Donâ€™t let my feeble, headline-grabbing attempt to illustrate the slurred speech of an inebriated predictor hide the bare facts: Steven Dunlop deserves a medal for hitting the top score this week, 11, while coming to terms with a booze-induced hangover in Lisbon. Miraculoush!
A bleary-eyed Steven, evidently, understandably and forgivably drowning his sorrows after Benficaâ€™s sorry demise in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, found the strength to drag himself out of bed on Saturday morning to stump up eight correct results and three correct scores, hitting the jackpot with the match-ups at Manchester City, Wigan and Birmingham. The resulting 11 points elevates Steven to 15th position in the table, just three places off his seasonal high.
Hot on Stevenâ€™s proverbial heels (although you never know what the menfolk of Lisbon get up to during an evening on the â€œrazzâ€) is David Roberts, who collects 10 points, including four correct scores for the encounters at Liverpool, Portsmouth, Manchester City and Wigan. David, denied 16th position in the table only on surname difference from fellow British Hit Singles & Albums cohort Dave McAleer, has risen as high as 7th this term and, like Steven, is now eyeing up a top 10 finish after a profitable week.
If you scored nine points you also deserve a mention, so here goes: â€œhim off the tellyâ€ Mark Lawrenson, Predictorship Cup semi-finalist Alex Iskandar â€œIâ€™m targeting a top 10 finishâ€ Liew, Dave Taylor, who moves back into the runner-up spot at the expense of a highly frustrated four-point me, and Joe Zalewski, who bisects the Wallers down in the nether regions of the table following another quick-fire prediction process that consisted of nine 1-0 home wins and a 0-2 success for Chelsea at Sunderland.
Having let the cat out of the proverbial bag (letâ€™s hope there are no caged lions in Lisbon) in the previous paragraph, I sense youâ€™re expecting me to fill you in with the remaining Predictorship Cup quarter-final replay details. Never one to disappoint, I can now reveal that Alex Iskandar Liewâ€™s Tricky Trees downed Christine Buttersâ€™ Manchester City 6-9 and Sally Moonâ€™s Blackburn Rovers were left feeling over the, er, moon (pun shamefully intended) following an 8-6 win at home to Cathryn Harkerâ€™s Clapton F.C..
This all means that the county of Suffolk is well and truly on the map in the Predictorship Cup semi-finals: Kedington-based Sallyâ€™s Blackburn join Bury St. Edmunds-dwelling Matthew Whiteâ€™s Nottingham Forest in the last four, along with Alexâ€™s Tricky Trees (well would you adam â€˜nâ€™ eve it â€“ TWO Forest fans in the semi-finals!) and Hope Arnoldâ€™s canâ€™t-think-of-a-suitable-link-right-now Everton. The semi-finals take place on 5th-6th April.
It would be highly inappropriate of me to sign off without a mention of our runaway leader, the East Fife-esque Mike Dufficy, who now enjoys an eye-popping 14-point lead over Dave Taylor. Mike has been at the top for 21 straight weeks (he took over from Dave in week 13) and Predictorshipland bookies have now stopped taking bets on a second league title in three seasons in May.
With a perfect 33 weeks residing in the top five this season and two â€˜Prediction of the Weekâ€™ accolades to his name, Mikeâ€™s achievement is all the more remarkable given that his name does not appear anywhere on the high-score table for scores of 11 points or more. Such scores have been recorded 25 times so far this season, with Rob Dimery and Nick Watson still leading the way with 13 points in weeks 14 and 20 respectively.
Premier League Results (Week 33): Derby 0-1 Manchester United (2); Liverpool 2-1 Reading (7); Portsmouth 2-0 Aston Villa (2); Sunderland 0-1 Chelsea (8); West Ham 2-1 Blackburn (6); Arsenal 1-1 Middlesbrough (0); Fulham 1-0 Everton (4); Wigan 1-0 Bolton (16); Manchester City 2-1 Tottenham (6); Birmingham 1-1 Newcastle (9).
* Figures in brackets show the number of correct predictions for each game.
Highest Score (Week 33): 11 â€“ Steven Dunlop.
Average Score (Week 33): 6.47.
Prediction of the Week (Week 33): Defying all logic, the four predictors who plumped for Fulham 1-0 Everton: Cathryn Harker, Alex Iskandar Liew, Ben Wallis and Joe Zalewski.
Top of the Table (Week 33):
1. Jersey United (Mike Dufficy) â€“ 243 pts
2. Chelsea (Dave Taylor) â€“ 229 pts
3. Nottingham Forest (Matthew White) â€“ 228 pts
4. Manchester City (Christine Butters) â€“ 224 pts
5. Charlton Athletic (Nigel Birrell) â€“ 221 pts
6. Clapton F.C. (Cathryn Harker) â€“ 220 pts
7. Liverpool Reserves (Saleel Sathe) â€“ 219 pts
8. Blackburn Rovers (Sally Moon) â€“ 218 pts
9. West Ham United (Wendy Nathan) â€“ 218 pts
10. FC Squan 1980 (Patrick Bevilacqua) â€“ 216 pts