As an ever present in our Premier Predictions game, indeed, an ever present for SPAGames since 2001, Gareth has had a relatively barren time… until now!
Darren (26 points) and Shaun (24) were early pace-setters, with a gaggle of ten other players scoring between 16 and 20 points. Defending Champion from Game 01, Jamie S was also in that chasing group, with a steady 18 points from the 27 matches predicted (0.67 points per match).
Darren obviously picked up the Player-of-the-Month award. Darren (again) and Martin H were the early top scorers in the One-Round-Wonder as well, both scoring 13 points in Round 3.
Early in February Simon stuck in a 14 point round to take top spot in the One-Round-Wonder table – this would remain the target to beat for a further two months before Craig Ellis snuck in and dashed Simon’s hopes.
Darren followed up his top spot in January with a second place in February, this time trailing Martin G by 2 points. Darren’s February haul of 32 was matched by Gareth Bridges as the two of them started to make a break for it at the top of the Overall table.
March belonged to Gareth and Dan as they shared top spot in the Player of the Month table with 25 points a piece.
Mike pushed them all the way finishing the month just two points behind.
The run-in to the end of the season was dominated by the Darren/Gareth two-way battle to be crowned Champion. Those chasing behind were realistically squabbling over third place, or so it seemed!
With just two full weekends (and five rearranged matches) to go, Darren had a one point lead from Gareth after picking up three points for the rearranged Southampton v Arsenal match on the previous Wednesday. I suggested Darren was in the driving seat and would probably go on to win overall – unfortunately for Darren, he would prove me wrong!
8 points in each of the last two rounds (17 & 18) for Darren was OK, but somewhat short of the 25 scored by Mark and the 23 by his main rival, Gareth, in the same period. As a result of those last two weeks, Gareth was able to cruise to his first SPAPP win, a not inconsiderable £85.05 and the title of SPAGames Premier Predictions Champion.
“It’s about bloody time!! It was a good tussle at the top over the last few weeks, was a great effort from Darren, well done to him and to Mark for his late run to second place. Finally to Alex – who’s the daddy?!”
Gareth Bridges, after being crowned SPAPP Champion
Not only did Darren’s average final two weeks see him drop away from Gareth, but it also allowed Mark to sneak by into second place and pick up £56.70 into the bargain!
Darren had to settle for £28.35 and a session of wound licking perhaps! It was the second game in a row that he’d finished in third spot. If it’s any consolation, that level of consistency must have a proper reward soon.
Another player hoping to build on decent consistency is Martin H. Game 01 of this season saw Martin finish just outside of the money in fifth place, just one point from third. Game 02 saw a similar fate, this time finishing fourth just two points from third. Surely a sign of even better things to come.
On his way to winning the final Player of the Month (April/May), Jamie almost maneuvered his way into the top three, eventually falling just 6 points short of Darren in third, having outscored him by 14 points in those final few weeks.
An award for tenth place is given to keep those lower down the pecking order the opportunity to pick up some prize money. It’s always impossible to predict who will collect 10% of the prize pot – this time round, £28.35.
So, bearing in mind the random nature of the position, it’s surprising that Chris managed to finish in that very position in each of the last two SPAPP games he’s played (15/16 Game 02 and 16/17 Game 02)! As if to prove the adage ‘if you can’t be good, be lucky’!
One Round Wonder
For two months, from Round five to Round 13, Simon held the advantage at the top of the One-Round-Wonder table. He scored 14 points, displacing Darren and Martin H who had both scored 13 in Round three. That top spot wasn’t to last until the end of the season though. New boy Craig managed to slap in a 15 point week in Round 13 and take the £28.35 prize.
Craig could consider himself fortunate to hold on, as the One Week Wonder was won with 16 points in Game 01 (Mark). He was so moved by his achievement, he was heard (read, whatever!) to say… “Loved it. Loads of prizes kept running right till [the] last week. Liked it better than the Super Six league I was in”. In your face Sky Sports!
“Loved it loads of prizes kept running right till [the] last week. Liked it better than the Super Six league I was in.”
Craig Ellis, One Round Wonder Winner in his debut Game
2017/18 – Key Dates
So my preparation for next season starts now. The 2016/17 Premier League fixtures will be released on 14th June and will include Newcastle United after bouncing straight back up, Brighton for the first time since 1983, and one of either Reading or Huddersfield.
The transfer window re-opens on 1st July and the new season kicks-off on August 12th.
Enjoy the Summer, with no major football tournament, and thanks for playing.