PREMIER/DIV 1 & 2 ROUND-UP WEEK 16
Published 08/02/2019 at 13:22:38 by David Wackrill; edited 4 times, last on 09/02/2019 at 13:43:50 by David Wackrill.
SASAKI SUPREME AS KINGS RULE
Ex MK Sasaki skipper Thai Anh Lieu’s ambition was always for his team to win the League, and indeed he brought in Matt Evans for this purpose. Now that he’s moved on Sasaki are on the brink of fulfilling his dream. Shame he shall miss it. They fielded their big guns this week to crush Greenleys Warriors 10-0, with just 5 of the 35 games going against them, the biggest margin of victory in the division this season. Only Ricky Taiwo put up strong resistance when taking both Matt and Jamie Hendy close in deciding games. It was all too easy for Matt Haynes however as he won his sets 3-straight conceding only 46 points in the process, another record. Ollie Horswell and Iain Lindsay, playing up from div 1, turned out for Warriors.
Greenleys Kings took a giant step towards a 2nd place finish by seeing off their closest rivals Greenleys Monarchs 8-2. This represents a ‘changing of the guard’ moment for the Greenleys club. For over 26 years the mighty Monarchs have ruled the Greenleys' roost, never having lost to another Greenleys side in all that time, although hardly surprising with the likes of Andrew Baggaley to call on. But that all changed last February when the irresistible rise of the Kings achieved the breakthrough win which had eluded all of Monarchs’ stable-mates down the quarter of a century since the club’s formation. Now, having beaten them for the 3rd time this season, and with a 10 point lead in the bag, the Kings must surely be crowned Greenleys’ premier team. In this latest match, yet another master class from hat-trick man Nick Howard was well supported by braces from Gary Deakin and Guy Sparrow. Tomek Nowakowski got a brace himself for Monarchs with Ian Johnston and Martin Hall winless.
The dubious race for bottom place livened up this week with MK Spinners overtaking clubmates Kingpins after an 8-2 win which reversed the final 2 places. The Spinners’ lads showed some of their old fire and desire by taking 4 of the sets which went the distance, in the process coming from behind in the deciding games each time. Gary Jones, who’s form has picked up considerably lately, and Neil Massa scored maximums and Tim Cheek a single, Tim losing to Dave Alison and ex-Spinner Craig Brown. Mark Purcell’s worst ever season continues with another blank here.
Player of the week is Gary Jones.
My MK Topspin’s long run at the top will be over next week as at least one of the chasing pack are destined to assume ascendancy. We laboured to a 7-3 win this time over a 2-man Woburn Sands Data team in a lack-lustre display. James Molloy hit a fine maximum for Data with Rob McPheat winless. Topspin gave a debut to Keegan Barstow, a recent recruit to TTE staff, alongside Russell Penn and myself.
Closest rivals MK Phoenix demolished Newport Pagnell Vantage 9-1 to go 2 points behind the leaders and should be top dogs this time next week. Maximums here for Ioan Constantin and Alan Bolding with a brace from Terry Lau. Vantage’s solitary win came in the final set of the night from Mike Howard, who beat Terry 15-13 in the 5th after saving 4 match points. Tony Ardis and Sue Lewis completed the Vantage side.
3rd placed MK Powers forced a draw with Greenleys Glory thanks to an 11-9 in the 5th game win in the final set by Sarah Hudson against Ian Brown. This triumph completed Sarah’s hat-trick and the girl is on fire at the moment, which is just as well for Powers as they only managed one more singles win, courtesy of Clare Styles, at Christine Scaysbrook’s expense. A rare blank here for top 8 finalist Minesh Pitamber. Glory’s Jacob Midson is getting into his stride now and joined Ian Brown on a brace.
Another draw was fought out between MK Pumas and St.Christopher Van Hire. Andy Smith (20 wins in his last 22) hit his regulation hat-trick with single wins support from Chris Belton and Keith Carrington with wins against David Broome. So a brace a-piece for Van Hire’s Fabrice Spelta and Paul Haigh to add to a fine doubles win for Data, just their 2nd of the season, over the established Smith/Belton duo, who not so long ago were beating Premier pairing Dave Alison/Mark Purcell in the annual tournament. Don't forget to enter this year's competiion on 17 February.
It’s been an intriguing battle for bottom place all season between Data and Vantage, and the sides met ahead of schedule, at Data’s request, during one of the spare Cup weeks recently with Data scoring a, what may yet prove to be decisive, 6-4 win. Their only other win this season also came at Vantage’s expense. They had to do it the hard way too, recovering from a 0-3 deficit after Mike Howard had beaten James Molloy, Sue Lewis had taken out Dave McGarragh and Tony Ardis had accounted for Rob McPheat. The fightback started in unexpected fashion with a surprise doubles defeat for the usually reliable Lewis/Ardis combo and Vantage only managed one more win when Tony beat Dave. But the most interesting game score, the highest in the division this term, was a 22-20 between Sue and James.
Player of the week is Sarah Hudson.
DIVISION 2 (courtesy of Martin Johnson)
The first week back after the initial rounds of the Cup saw things go very much by the form book, with the fixtures happening to pit the top five teams against the bottom five teams, and there were no real surprises in the results.
Second placed Chackmore Hasbeens picked up the best result, winning 9-1 at ninth placed Greenleys Cardinals, to slightly narrow the gap to the leaders, and marginally open the gap to third spot. Bub Burman extended his winning run to 20 in a row, with Sam Willett also unbeaten, whilst Bub/Andy Whitehead improved their doubles record to 11 in a row, and the team’s doubles record to 13 out of 14. Andy also collected two singles wins, only being pipped by Dwight Edwards at 11-9 in the fifth leg of set 9, but there was no joy for either Dan Englander or James Zeng, despite James twice, and Dan once, taking their opponent to the fifth leg.
Third placed Milton Keynes Classics scored an 8-2 win at seventh placed Mursley Hawks, to keep a promotion spot within sight, as both Dylan Cox and Masoud Nassor were unbeaten. The pair also took the doubles, with Dylan extending his unbeaten singles run to 16. Nick Markham collected the remaining singles win for Classics against Andy Palmer, whilst there was one win apiece for both Andy King and Dan Walters for Hawks.
Leaders Open Unversity Primes collected their 13th win in a row, this time 7-3 at eighth placed Newport Pagnell Lagondas. No-one won all their singles, but it was two wins each for the Primes trio of Charles Tien, Martin Lok and Patrick Wong, plus Martin/Patrick also taking the doubles. For Lagondas, there were two wins for Chris Horn, plus one for Glen Davison, with Roy Read completing their lineup.
Fourth placed Milton Keynes Tornadoes visited club mates MK Blades, in tenth, with the result awaited.
The final match of the week was fifth placed Milton Keynes Hit ‘n’ Hope playing at sixth placed Mursley Swallows, with Hit ‘n’ Hope coming away with a 7-3 win. This was another match where no-one was able to win all their singles, but Hit ‘n’ Hope’s trio of Marco Hahn, Ivor Howard & Mike Ainsworth each collected two wins, plus Marco/Ivor winning the doubles. For Swallows, Martin Johnson gained two wins, both at 11-9 in the fifth, against Marco & Ivor, whilst Roger Shelton defeated Mike, with Peter Sear completing the Swallows lineup.
Player of the Week : Bub Burman