PREMIER/DIV 1 ROUND-UP WEEK 13
LEADERS WHITEWASH LEAVES TITLE RACE OPEN
Any negative thoughts that mid-table MK Kingpins might have harboured about taking yet another pasting from MK Sasaki went out the window when they saw the side that the League leaders had assembled for this match, one of their weakest in their Premier history, with Kelvin Choong playing alongside Division 1 reserves Carl Furness and Jiten Pitamber. The sight of that line-up must have had Kingpins licking their lips at the likely prospect of a whitewash, and so it proved. Maximums all round for Mark Purcell, Julian Adams and Dave Alison. Just one set went the distance as Mark laboured to a workmanlike victory to overcome Kelvin’s defensive wiles.
Former champions MK Spinners closed the gap at the top to 6 points following a 6-4 win over MK Bandits. Gary Jones continued his poor run with another blank. An original member of the Spinners ‘fab four’ who dominated the League for the best part of a decade, had Gary shown just a glimpse of his true form this season then Spinners would be top of the table by now. It was left to skipper Alan Cherry, scoring his 10th hat-trick, and Tim Cheek, to account for the winning sets between them. Michael Wilkins, in his first match since November, grabbed a brace for Bandits.
Both Greenleys teams have suffered from lack of player availability all season which continued this week as they fielding reserves once again for their derby match. Kings are rock bottom and are still without a victory as Monarchs emerged 6-4 winners thanks to a Tom Nowakowski hat-trick. Tom’s had a tough debut season in MK but overcame King’s Guy Sparrow, Nick Howard (both in 5 games) and Christine Scaysbrook here. Ian Dummett filled in for Monarchs this time and beat his division 2 colleague Christine for a crucial win.
Player of the week is Tom Nowakowski.
With top and bottom places virtually already settled, the main focus for the remainder of the season will be on the runners-up and 2nd relegation spots.
Of the 4 contenders for runners-up, St.Christopher Van Hire sit in pole position after this week’s win over a 2-man Woburn Sands Data side with the bottom 2 teams still to play. James Molloy got a couple for Data while Van Hire’s main asset Biao Wang remained unbeaten.
My MK Topspin team move into 3rd place, one point adrift, after beating Primes 8-2. I contributed with a maximum and there were braces for Russell, Penn, Mervyn Kelly and Primes’ Xiangau Gau. But the match that most caught the eye was the clash between the remaining challengers MK Pumas and MK Phoenix. As befits an even contest between well matches sides, this one went down to the wire with the 2 unbeaten players on the night facing each other in the final set. And it was Pumas’ Julie Snowdon who triumphed over Carl Furness to clinch a 6-4 victory for her team and also extend her own impressive run of wins to 11, after a slow start to the season. Pumas are just one point behind Topspin and one ahead of Phoenix.
Meanwhile MK Powers eased their relegation fears after returning from Greenleys Eagles with a draw. Minesh Pitamber and Pete Tillotson earned the points between them aided by a couple of deuce in the 5th game wins along the way. A share of the spoils keeps Powers 3 points ahead of Primes.
Top played bottom in the remaining match as Greenleys Warriors thrashed Chackmore Hasbeens 10-0. Maximums here for Ricky Taiwo, Ollie Horswell and, playing up from Division 2, Jordi Foraster. Hasbeens took advantage of the Xmas break to slip in their next home match against Data, which was lost 7-3. Bub Burman took a handy brace but the visitors star turn James Molloy went home with a hat-trick under his belt.
Player of the week is Julie Snowdon.