MONDAY NIGHT SUMMER LEAGUE WEEK 4 ROUND-UP
Published 18/06/2019 at 15:46:59 by David Wackrill.DIV 1
HOWSMALL STUMBLE AT LAST
Warriors 3 Howsmall 2
Towcester 3 Spinners 2
Aylesbury 4 Phoenix 1
Howsmall’s explosive start to the season came to an abrupt halt this week as they dropped their first sets of the Summer with Guy Sparrow losing to Warriors’ main man Matt Haynes from the strong position of a 3-1 game lead. Before then skipper Nick Howard had extended the champions unbeaten run of set wins to 16, the best start made by any team since the once prolific Spinners’ pairing of Alan Cherry and Craig Brown were in tandem together back in 2012, with a straight games defeat of Michael Wilkins. Mighty Matt was to prove the architect of their match defeat, handing Nick his first defeat of the season and partnering Michael to success in the crucial doubles after the singles sets were shared. Great match.
A terrific result too for the Towcester pair Iain Lindsay and Ian Brown, who overcame Spinners 3-2 despite straight games wins for Alan Cherry. The Towcester boys both beat Alan’s team-mate Peter Tillotson and for good measure took the deciding doubles set.
Newcomers Aylesbury got their own season up and running at last with their first win in 4 attempts. Chris Hawkes replaced holidaying Tim Cheek to partner Ben Rolfe to a 4-1 success over Phoenix' defensive minded duo Ioan Constantin and Gerald Ridgway. Not that the big hitting Aylesbury duo had things all their own way as the hard working Phoenix pair picked up 8 games (losing every singles 4-2) in a late, late finish. Their efforts were rewarded in the doubles though, with a 12-10 in the 7th victory.
Player of the week is Matt Haynes.
Howsmall (17 points)
DIV 2 (courtesy of Mike Ainsworth)
PHOENIX AND STORMERS PULL AWAY FROM THE PACK
Topspin 3 Hit n Hope 2
Sweet and Sour 4 Tornadoes 1
Classics 0 Phoenix II 5
Blades 0 Stormers 5
After four weeks there is a gap opening up in the Milton Keynes Summer League Division Two as Phoenix II and Stormers continue to steamroller the opposition. And with Stormers arguably having the slightly easier fixtures in the next two weeks it’s likely to remain nip and tuck until the final fixtures of the first half when the two teams meet.
Meanwhile Topspin spurned the chance to keep the pressure on the top two teams as once again they were involved in the closest match of the week as they edged out Hit n Hope by 3-2. With regular player Mervyn Kelly away on holiday Topspin brought in Mal Hussain as reserve and with Russell Penn hitting crisply they soon built up a 3-0 lead against the Hit n Hope team of Mike Ainsworth and Ivor Howard. But from then on the match unravelled for Topspin as first Ivor Howard proved too consistent for Russell and then Mike Ainsworth took the honours against his Luton Division One opponent Mal and so the match ended 3-2 with Topspin ruing a lost opportunity.
Sweet and Sour finally had a rather more favourable fixture than the three tough matches so far and they took their chance to end their run of losses with a 4-1 win against Tornadoes. Braces here for Julie Snowdon and Terry Lau and just a win in the doubles for the father and son combination of Patrick and Nicholas Wong.
Before the matches commenced all the talk in the Centre (I may be exaggerating…) was whether the in-form Andy Smith could exact revenge against Brian Evans for the loss that Brian inflicted on the last time they met two summers ago. Unfortunately for Brian there was to be no repeat and, although he won an end against the ultra-consistent Andy, the set result and indeed the match result went the way of the Stormers player. Brian also took an end off Dave Wackrill but those were the only rays of light as the Blades team went down by 5-0. Andy Phillips was the other player for Blades.
The Classics team went down to their third successive 5-0 defeat – this time to Phoenix II – but as with last week’s match the team can consider themselves very unlucky to come away empty handed. The week it was the turn of Dylan Cox to come out on the wrong end of two deciding game losses against Mervyn Phillips and Valentin Cazacu who also had wins against Nick Markham and in the doubles.
Player of the week: Mike Ainsworth
Week 4 Table:
1) Phoenix II 18
2) Stormers 16
3) Topspin 13
4) Hit n Hope 12
5) Sweet and Sour 9
6) Tornadoes 6
7) Classics 38) Blades 3
Editor’s note – Mike was too modest to point out the enormity of his win – against a player 4497 places above him in the National Rankings!!