MONDAY NIGHT SUMMER LEAGUE WEEK 5 ROUND-UP
Published 19/06/2018 at 16:05:52 by David Wackrill.DIV 1
Results: HowSmall 3 Spinners 2, Ijebu Warriors 5 Topspin 0, Stormers 5 Sweet N Sour 0
Table: 1st Ijebu Warriors (18), 2nd Howsmall (17), 3rd Spinners (16), 4th Topspin (12) 5th Stormers (8), 6th Sweet N Sour (4)
The last time the Summer League programme coincided with a big England football match I witnessed grown men crying into their smart phones as Iceland incongruously dumped England out of the European Championships. No such misery tonight as Tunisia duly obliged, just, in their underdog role. Plenty of drama too at the Kingston centre with the fourth different leaders emerging in as many weeks and the first relegation of the Summer decided.
In this final week of the first cycle the top 2 clashed with defending champions HowSmall triumphing 3-2 over the last remaining unbeaten team Spinners. The doubles proved crucial after the singles sets left the teams level. Nick Howard was back for HowSmall to partner Guy Sparrow, both beating Pete Tillotson but losing to the imperious Alan Cherry.
The 2 mid-table sides also faced each other with the impressive Warriors duo of Ricky Tiawo and Jordi Amat Foraster recording their third successive whitewash to leapfrog both HowSmall & Spinners to claim top spot. Mervyn Kelly returned for Topspin to partner Russell Penn but was unsuccessful. Jordi only lost twice in Div 1 last season and one of those was to Mervyn but no repeat here. Similarly Russell beat Ricky both times in the Winter League but was denied a hat-trick of wins over the resilient defender.
At the bottom my Stormers team was locked in a relegation battle with Sweet N Sour, the losers doomed to play the next round of matches in Division 2. With Julie Snowdon in Las Vegas Sweet N Sour brought in Geoff Turner for this vital match but he lost in straight games twice over to Andy Smith and myself. The only close set in another whitewash result was a 7 game thriller between me and Terry Lau, surprisingly the only set to go the distance in any of the 3 matches.
Player of the week is Alan Cherry.
Top 6 in the averages after first cycle (3 or more matches played) – Alan Cherry 100%, Guy Sparrow 80%, Jordi Amat Foraster 80%. Ricky Taiwo 70%, Nick Howard 67%, Mal Hussain 67%.
DIV 2 (courtesy of Mike Ainsworth)
Classics 3 Hit n Hope 2
Towcester 5 Blades 0
Phoenix 5 Swifts 0
Against the competing attraction of England’s opening match in the World Cup it was good to see that five of the six teams in division two of the Summer League were able to field their regular players. The exception unfortunately was Hit n Hope but my team were fortunate to be able to call on league newcomer Bernie Raffe who played a major role in the closest match of the evening against Classics.
In the end Classics came out on top with a 3-2 win but Bernie was involved in both wins with a 4-0 victory against Barbara Peters and a 4-0 win in the doubles with Mike Ainsworth. Nick Markham got a brace for Classics.
Bottom placed Blades represented by Brian Evans and Mark Thomas were no match on the evening against the consistent Towcester pair of Iain Lindsay and Ian Brown and the final result of 5-0 looked on the cards from the outset. Hopefully MK’s own Likely Lad, Mark Thomas, was more successful than Bob Ferris and Terry Collier in not finding out the result of the England match before returning home to watch it “live”.
Phoenix played their final match of the first round of matches against Swifts and they finished with a flourish with their fourth 5-0 win out of five (the other win was 4-1). Braces here for Gerald Ridgway and Constantin Ioan. Mo Duncan and Sue Lewis played for Swifts.
Constantin Ioan, Iain Lindsay and Nick Markham are unbeaten at the end of the first round of matches. Next week the division will welcome Sweet and Sour, who will find out if a six point lead is enough to keep them ahead of Towcester at the end of the second round of matches.
Player of the evening: Bernie Raffe
Week 5 Table
Hit 'N Hope 10
Top 6 in division 2 averages (3 or more matches):
Constantin Ioan 100%
Iain Lindsay 100%
Nick Markham 100%
Gerald Ridgway 90%
Ian Brown 88%
Ivor Howard 83%