Tantallon turn up heat at frozen North Berwick
Tantallon kept up the pressure on leaders Gullane by beating Longniddry 5-0 in Sunday's league encounter at North Berwick's West Links.
Amidst the freezing temperatures that caused the weekend's only other fixture to be postponed, the result avenged the home team's Cup defeat to the same opponents a fortnight earlier. More importantly, it closed the "points difference" gap between the top two teams in the league table.
Tantallon are due to finish their campaign with a home match against Gullane on 3rd March. With Gullane currently two points ahead in the table, Tantallon expect to have to win that match to catch up, and the margin of the win they will require to claim the title depends on the relative points difference going in to the match.
Both teams have one match to play before that happens, so the scenario is as follows:
If Gullane beat Craigielaw (at home) and Tantallon fail to win at Musselburgh on 24th Feb, Gullane win the league. If Tantallon win and Gullane lose, the final match will be a straight head-to-head with the winner taking the title. If both teams win, the margins of their victories come into play.
If both teams win by the same margin on the 24th, Tantallon will require a 3 1/2 - 1 1/2 win on 3rd March to take the title. Gullane can afford a 3-2 defeat.
If Tantallon beat Musselburgh by 1 full point more than Gullane defeat Craigielaw, a 3-2 win on 3rd March would be enough for Tantallon to claim the title.
Conversely if Gullane beat Craigielaw by 1 pont more than Tantallon's margin of victory, Tantallon will go into the final match requiring a 4-1 win. If Gullane beat Craigielaw 5-0 and Tantallon only prevail 3-2 at Musselburgh, Tantallon will need to beat the leaders 4 1/2 - 1/2. It seems odds on the title race will go down to the last weekend.
Longniddry's defeat confirms 1st Division status for another year for both Craigielaw and Royal Musselburgh, but Musselburgh still have work to do to survive, should Longniddry win their remining match on 24th Feb.
Meanwhile the course at Craigielaw fell victim to the weather, and the club's home match against Musselburgh has been moved to 12.10 on Sunday 17th February.