Published 09/07/2019 at 18:01:28 by David Wackrill.


Scores –
Howsmall 5  Phoenix 0
Warriors 3  Towcester 2
Spinners 3  Aylesbury 2
Now that we’ve reached the halfway stage of the Summer programme it’s time for bottom team Phoenix to slip through the trap door and be replaced by the Division 2 leaders. Last year they were similarly relegated during the campaign and ended the Summer as Div 2 champions, which they may well do again.
Another 5-0 hammering by Howsmall here in a comfortably night for Nick Howard and Guy Sparow meant that Phoenix’ Gerald Ridgway is still without a win this year and has only 2 victories from his last 25 sets at this level (mind you, what great victories they are too, Guy Sparrow and me). With Ioan Constantin still away, Alan Bolding appeared for Phoenix again.
Ricky Taiwo was the pick of the players for Warriors in their 3-2 win over Towcester with his 2 singles successes against Ian Brown and Iain Lindsay. Great win here for Ian B over Michael Wilkins with Towcester also taking the doubles, their 5th in what has been a terrific season for them. Ian would have been relieved to be on the winning trail again as this was only his 4th win in the division in 24 attempts (having beaten Peter Tillotson, Gerald Ridgway and Mervyn Kelly previously).
Spinners came out on top in another close encounter, beating Aylesbury 3-2 with the doubles going to a 7th game after the singles sets were shared. Alan Cherry triumphed against Tim Cheek and Ben Rolfe, who were both too good for an improving Paul Tompkins. This leaves Aylesbury still searching for that elusive first doubles win.
Player of the week is Ricky Taiwo.
Howsmall (30 points)
Warriors (24)
Spinners (17)
Towcester (16)
Aylesbury (12)
Phoenix (6)

DIV 2 (courtesy of Mike Ainsworth)

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

In the end it was a bit of an anti-climax…After a week of waiting for the eagerly awaited clash between the league leaders Phoenix II and the second-placed Stormers’ duo of Andy Smith and Dave Wackrill the eager spectators (that would be Vic Sutton making a welcome appearance at the Centre and me) were surprised to see Andy and Chris Belton readying themselves for Stormers but no Dave Wackrill, reportedly injured. Unfortunately on the night Dave’s wily tactical skills were sorely missed by his team as Chris was just a little too rusty after a near three month gap since his last league match to make an impression on Mervyn Phillips and Valentin Cazacu. So it was left to Andy Smith to put in a second successive Player of the Week Performance with a maximum; alas to no avail as Phoenix II who took the honours with a 3-2 win that takes them up to the top flight for the last round of matches.

Julie Snowdon missed the last round of matches because she was playing in the European Veterans’ Championships in Budapest where she acquitted herself well against the likes of Olga Nemes (the eventual winner, former German international and former world ranked 30 player who twice won the European Top 12 – you get the drift) and Pia Toelhøj (many times Danish Champion and former Danish international). On the face of it, a warm-up against the cream of European Veterans Table Tennis could be seen as overkill for a match against a Hit n Hope team, who this week were represented by Tony Coomber and Andy Frearson, and Julie obliged with an untroubled maximum. To add to Hit n Hope’s uphill task Terry Lau was also on song and the resulting one way traffic was only saved by Andy taking the first leg against Terry before the team succumbed to a 5-0 loss.

Bottom placed Blades only managed one more end than Hit n Hope against a Topspin team playing with Mal Hussain for a second time, this time alongside Mervyn Kelly. Mal was untroubled in his two wins and the consolation ends came for Mark Thomas against Mervyn Kelly and in the doubles. Andy Phillips was the second player for Blades.

Dylan Cox continues to gain some impressive wins for Classics this summer. This week his list of wins was extended to include winter league division two top 8 winner Patrick Wong and son Nicholas. Unfortunately for Classics Dylan was ploughing a sole furrow on the night as his team lost 3-2 with Patrick and Nicholas both beating Nick Markham and then combining for the doubles.

Player of the week: Andy Smith

Week 7 Table:
  1. Phoenix II 31
  2. Stormers 26
  3. Topspin 24
  4. Sweet and Sour 22
  5. Tornadoes 13
  6. Hit n Hope 12
  7. Classics 8
  8. Blades 4
Top Averages (minimum 4 matches)
•     Andy Smith 93%
•    Cazacu Vali 86%
•    Mervyn Phillips 83%
•    Julie Snowdon 80%
•    Mervyn Kelly 75%
•    Dave Wackrill 75%