3. CHARLTON ATHLETIC (Nigel Birrell) (6) 5-7 NOTTINGHAM FOREST (Matthew White) (2)
4. CLAPTON F.C. (Cathryn Harker) (5) 3-3 BLACKBURN ROVERS (Sally Moon) (8)

* Figures in brackets show current league position.

Quarter-Final Replays (15th-16th March)

1. MANCHESTER CITY (Christine Butters) (4) v TRICKY TREES (Alex Iskandar Liew) (14)
2. BLACKBURN ROVERS (Sally Moon) (8) v CLAPTON F.C. (Cathryn Harker) (5)

* Figures in brackets show league position on 15th March.

FA Cup Quarter-Final Results (Week 32): Manchester United 0-1 Portsmouth (0); Barnsley 1-0 Chelsea (1); Middlesbrough 0-2 Cardiff (1); Bristol Rovers 1-5 West Brom (0); Premier League Results (Week 32): Blackburn 1-1 Fulham (2); Liverpool 3-0 Newcastle (3); Reading 2-0 Manchester City (1); Sunderland 0-1 Everton (10); Tottenham 4-0 West Ham (0); Wigan 0-0 Arsenal (1).

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

Highest Score (Week 32): 7 – Matthew White.
Average Score (Week 32): 3.82.
Predictions of the Week (Week 32): Rob Molloy (Middlesbrough 0-2 Cardiff) and Joe Zalewski (Barnsley 1-0 Chelsea), although Joe’s prediction was more by luck than judgement, requesting 10 1-0 home wins rather than predicting all 10 games individually – a practice that might have to be outlawed before the start of next season.

Top of the Table (Week 32):

1. Jersey United (Mike Dufficy) – 235 pts
2. Nottingham Forest (Matthew White) – 224 pts
3. Chelsea (Dave Taylor) – 220 pts
4. Manchester City (Christine Butters) – 218 pts
5. Clapton F.C. (Cathryn Harker) – 214 pts
6. Charlton Athletic (Nigel Birrell) – 213 pts
7. West Ham United (Wendy Nathan) – 212 pts
8. Liverpool Reserves (Saleel Sathe) – 211 pts
9. Blackburn Rovers (Sally Moon) – 210 pts
10. FC Squan 1980 (Patrick Bevilacqua) – 209 pts

Did you know? …

There have been more away wins (167) than home victories (149) in League 2 this season? If the trend continues for the remainder of the season, it will be the first time in the football league’s 120-year history that away successes will have outnumbered home wins in any division.

Quotes of the Week …

“Sorry for the tardiness. I went out big for my birthday last night and just woke up. I swear I know nothing of the scores.” – FC Squan 1980’s Patrick Bevilacqua submits his predictions at 5.10pm on Saturday afternoon. He was right: he knew nothing of the scores. Just three points for the Squan.

“I feel nothing for him (Avram Grant) but I feel everything for the club (Chelsea). I still feel the club is part of me and I want them to succeed. But I hope to play them next season in the Champions League and I want to go there and kill them.” – the straight-talking Jose Mourinho.

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