Published 04/09/2019 at 08:56:09 by David Wackrill; edited 2 times, last on 07/09/2019 at 16:04:44 by David Wackrill.


Warriors 3  Howsmall 2
Towcester 3  Spinners 2
Aylesbury 3   Phoenix II 2
All 3-2 results this week, which has been the trend all season.
Howsmall took the Summer League crown with a week to spare thanks to their skipper Nick Howard’s timely return, and not a minute too soon, after a month away from the action and with his side a bit flaky in his absence.  Not that Nick contributed more than a doubles win here at 11-8 in the 7th, partnered by Guy Sparrow, as Warriors brought out their own big gun, Matt Haynes, once again to thwart the champions for the third time this Summer.  The regulation 2 wins for Matt was complimented by a superb Ricky Taiwo victory at 11-7 in the 7th over Nick.  Perhaps a match to forget for Nick but, for the record, this was his 50th Summer League match (singles record P.100 W.83 L.17) and he can celebrate it with Howsmall’s 3rd title in a row.
Towcester and Spinners were level on points going into their match which saw Towcester take the initiative with a 3-2 win, the same result and achieved in the same manner as their previous meetings with Spinners this Summer.  A win each for Iain Lindsay and Ian Brown over Peter Tillotson, losses to Alan Cherry and victory in the crucial doubles.  Talk about consistency! 
Cazacu Vali was in top form in the Phoenix II/ Aylesbury match, beating both Ben Rolfe (in 5 games) and coming from 2 games down to beat Tim Cheek, barely missing a hit in the process.  But he was on the losing side as the Aylesbury boys easily triumphed in straight games over Mervyn Phillips and took the deciding doubles over 5 games.
Player of the week is Cazacu Vali.
Howsmall (53 points)
Warriors (47)
Towcester (32)
Spinners (31)
Aylesbury (29)
Phoenix II (18)
DIV 2 
(courtesy of Mike Ainsworth)

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

There was no doubt about the match of the week in the final week of the Milton Keynes Summer League Division 2 as Stormers reversed their first half 3-2 loss against Phoenix II to win by the same score against Phoenix I.This match was supposed to decide not only second place but the coveted “Top of the Averages” title that last year was shared by Ioan Constantin and Iain Lindsay, who were both unbeaten.  Ioan was in contention again this season with just one loss from his first six matches and with an average just decimal points below Andy Smith, who was also playing this match. In the end Ioan overcame Andy but failed to top the averages after a marathon loss against the evergreen Dave Wackrill in a 70 (yes seventy!) minute opening match!.  Andy won against Gerald Ridgway in their match and Gerald in turn beat Dave so the result hinged on the doubles, which went the way of the Stormers duo.  Congratulations therefore to Andy Smith, who tops the averages with an impressive 88% win rate (minimum 5 matches) ahead of the Romanian duo of Ioan Constantin and Valentin Cazacu.

Meanwhile there was also the little matter of the runner’s up position to decide and this again involved Stormers, who started the evening one point ahead of Sweet and Sour, who were playing Hit n Hope.  For the final fixture Hit n Hope drafted in new winter league signing and former Premier Division player Paul Tompkins, who played alongside regular player Ivor Howard. Sweet and Sour also drafted in a reserve and in their case it was Alan Bolding, who played alongside regular Terry Lau.  I watched the first couple of matches and Terry played out of his skin to beat Ivor and Alan was too steady for Paul, who he beat 4-1.  The match continued in that vein after I left and as a result Sweet and Sour won 5-0 and overhaul Stormers to take second position.

The Tornadoes and Classics match was as close as the first half and a repeat performance for Tornadoes, who won 3-2. This time the star player was Nicolas Wong, who was unbeaten against Dylan Cox and Masoud Nassor.  A welcome first appearance for Masoud, who has been away all summer but who managed a win against Tanmay Tijare.  For once Dylan had to be content with just the one singles win.

The Blades team of Brian Evans and Mark Thomas sadly retained the wooden spoon that they won last season, this time going down 5-0 to the Topspin team of Mal Hussain and Mervyn Kelly.

Player of the week was a bit tricky this week with great performances by Dave Wackrill and Terry Lau but I’m going with Nicolas Wong, who has played well in a quiet and unassuming way all summer and whose two wins against tricky opposition stood out for me.
Player of the week: Nicolas Wong    Most Valuable Player: Andy Smith

Week 14 Table:
1)        Phoenix I 58
2)        Sweet and Sour 52
3)        Stormers 51
4)        Topspin 43
5)        Tornadoes 27
6)        Hit n Hope 20
7)        Classics 19
8)        Blades 10
Top Averages (minimum 5 matches)

1)        Andy Smith 23 26  88%
2)        Valentin Cazacu 12 14  86%
3)        Ioan Constantin 12 14  86%
4)        Mervyn Phillips 10 12  83%
5)        Julie Snowdon 18 22  82% 
6)        Dave Wackrill  16 22  73%
7)        Gerald Ridgway 10 14  71%
8)        Terry Lau 14 20  70%
9)        Mervyn Kelly 15 22  68%