Published 20/12/2018 at 10:44:19 by David Wackrill; edited 3 times, last on 20/12/2018 at 17:04:49 by David Wackrill.

High flying Greenleys Kings went down to their first defeat in over 2 months when they lost 6-4 to promoted club-mates Warriors. All 3 Kings’ players conceded sets, though Nick Howard and Gary Deakin just the one each to Warriors’ Colin Huang who hit a great hat-trick. It was a rare blank night for Guy Sparrow as he also lost to Ricky Taiwo and Ollie Horswell. Despite defeat Kings’ upbeat skipper Howard was full of praise for new Kingman Gary’s continued improvement and he could prove a handful to opponents in the second half of the season.
With the Kings losing, leaders Sasaki were able to stretch their lead to 10 points after a 7-3 win over MK Spinners. But they certainly didn’t have matters all their own way as Spinners led 3-1, at which stage it looked like Sasaki’s unbeaten record may be in danger. Alan Cherry opened with a 5-game win over James George, Tim Cheek recorded his first ever win over Michael Wilkins and Alan took the doubles with Gary Jones. But Sasaki hit back strongly to win all the remaining sets despite 5 of them going to a decider. The pick of these was Michael’s win over Alan, and for the second time this season too. A maximum here for Matt Haynes.
MK Kingpins beat a 2-man Greenleys Monarchs 7-3 with Craig Brown unbeaten. Dave Tiplady bagged a brace for Monarchs while team-mate Martin Hall was winless. Regulars Dave Allison and Mark Purcell completed the Kingpins line-up.
In the spare week before Christmas Spinners and Kingpins, both in relegation trouble, were able to fulfil their outstanding fixture from 26 September when all the matches on the night at Kingston were abandoned because of a medical incident in a lower Division match which required the attendance of an ambulance unit. Kingpins extended their lead to 7 points after a 6-4 win with hat-tricks from Dave Allison and Craig Brown. If Dave lives to be 100 he will never have another night like this. Dave recovered from 2-1 down in games and 7-3 down in 4th to beat Tim Cheek, then came from 2 games down again to beat both Alan Cherry and Neil Massa. Mark Purcell made up the Kingpins compliment.
Player of the week is Dave Allison.
My MK Topspin side are leading a charmed life at present. After our 3rd defeat in 4 matches we go into the Christmas break still, somehow, hanging onto top position. A fortnight ago it looked like MK Phoenix would overtake us but for fielding a weakened side with no place for any of the star names that appeared for them on this week's score-sheet which secured a 6-4 win against us. Good braces here from Ioan Constantin and Alan Bolding. In return Mervyn Kelly celebrating his 50th match for Topspin, and myself hit back with 2 wins each. In a midnight finish all of Gerald Ridgway’s sets went to 5 games and he was unlucky to lose to both Mervyn and me by 2-point margins in the dedciders. A winless Russell Penn made up the Topspin compliment.
This left the door open for MK Powers to take top spot by winning big against bottom side Newport Pagnell Vantage. But they remain 3rd after only managing a draw with div 3 reserve Geoff Turner pressed into service alongside Powers’ regulars Pete Tillotson and Sarah Hudson. Pete hit a hat-trick and Sarah a brace after a sensational opening set defeat to Mike Howard. The wonderful Tony Ardis/Sue Lewis duo sealed the result with yet another doubles victory and this combo now have the most wins by any pairing in the division.
St.Christopher Van Hire beat Woburn Sands Data 7-3 with a maximum from Biao Wang and 2 each from Fabrice Spelta and David Broome. Data responded with a James Molloy brace and a James/Dave McGarragh doubles success. Paul Hamer played up from div 3 but didn’t win a single game. This is the 5th time this season that struggling Data have needed a lower div sub and, following this week’s results, now slip below Vantage to bottom spot.
Only 3 matches this week as the Greenleys derby between Glory and Eagles didn’t happen. Glory could not raise a team.
Player of the week is Mervyn Kelly

DIVISION 2  (courtesy of Martin Johnson)

In the final week prior to the break for Christmas / New Year, and the switch mainly to Cup competition during January, OU Primes continue to dominate at the top of division 2, collecting their 11th consecutive win, this time winning 7-3 against 5th placed Mursley Swallows. Although Charles Tien lost a close opening set against Martin Johnson, Primes were soon into their stride, reeling off the next seven sets. Charity Wong won a maximum, despite being pushed to five games by both Martin and reserve, David Bartlett, Patrick Wong won twice, also teaming up with Charity to take the Doubles as usual (also the team’s 11 straight Doubles win), whilst Charles overcame Peter Sear, in a set which featured an amazing comeback. Charles had lost legs 1 and 2 both at 11-5, and he was 10-3 down in the third, but some good serving, good hits, and Peter’s shots starting to miss, he somehow went on to win the remaining three legs at deuce, deuce and 11-9, to leave Peter wondering how he could have lost! Swallows, though, still had some fight left, and David put in a great performance to beat Charles in set 9, then Martin found his top form to hit through Patrick in the final set of the night, and thereby end Patrick’s two month unbeaten run, which had seen him record 25 wins in a row – ironically his last loss had also been at the hands of Martin, back in early October.

Despite their win, Primes lead at the top was narrowed, slightly, as 2nd placed Chackmore Hasbeens had drawn 5-5 with Milton Keynes Hit ‘n’ Hope, the previous week, as Bub Burman won another maximum, and this week Hasbeens powered to a 10-0 win over bottom team, Milton Keynes Blades. Bub was again to the fore, taking his winning run up to 17, complemented by three wins each for both Andy Whitehead and Sam Willett, plus a 10th win out of 10 for the top Doubles pairing of Bub/Andy.  This leaves Hasbeens 13 points adrift of the leaders, whilst their lead over 3rd place is up to 8 points.

Milton Keynes Tornadoes continued their good, recent, run of results, scoring a fine 9-1 win over club mates, Milton Keynes Hit ‘n’ Hope. Ivor Howard scored the consolation win for Hit ‘n’ Hope with a win against Tanmay Tijare, to avoid the whitewash, but neither of Tony Coomber or Andy Frearson were able to make any further inroads against Tanmay, Nicolas Wong and Charlie Gray, as Tornadoes have started to edge clear of the pack of teams chasing the top two. Nicolas was particularly impressive, winning all his sets in straight games, whilst the result sees Hit ‘n’ Hope drop to 6th spot in the table.

Milton Keynes Classics remain in 4th spot, but lost ground a little, as they were surprisingly held to a 5-5 draw by Greenleys Cardinals, with Cardinals overtaking Blades at the foot of the table, as a result, although Blades do have one match in hand. Dylan Cox lead the way for Classics, with a maximum, including the Doubles alongside Masoud Nassor, with Masoud adding another to their total with a five game win over James Zeng, whilst there were two wins apiece for Dan Englander and Gary Viner over Masoud and Barbara Peters, in a match where five of the ten sets went to a deciding leg, yet the remaining five were all three games straight.

It was also a 5-5 draw as 7th and 8th placed teams met, with Mursley Hawks maintaining their six point gap ahead of Newport Pagnell Lagondas. Individual honours went to Mervyn Phillips, who never even looked close to dropping a leg, thereby extending his winning run to eight sets. He teamed with Andy Palmer in the Doubles, but they lost out in the decider to Glen Davison and Roy Read. The other points for Hawks came in the opening set, as Andy got the better of Roy, and the last set, where Richard Hare did likewise. In between, Chris Horn and Glen each won twice, to complete the draw.

Player of the Week : Bub Burman