Published 06/08/2019 at 13:45:26 by David Wackrill; edited 1 times, last on 07/08/2019 at 13:30:47 by David Wackrill.


Howsmall 4  Aylesbury 1
Warriors 4  Spinners 1
Phoenix II 3  Towcester 2
We’ve had more close matches than ever before this Summer as we move into the final cycle of matches, with the 3-2 scoreline featuring in half of the matches in the first 2 cycles, which is in stark contrast to the Div 2 results where a 5-0 scoreline has dominated, and week 11 provided another batch of exciting contests.

Leaders Howsmall were pushed all the way by Aylesbury but still came out 4-1 winners.  In an Incredible match 3 of the 5 sets not only went to 7 games, but all the way to 11-9 and deuce.  First off  Aylesbury’s Tim Cheek beat Guy Sparrow 11-9 in the 7th followed by Howsmall’s Nick Howard squaring things up by beating Ben Rolfe at deuce in their decider with the aid of a net when match point down.  After Nick had seen off Tim over 6 close games the doubles was played next so that Nick could get away early, ready for his Tuesday flight to Croatia for a family holiday.  Aylesbury had to wait 8 weeks for their first doubles win of the Summer only for 3 to come along at once, but that run ended this inevitably, another 7 game thriller. So although Nick got away after game 4 the time was still after 10.00pm!!  The final set saw Guy too sharp for Ben and he took it 4-0 to wrap up a great match 4-1.

Matt Haynes, in an occasional appearance for Warriors, emerged with his 100% record intact after surviving  match points against Alan Cherry.  Alan led at the 5-game mark but lost the final 2 by 13-11 and 12-14.  The remaining sets were pretty straightforward with Alan taking the Spinners consolation set with a win over Ricky Taiwo. So, another bad night for Pete Tillotson, who is still looking for his first win since beating Guy Sparrow back in June.

Phoenix only mustered 6 points in their half season stay in the top flight prior to their inevitable relegation, but their stablemates Phoenix II, have already exceeded expectations  in surpassing that total in only their 4th outing.  Yes, a great victory here for the newcomers who have proved one of the sensations of the Summer. This was mainly down to a fine brace from Cazacu Vali over Towcester’s Iain Lindsay and Ian Brown although team-mate Mervyn Phillips chipped in with the vital win over Ian. Towcester had trailed by 3 games in the doubles set but came roaring back to win it by 11-8 in the 7th game.  Only a single point cover the middle 3 teams now, so still plenty to play for. 
Player of the week is Vali Cazacu.
Howsmall (45 points)
Warriors (38)
Spinners (23)
Towcester (23)
Aylesbury (22)
Phoenix II (14)
(courtesy of Mike Ainsworth)

Hit n Hope 1 Topspin 4
Tornadoes1 Sweet and Sour 4
Phoenix I 5 Classics 0
Stormers 4 Blades 1

Just the two 5-0 results this week in division two and it was the third successive 5-0 for Phoenix after their “blip” in week 8 when they lost 3-2.  This week it was the turn of Classics to go down by a maximum result to the Phoenix duo of Gerald Ridgway and Ioan Constantin.  Dylan Cox went down fairly tamely to Gerald by 4-0 but he made up for it in the game against Ioan which he led 3-1 before Ioan pulled back to win 4-3.  Barbara Peters was the other Classic player.
Incidentally that’s 18 maximums this season out of the 44 matches played so far, which is marginally higher than in 2018 when 40% of the matches were 5-0. As with last season it’s very much a table of two halves though with 14 points separating 4th and 5th places.

One of the “banker” 5-0s in this round should have been second placed Stormers against bottom of the table Blades but Mark Thomas had other ideas as he managed one of the upsets of the season, choosing Dave Wackrill to break his duck for the season with an 11-8 win in the decider. That win was the only set to go beyond 5 games for Blades with Andy Smith looking particularly solid for his two wins.  Bill Tyler was the other player for Blades.

Form team Sweet and Sour were without any ringers this week for the return leg against the Tornadoes team that had ended the team’s run of three losses in week four. But if the match looked tough on paper Terry Lau and Julie Snowdon were up to the task as their team swept to a 5-0 win.  This was the team’s eighth successive victory, leaving them just a point behind Stormers in third place.  Nicolas Wong, who along with Andy Smith is only one of two ever-present players this season, and Tanmay Tijare were the Tornadoes players, whose only win was in the doubles.

Topspin proved too strong again for Hit n Hope as they won by 4-1 with regular due Russell Penn and Mervyn Kelly. Ivor Howard’s second leg of a double against Russell this summer was the only win for Hit n Hope with Marco Hahn playing his last match for the team before jetting off to Greece on the weekend.

Player of the week: Terry Lau

Week 11 Table:
1)        Phoenix I 47
2)        Stormers 40
3)        Sweet and Sour 38
4)        Topspin 34
5)        Hit n Hope 20
6)        Tornadoes 17
7)        Classics 15
8)        Blades 9