Published 30/07/2019 at 12:26:59 by David Wackrill; edited 1 times, last on 31/07/2019 at 09:44:57 by David Wackrill.


Howsmall 5  Spinners 0
Warriors 3  Phoenix II 2
Aylesbury 3  Towcester 2
We conclude the 2nd cycle of matches with the title now Howsmall’s to lose, as the champions sit on a 7 point lead after beating 3rd placed Spinners this week. Attention was focused here on the much anticipated clash between the players who have proved to be the giants of the Summer so far, Nick Howard and Alan Cherry, as they went into their meeting with an identical 16-2 win record.  A broken toe hindered Nick last week in his side’s top of the table clash with Warriors but he was close to his best for this one, coming from behind against Alan to win a 7 game classic.
With Dan Smalley completing the Howsmall line-up a big win was on the cards for the champions, and so it proved with a 5-0 thrashing, incidentally Spinners first ‘blackwash’ in their 128th 2-a-side Summer League match!  Many sets were closely contested as expected though with Dan 2 games down to Alan at one stage and Howsmall also coming back in the doubles from a 2-game deficit. Peter Tillotson, who himself took 3 games on the night, completed the Spinners compliment.    
Mervyn Phillips continues to impress with an excellent win over Ricky Taiwo in Phoenix II match against Warriors. Ricky also lost to Cazacu Vali but Warriors scooped up the remaining sets thanks to Michael Wilkins, still in fine form at the moment.
In a night of late finishes, another marathon match saw Aylesbury overcome Towcester in another 3-2 scoreline. Here though, no-one went winless with Towcester’s Iain Lindsay taking the prize scalp of Tim Cheek, deuce in 7th before falling to Ben Rolfe, a victim himself of Ian Brown. The crucial doubles set was won by Aylesbury in 6 games. Great match all round.
Player of the week is Nick Howard.
Howsmall (41 points)
Warriors (34)
Spinners (22)
Towcester (21)
Aylesbury (21)
Phoenix II (11)
Top 6 averages (7 or more matches)
Nick Howard 90%, Alan Cherry 80%, Guy Sparrow 69%, Michael Wilkins 63%, Ricky Taiwo 56%, Iain Lindsay 45%

(courtesy of Mike Ainsworth)

Classics 4 Hit n Hope 1
Blades 0 Phoenix I 5
Tornadoes 1 Stormers 4
Sweet and Sour 5 Topspin 0

Phoenix continue to set the pace at the top of the second division and this week they dropped just three games on their way to a 5-0 thrashing of bottom team Blades. Mark Thomas picked up two of the games in a 4-2 creditable loss to Gerald Ridgeway but Brian Evans failed to register in his matches against Gerald and Ioan Constantin. The only other game for Blades came in the doubles and the team remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Tornadoes were again without regular Tanmay Tijare for the return fixture against Stormers but instead fielded another youngster, Danny Sedgwick, who  recorded a win against the experienced Michael Wilkins last Winter. Unfortunately there were to be no repeat heroics for Danny who lost this time to Andy Smith and Dave Wackrill, albeit that the match against Dave went to a seventh game decider. A singles blank too for Nicolas Wong although he too took Dave to a decider and then teamed up with Danny for a consolation doubles win.

Earlier in the season Hit n Hope managed a 5-0 win against Classics but there was to be no repeat in the return fixture as star player Dylan Cox registered two singles wins for the Classics team and then combined with Barbara Peters to take the doubles. Marco Hahn won his match against Barbara but then Barbara was involved in the match of the evening against Andy Frearson. Andy looked to be on his way to a comfortable win at two games to love but then Barbara recovered with some excellent table tennis to take the match in the decider. A 4-1 win for Classics and some compensation for their earlier unlucky 0-5 loss and as a result the team are now just one point behind Tornadoes.

It turned out that Sweet and Sour didn’t need to call on Ma Long against this week’s opponents Topspin but instead they wheeled out the unbeaten Zheng Wei Gong, who did the business for the team for the loss of just one game against Russell Penn. Julie Snowdon had recorded wins against Russell and team-mate Mervyn Kelly the first time these teams clashed in week three and she repeated this feat whilst going one better than Zheng and not losing an end. A tight win for Sweet and Sour in the doubles for Julie and regular partner Terry Lau completed a clean sweep for Sweet and Sour and the team’s seventh consecutive victory, moving the team into third place behind Stormers.

Player of the week: Dave Wackrill

Week 10 Table:
1)       Phoenix I 42
2)       Stormers 36
3)       Sweet and Sour 34
4)       Topspin 30
5)       Hit n Hope 19
6)       Tornadoes 16
7)       Classics 15
8)       Blades 8