Our 2nd team have finished 6th in division 1 with one match to go after Ashfield 1 lost 3-2 to Newark 1 in a match they needed to draw to go above us. Gambit 2 are now guaranteed to finish above Ashfield 1 even if we lose our final match v Grantham 1.
Our 3rd team missed a chance to secure safety in division 2 after losing 3-2 to Long Eaton who go above our 3rd team and are now safe. John H and Gary lost quickly to Dave Williams and Sam Clayton. Peter GM and Keith gave the team hope with wins over Norman Davies and Andy Robins but Brian was unable to get the draw required against Alex Bentley. Our 3rd team now need to draw v bottom placed Ashfield 3, unless Newark 2 fail to beat WB 1 in which case they would not be able to catch up with Gambit 3.
Gambit is the only club with at least one team in division 1 since 1991-92 when the league was restructured from 3 divisions of 14+ teams to 5 divisions of 9 teams (reduced to 8 teams in 2006-07). Ashfield didn’t have a team in division 1 in 1992-93 but have had at least one in the following 26 seasons so are hoping their 2nd team finishes in the top two in division 2 to keep that run going. Mansfield have also only missed out once, in 2009-10 when they won division 2 with 27 points. Grantham have had 4 seasons without a team in division 1, West Bridgford 6 seasons (and next season will be their first time without one 2 seasons in a row) and University 7 seasons (including their time as Students before combining with Varsity Staff in 1999). West Nottingham have been in division 1 in 11 of the last 17 seasons and every time they were relegated (6 times) they always bounced back to be promoted the next season. Next season will be their first time with a team in division 1 3 seasons in a row. Newark have been in division 1 in 11 out of the last 16 seasons. The other currently active clubs that have had a team in division 1 since 1991-92 are Long Eaton 12 times, Radcliffe & Bingham 4, Central twice and Nomads once.
Gambit are one of 5 clubs with 2 teams in division 1 in a season during that period. We have achieved this 11 times, University 6 times, Ashfield 5, Oxclose/Fiveways 5 and Grantham 3 times. University had 5 successive seasons with 2 teams from 2003 to 2008. Oxclose/Fiveways had 4 from 1996 to 2000. Gambit will match this next season, our previous best runs being 3 seasons twice, 1991 to 1994 & 2001 to 2004 (immediately after the merger with Dark Horses (formerly Oxclose/Fiveways).