Alex Iskandar Liewâ€™s Tricky Trees (if you can’t see the wood for the trees, it’s a reference to the mighty Nottingham Forest) are the first team to book a date at the brand spanking new Wembley following a tense 7-6 win over Hope Arnoldâ€™s Everton in the Predictorship Cup semi-finals. Up the Trees!
Alexâ€™s charges are still waiting to find out who theyâ€™ll face in the showpiece final after the â€œBattle of Suffolkâ€ between Matthew Whiteâ€™s Nottingham Forest and Sally Moonâ€™s Blackburn Rovers finished all square at 8-8. The replay is wheeled out at Ewood Park this weekend.
Alex was so desperate to lead his team out on to Wembleyâ€™s hallowed turf that he even offered up an 11th prediction, Manchester City 0 Chelsea 2, when he spotted that the game had been puzzlingly omitted from last weekendâ€™s fixture card to make way for the two FA Cup semi-finals. Quite how the City v Chelsea game got overlooked in favour of Wigan v Birmingham or Fulham v Sunderland is a mystery, but to question the fixture compiler would be as unwise as a two-footed lunge on a referee or player of your choice, wearing boots with six-inch blades for studs.
The Predictorship Cup Semi-Finals
1. NOTTINGHAM FOREST (Matthew White) (3) 8-8 BLACKBURN ROVERS (Sally Moon) (8)
2. TRICKY TREES (Alex Iskandar Liew) (14) 7-6 EVERTON (Hope Arnold) (15)
* Figures in brackets show current league position.
Now back to the humdrum of the league, where Mike Dufficyâ€™s lead over Dave Taylor now stands at 11 points. With just five weeks of the season left, the chances of Dave, third-placed Matthew White or a rallying, fourth-placed Saleel Sathe catching the Channel-Islander are, like Jersey off the coast of southern England, somewhat remote.
Saleel climbs to a seasonal high thanks to 10 points, which includes maximum points for the FA Cup semi-finals. Nicola â€˜more than the averageâ€™ Savage, who recently flew the GWR nest in search of pastures new, also nets an impressive 10 points, a total that features the two-point ripsnorters Portsmouth 1 West Brom 0 and Blackburn 1 Tottenham 1.
Maziar Sattari is one place and four points off a top 10 berth after collecting nine points, featuring correct results for the Portsmouth, Blackburn and Everton games.
Finally, some early publicity for our annual â€˜Prediction of the Seasonâ€™ jamboree. The runners and riders will be posted right here before the curtain falls on another campaign. Get ready to cast your vote!
FA Cup Semi-Final Results (Week 36): Portsmouth 1-0 West Brom (5); Barnsley 0-1 Cardiff (7); Premier League Results (Week 36): Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (4); Aston Villa 4-0 Bolton (0); Blackburn 1-1 Tottenham (10); Fulham 1-3 Sunderland (0); Newcastle 3-0 Reading (2); Wigan 2-0 Birmingham (2); Everton 1-0 Derby (5); Middlesbrough 2-2 Manchester United (2).
* Figures in brackets show the number of correct predictions for each game.
Highest Score (Week 36): 10 â€“ Saleel Sathe and Nicola Savage.
Average Score (Week 36): 6.46.
Prediction of the Week (Week 36): Ben Wallis and Ted Warland (Middlesbrough 2-2 Manchester United).
Top of the Table (Week 36):
1. Jersey United (Mike Dufficy) â€“ 263 pts
2. Chelsea (Dave Taylor) â€“ 252 pts
3. Nottingham Forest (Matthew White) â€“ 251 pts
4. Liverpool Reserves (Saleel Sathe) â€“ 246 pts
5. Manchester City (Christine Butters) â€“ 244 pts
6. Clapton F.C. (Cathryn Harker) â€“ 241 pts
7. Charlton Athletic (Nigel Birrell) â€“ 239 pts
8. Blackburn Rovers (Sally Moon) â€“ 238 pts
9. West Ham United (Wendy Nathan) â€“ 238 pts
10. Dartmoor Rovers (Jill Taylor) â€“ 236 pts