Published 03/07/2019 at 09:19:34 by David Wackrill.

Scores –
Howsmall 5  Aylesbury 0
Warriors 4  Spinners 1
Towcester 5 Phoenix 0
We start the 2nd cycle of matches with leaders Howsmall back on track with a trademark 5-0 whitewash result after going 2 weeks without one. Aylesbury’s Tim Cheek proved a tough nut to crack though as he took both Nick Howard and Guy Sparrow to a 7th deciding game. Ben Rolfe played as usual for Aylesbury, who are the only Monday night side across both divisions still looking for a doubles win this Summer.
Towcester took the opportunity to leapfrog Aylesbury with a whitewash themselves over bottom team Phoenix. Both sides had debutants as Joe Lindsay joined dad Iain for Towcester and Alan Bolding partnered Phoenix regular Gerald Ridgway. It was pretty much one-way traffic for the big hitters against the defenders. Joe hadn’t played in quite a while, the rustiness showing when missing several forehand kills that he used to put away with ease, but he still had too much power for his opponents though.
Another man who hasn’t been around lately made a surprise appearance for Stormers in their 1-4 defeat to Warriors. This was Paul Tompkins, a real ‘blast from the past’ as the 2006 Doubles Champion is looking to make a comeback after a 12 year absence. No happy ending though for Paul, as he was well beaten by Warriors’ Matt Haynes and Ricky Taiwo. Alan Cherry snapped up Spinners’ consolation win by beating Ricky and only the doubles went to a 5th game with all the singles decided in straight games.
Player of the week is Joe Lindsay.
Howsmall (25 points)
Warriors (21)
Towcester (14)
Spinners (14)
Aylesbury (10)
Phoenix (6)
DIV 2 (courtesy of Mike Ainsworth)

Hit n Hope 0 Stormers 5
Sweet and Sour 3 Classics 2
Topspin 1 Phoenix II 4
Tornadoes 4 Blades 1

The division two leaders, Phoenix II faced their stiffest test yet in week 6 of the Milton Keynes Summer League division 2 with a match against a Topspin side who themselves had up to that point just the one narrow loss against second placed Stormers. But after some tough matches it was Phoenix II who are still riding high with a 4-1 win, albeit that the one set lost also saw the end of Mervyn Phillips’ 100% record with a 4-2 loss against namesake Meryn Kelly. Mervyn K was also involved in one of the closest matches of the night as he was edged out by 11-9 in the decider against Valentin Cazacu. Valentin made short work of Russell Penn with a 4-0 win but Russell will likely have been happier with his form against Mervyn Phillips even though he was on the wrong end of another 7th set decider. The results in this match saw Valentin climb to the top of the averages with 11 wins from 12, a record equalled by Andy Smith who joins Valentin at the top of the averages.

Second placed Stormers were typically parsimonious against Hit n Hope on table one and made up a point on the leaders with a 5-0 win, which yet again included a bagel for Andy, this time against a slightly subdued Marco Hahn. Mike Ainsworth had Andy reaching for his other bat after taking the first leg (it wasn’t allowed) but unfortunately for the Hit n Hope Team he eventually tamed Mike’s slightly more adventurous style with a 4-2 win. The one point gained leaves Stormers with an outside chance of replacing Phoenix II at the top of the division when the two teams meet next week, but it will be an uphill task as they will need to win by 4-1 to take over the lead and gain promotion to the top level.

There’s no doubt as to the win of the evening which was in the Sweet and Sour match where last week’s player of the week Dylan Cox pulled off a 11-9 in the 7th shock win against reserve Kelvin Choong. In terms of ranking points difference this is certainly the biggest upset of the season so far for Dylan against Kelvin, who last season played in the Birmingham Premier Division. Sweet and Sour had another guest player on the evening in the shape of the experienced and tricky looking Zheng Wei Gong, who duly won both his matches against Dylan and Barbara Peters. Regular player Terry Lau made an appearance in the doubles, which was the other loss for Sweet and Sour in a 3-2 win.

Finally there was  a good win by Bill Tyler against Patrick Wong in the Blades v Tornadoes match but that was as good as it got on the evening for Blades as they went down to their sixth straight defeat and stay rooted at the bottom of the table. A brace here for Nicholas Wong and Brian Evans was the other player for Blades.

Lots of contenders for player of the week in round 6 but in the interests of sharing it around I have chosen Andy Smith this week for his consistency and because I wouldn’t let him change his bat…

Player of the week: Andy “Mr Bagel” Smith

Week 6 Table:
1)       Phoenix II 27
2)       Stormers 25
3)       Topspin 19
4)       Sweet and Sour 17
5)       Hit n Hope 12
6)       Tornadoes 10
7)       Classics 6
8)       Blades 4