Published 13/12/2019 at 16:39:27 by Martin Johnson; edited 1 times, last on 13/12/2019 at 20:09:27 by Martin Johnson.

Division 2 Round-Up – Week 13  (Week 12 in D2)

The final week of scheduled League fixtures of 2019 sees the two thirds point reached in Division 2, with just six further rounds of matches to go, interspersed by the Cup competition weeks.  Balance in the battle for the top spot would appear to have shifted, as Hit ‘n’ Hope’s run of nine matches unbeaten came to end, in a defeat to Lagondas, whilst Tornadoes had another big win, to take over at the top of the table by four points.  It also opens up a possible battle for the second promotion spot, more, with just six points now separating second and third places.

Milton Keynes Hit ‘n’ Hope had their run of nine matches unbeaten somewhat surprisingly ended by equal fourth placed Newport Pagnell Lagondas, who recorded a 6-4 win, a result that also allowed Tornadoes to take over at the top of the table.  Chris Horn took the individual honours with three singles wins, in four games against Paul Tompkins, and in five games against both Marco Hahn and Ivor Howard.  Chris was backed up by Glen Davison with two wins, only losing to Paul, and one win for Roy Read.  For Hit ‘n’ Hope, Paul collected two wins, plus the doubles with Ivor against Glen / Roy, whilst Ivor scored one win, but losing out in five games in both his defeats, whilst it was a rare blank for Marco.  The result drops Hit ‘n’ Hope back to second spot behind Tornadoes, whilst Lagondas drop to fifth place, despite their win, though extending the gap to sixth.

Milton Keynes Tornadoes secured a big 9-1 win against St. Christopher Spitfires, to overtake Hit ‘n’ Hope at the top of the table.  New recruit to the team, Ben Dunkley, immediately impressed with a maximum, including the doubles with Nicolas Wong, against Jock Campbell / Bernie Raffe.  Nicolas also won all his singles, thus extending his personal run of wins up to thirteen in a row, as he and Ben each only dropped one leg, to Bernie.  Meanwhile, Spitfires’ captain, Andy King, saved the whitewash for his team with a close four game win over Samuel Davies, although Samuel beat both Bernie and Jock in straight games.  The result leaves Spitfires in equal eighth spot, but still with a match in hand.

Milton Keynes Classics fought out a hard won 6-4 victory over Milton Keynes Cavaliers, to remain in third spot, although now just six points adrift of second place, in a match where all ten sets were very well contested, only one settled in straight games, but even that needed two deuces, whilst six sets needed a deciding leg.  Dylan Cox claimed a maximum, to tip the scales in favour of Classics, winning all three of his singles, plus the doubles with Nick Markham against John Bradley / Chris Paddon, to add to one win each for Nick and for Barbara Peters, with Barbara going the full five in all of her singles sets.  Chris Welch grabbled two wins for Cavaliers, whilst no-one left empty handed, as both John and Chris Paddon also picked up one win each.  Cavaliers thus move level with Spitfires in equal eighth spot, but will presumably drop back to ninth, when Spitfires play their match in hand.

Mursley Hawks repeated their scoreline of last week, with another 9-1 win, this time over Woburn Sands Mosquitoes, in a match where both sides pulled in a reserve from division 4.  Hawks’ pairing of Frank Beck and Martin Johnson did just enough to win all their games, plus they took the doubles against Glenn Barcham / Paul Hamer.  Joe Rich, playing up for Hawks, collected the other two wins, defeating fellow reserve Alan Bradbury, and then pulling back from two legs down to Glenn, to take it in the decider, with some fine attacking play, however, Paul Hamer’s defences proved a step too far, although he was unlucky to go down in straight games, as legs two and three were both 12-14.  Glenn had gone agonisingly close in the opening set, just losing out 11-13 in the fifth versus Martin, whilst Frank had looked to be struggling at 2-1 down in legs to Paul, before battling back to the win.  Hawks have moved into fourth place, but still three points behind third placed Classics.

Milton Keynes Shambles enjoyed a fine 8-2 win over Milton Keynes Blades, helped by Blades being down to just two players.  Jim Robinson and Paddy Patel won both their singles against Andy Phillips & Tony Coomber, whilst Simon Green only lost out to Andy at 11-13 in the decider.  The other set to go the way of Blades was the doubles, another very close one with Andy / Tony edging out Paddy / Simon at 11-9 in the deciding leg.  The win moves Shambles up to seventh place, whilst Blades remain at the foot of the table, and have slipped to ten points behind the team above them, and so in serious danger of relegation.

Players of the Week : Chris Horn and Dylan Cox.

With matches in Division 2 not resuming until January .. wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year. :)