MONDAY NIGHT SUMMER LEAGUE WEEK 15 AND FINAL ROUND-UP
Published 11/09/2019 at 08:52:58 by David Wackrill; edited 1 times, last on 12/09/2019 at 10:23:31 by David Wackrill.DIV 1
BIG BEN POWERS AYLESBURY TO THIRD SPOT IN TIGHT FINISH
Howsmall 3 Spinners 2
Warriors 2 Phoenix II 3
Aylesbury 4 Towcester 1
With both the title and runners-up spot already decided some time ago and the bottom placed team doomed almost at the start of their campaign, the main focus here was in the middle of the table where 3 points separated the remaining 3 sides before the start of play, and with two of these contesting teams, Towcester and Aylesbury, meeting in this final week for the ultimate showdown.
This time last year surprise package Towcester were being thrashed by the Stormers team of Andy Smith and myself to finish way below the rest of the division, but this time round the two Ian/Iains have been a revelation with a string of brilliant results to put Towcester in pole position at the beginning of the evening. Iain Lindsay, in particular, has been a sensation and is sure to dominate the Div 1 averages this Winter. He beat Tim Cheek here over 7 games after saving 3 match points in the 6th to get Towcester off to a flying start, only for their challenge to falter at the hands of Ben Rolfe. Ben was in blistering form, his best of the Summer, with overwhelming victories over Iain and Ian Brown besides carrying Tim to a straight games doubles win. With the Aylesbury skipper also beating Ian, Aylesbury ran out 4-1 winners, just enough for them to secure 3rd place. The teams finished level on points but Aylesbury had won one more match (7 to Towcester’s 6) on countback.
Meanwhile close rivals Spinners were taking 2 points from Howsmall to go level on points themselves with Aylesbury and Towcester, but with only 5 wins to their name this year they trailed the other pair to finish 5th, the former champions lowest ever position. Nick Howard was back to his sparkling best after last week’s blank, defeating Alan Cherry for the 3rd time before a routine win over Peter Tillotson. Nick was joined by newcomer Dom Barker of the Towcester League, who made a shaky start by losing to Peter, had no chance against Alan but then ‘upped his game’ to secure a fine doubles victory alongside Nick to win the match for Howsmall.
Warriors put out a weakened side to lose only their 2nd match all year, and this to bottom placed Phoenix II. Another welcome Summer League debutant featured here was Ade Odetayo. Ade seemed a little out of his depth, although he teamed up with skipper Ricky Taiwo to win the doubles at deuce in the 7th. Warriors only other win came from Ricky over Mervyn Phillips so it was another great night for Phoenix star Cazacu Vali with his 2nd maximum in a row.
Many thanks to all the players who took part, and to organisers Keith Thompson and Alan Cherry for facilitating the competition once again.
Player of the week is Ben Rolfe.
Howsmall (56 points)
Phoenix II (21)
Top 8 averages (6 or more matches) -
Matt Haynes 100%, Nick Howard 85%, Alan Cherry 80%, Guy Sparrow 66%, Cazuca Vali 64%, Michael Wilkins 60%, Ricky Taiwo 58%, Iain Lindsay 50%
Previous team winners of the 2-a-side competition –
2011-12 Spinners, 2013-14 London Lads, 2015 Walking Wounded, 2016 Sasaki, 2017-19 HowSmall
Most aggregate wins – Alan Cherry (239)
Highest run of wins – Craig Brown (59)
The 8 team division worked on a separate grid from Div 1 with the programme finishing a week ago.
Again many thanks to all the players who took part, especially though Hit n Hope’s Mike Ainsworth for his excellent and entertaining weekly summaries throughout the Summer.