Some may recall the item I posted back in February, following a review of match statistics going back to 2012-13.
I’ve completed a similar analysis of this season’s match results, using the same benchmarks and the results are set out below. This season saw a high proportion of high-scoring matches and perhaps reflects closer competition among the teams than we have seen in seasons past.
The League season saw 13 matches with a total combined points score greater than 200:
It’s quite a low proportion of these high-scoring matches which end with the winner scoring fewer aggregate points than the losing team. In the 118 high-scoring 5-set matches across all divisions (>200 points) since 2012-13, only 24 have been won by the team with the lower aggregate points total.
The highest aggregate total this season was 221 in the Men’s Div 1 match between Dartford-1 and Team Medway; both teams’ first match of the season. This 5-setter saw Medway take the spoils, despite Dartford outscoring them by 111-110 in aggregate.
It surpassed the Team Medway v Invicta-Hengist match last season (total 219) to become the 8th highest aggregate points total since 2012-23.
But it was the only 5-setter to make it onto the >200 points list in Men’s Div 1 and one of only 2 x 5-setters across the division for the season.
Men’s Div 2
6 of the matches in Men’s Div 2 ended with aggregate scores > 200 points.
3 of them ended with the winning team scoring fewer aggregate points than the losing team (well above the historic average!)
Dartford-2 and Tonbridge-2 featured 3 times. Tonbridge ran out winners in all 3 of their close encounters; Dartford-2 won 2 and lost 1.
Dartford-3, Maidstone-Cobalt and Maidstone-Rocks each featured twice.
In the women’s division, only 4 of the 42 matches went into the >200 points bracket.
Maidstone-Diamonds featured in 3 of them, winning all 3.
But the highest aggregate points total – 223 – came in the match between Strood-W and Team Medway-W, which Strood won 16-14 in the final set.
223 is the 6th highest aggregate total across all divisions, since 2012-13.
The number of high-scoring 4-set matches (>180 points aggregate) across the divisions rose in comparison with previous seasons:
5 in Men’s Div 1 (none in 2021-22)
4 in Men’s Div 2
3 in the Women’s Division. This compares with an average of 1 over the previous 9 seasons (including 2 in 2021-22).
The highest set score this season came in the Oasis v Dartford-1 match in Men's Division 1, in March. Oasis won the 3rd set 35-33 and, quite possibly, scuppered D-1’s title challenge into the bargain. Team Medway went on to win the title on sets difference, by a single set. If Dartford had managed to take the set, they and Medway would have been level on points and sets difference.
Only 5 of the scheduled 9 matches were completed, with Maidstone-Quartz taking the title with a 100% record.
Strood completed 5 of their 6 matches and finished 2nd, just a single point ahead of Dartford.
2 of the 5 matches went to 5 sets, between Strood and Dartford on both occasions.
1-1 between the 2 teams, so a decider would seem appropriate for bragging rights.
Both matches found their way onto the >200 points list, with an average 46 points per set across the 8 full sets (a shade under 42 points per set if we include the 5th set in each case).
3 of the men’s cup matches found their way onto the >200 points list, all of them featuring Strood.
Strood certainly won this year’s men’s KO Cup the hard way, with those 3 x 5-set victories and another high-scorer in 4 sets against Oasis by 3-1, 101-95. That was the 4th highest 4-set aggregate points total in any match over the period since 2012-13.
Strood’s run included their see-saw 5-set Cup Final match against Team Medway. Only 1 point between the teams in aggregate, with Medway scoring the extra point (101-100) but to no avail as Strood sealed their win 15-8 in the 5th set.