Published 21/08/2019 at 09:36:53 by David Wackrill.


Towcester 3  Howsmall 2
Warriors  4  Aylesbury 1
Spinners 4  Phoenix II  1

Despite crashing to their 3rd defeat of the Summer, defending champions Howsmall are close to retaining the crown and will win it next time out if they manage to avoid a heavy defeat to Warriors.  They were thwarted this week by a brilliant display from Towcester’s Gary Deakin, who was in top form to beat Dan Smalley and Jordan Moss in straight games before teaming up with Ian Brown to win the doubles.  Nowadays an occasional reserve for Howsmall, this was Jordan’s first match in over 2 years.
Warriors, still with an outside chance of the title, assured themselves of at least the runners-up berth by trouncing Aylesbury 4-1.  Warriors hero was skipper Ricky Taiwo with a fine brace of wins over Biao Wang and Tim Cheek.  Tim was disappointed in his side’s performance but they did at least muster one win when Biao beat Michael Wilkins.
Phoenix II’s Mervyn Phillips terrific record of a win a week at this level came to an end here as he went down to both Alan Cherry and Pete Tillotson in Phoenix II’s match with Spinners.  A rejuvenated Pete was combative in a losing opener against Cazacu Vali and followed up with only his 3rd win of the Summer (in 22 sets) against Mervyn in Spinners 4-1 success.

Player of the week is Gary Deakin.
Howsmall (51 points)
Warriors (44)
Towcester (29)
Spinners (29)
Aylesbury (26)
Phoenix II (16)

(courtesy of Mike Ainsworth)

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

Congratulations are due to Phoenix I who retained their division 2 title this week.  As with last season the Anglo-Romanian duo won with a week to spare and they did it in style with a 4-1 win against Topspin, who this week included Mal Hussain in their team. Man of the match and indeed player of the week was Ioan Constantin, whose two included a 4-1 win against Mal and a 4-0 win against Russell Penn.  The only point for Topspin came in a hard fought 4-2 win against Gerald Ridgway.

Both Stormers and Hit n Hope rang the changes since the last time the teams met with Sarah Hudson replacing the previously ever-present Andy Smith for Stormers and Andy Frearson in the Hit n Hope team for Marco Hahn. In the first meeting of the two sides in week 6 Stormers won 5-0 in sets and 40-6 in games with Mike Ainsworth losing both sets by 4 games to 2.  This time round Stormers won 5-0, 40-6 and Mike lost both sets 4-2!   Andy Frearson found the going a little tough at times  but managed to take the first off Dave Wackrill who, in the absence of Andy “Mr Bagel” Smith, looked to be about to emulate his team-mate at eight – love against Andy before his better nature took over and Andy steadied the ship to lose by a more respectable 5-11.

Sweet and Sour continued their fantastic winning streak with a 5-0 whitewash of Classics; a result that looks even better as the losers included form player Dylan Cox in their team. But with only three sets going past the 4th game the Sweet and Sour team keep the pressure on Stormers and despite being one point behind the second placed team are probably favourites to retain their runners-up crown from 2018.

The young Tornadoes team had a change of personnel this week as Danny Sedgwick replaced Nicholas Wong, another ever-present up to week 12. Blades could consider themselves a little unfortunate to be on the end of a 0-5 result here as only two matches were won 4-0 but in the end fortune went with the youngsters and so both Tanmay Tijare and Danny won braces against Brian Evans and Bill Tyler.

With the title settled all eyes are on the runners up position and also the battle for top of the averages. The latter is a straight race between Andy Smith and Ioan Constantin and as their respective teams meet in week 14 the outcome of the match will also determine the outcome of the top player “title” (assuming they both play). Given that Stormers face the leaders whilst Sweet and Sour are up against the relatively easier prospect of Hit n Hope then the Bookies* are making Sweet and Sour marginal favourites, despite the point difference at this stage. In the event of a tie then Sweet and Sour hold a 6-4 sets advantage over two matches this season.

*virtual bookie

Player of the week: Ioan Constantin

Week 13 Table

1)        Phoenix I  56
2)        Stormers 48
3)        Sweet and Sour 47
4)        Topspin 38
5)        Tornadoes 24
6)        Hit n Hope 20
7)        Classics 17
8)        Blades 10
Week 13 averages (minimum 6 matches)

1)        Andy Smith 92%
2)        Ioan Constantin 92%
3)        Cazacu Vali 86%
4)        Mervyn Phillips 83%
5)        Julie Snowden 82%
6)        Dave Wackrill 75%
7)        Gerald Ridgway 75%