It’s winner stays up...
ST Cuthberts’ fight to stay in the second division will be pushed into the final week of the Master Lock & Safe Southport and District Badminton League.
After a surprise winning draw over Southsands, they are now level on points with relegation rivals West End Park II, who themselves lost 8-0 to high-flying Woodvale II.
Their last matches will see them against each other, where the loser goes down to division three next season.
In other second division news, Woodvale III managed to escape from this battle of survival with an impressive two wins in as many days.
Those wins confirmed safety for another season.
Meanwhile, leaders Churchtown II secured the second division title with a commanding 8-0 win over Mawdesley II.
That result means Woodvale II will have to settle for second.
In the first division, a crucial 5-3 win over Victoria Hall means that one more win will see Mawdesley secure the first division title.
Should they not gain all three points against Woodvale in their final match, second placed side Churchtown will be making sure to snatch the title from their grasp.
The current champions claimed an impressive 8-0 win over Burscough Pioneers to remain two points from top spot.
At the bottom, Victoria Hall II still has a fighter’s chance of escaping the drop.
But with their last couple of matches against much higher-ranked sides, they will be living in hope.
Should they succeed in finding three points from those two remaining matches, Burscough Pioneers could see them move to the second division.
Division three has had one of the most entertaining battles for promotion, and with neither spot confirmed, it is still all to play for in the final week.
A 7-1 win over fourth placed Ormskirk keeps Mawdesley III on top, with Formby just behind after their narrow 5-3 victory against Burscough Pioneers II.
That means only set difference separates them.
Despite collecting their 14th win of the season against Ormskirk II, it might not be enough for third place Hesketh Bank who are still one point behind the top two.
With all three sides playing teams they are expecting to comfortably beat, there is likely to be no further twist to this season-long tale.
Woodvale’s eighth team suffered a slip in their promotion battle after suffering a tough 5-3 loss to Southsands IV.
That result, along with the well fought 5-3 win for Southport VIII over Woodvale VII, puts the Southport side into the driving seat with one match left.
As for leaders Tarleton IV, it is one win away from a perfect league season after their comfortable 6-2 win over West End Park IV.
At the opposite end of the table, Hesketh Bank III confirmed relegation after a 7-1 defeat at the hands of mid-table side Southsands V.
However, this may only be temporary due to a higher division ending the season with nine sides. That turn of events may give them a reprieve.
Fifth division leaders Formby II missed out on claiming the fifth division title.
A winning draw against fourth place side St Cuthberts III means a losing draw will be enough in their last match of the season against midtable side Churchtown IV.
Should any upset occur, it will be up to the already promoted Ormskirk III to snatch the title from their hands.
Their 8-0 win over Mawdesley V has given them the perfect momentum against bottom side Southport VII.
In the battle to avoid relegation, it is up to Formby Methodist.
A winning draw is all they need against third placed side St Cuthberts III.
But with them playing a much higher-ranked side, relegation rivals Mawdesley V may consider themselves lucky by the end of the next week.
In the league’s bottom division, Churchtown V further cemented their promotion with a handsome 8-0 victory against bottom side Southsands VII.
Lower down, Southport IX secured an upset, 7-1 win against Southsands VI, to keep their slim chances of finishing third alive.
Also, Formby Methodist II overtook St Cuthberts’ fifth team with a 6-2 win in an all bottom-half encounter.
In division four, it is all about placings or pride as all four promotion and relegation spots were confirmed a couple of weeks ago.
Burscough Pioneers III claimed a bit of honour with a 7-1 win against Southport VI in a battle of the bottom two.
Elsewhere, St Cuthberts II snatched a winning draw over fellow top half side Woodvale V.
Next week sees the league season come to an end.
Keep an eye on the latest news, results and league tables on the league’s official website, www.southportbadminton.com.
Also, like the league’s official Facebook page.