PREMIER/DIV 1 ROUND-UP WEEK 16
Published 01/02/2020 at 17:22:03 by David Wackrill.PREMIER DIVISION
BAGGALEY ON TOP OF THE WORLD AGAIN
Congratulations to Andrew Baggaley on retaining his World Championship of Ping Pong title at the weekend, his 4th in total. I’m sure that Greenleys School will be erecting a blue plaque in honour of Milton Keynes' greatest ever athlete at some stage in the future.
Andrew’s old team Monarchs trounced MK Kingpins 8-2 with maximums from Tomek Nowakowski and, another hard bat specialist, Dave Tiplady. Martin Hall had to settle for a single win over Pete Bannister as Dave Allison and Mark Purcell got the better of him. Current Monarchs skipper Ian Johnston sat out this match but had a sensational ‘Worlds’ himself at Alexandra Palace, qualifying in his group for the last 32.
Top of table Greenleys Kings took on bottom side MK Topspin, but didn’t have matters all their own way despite the 10-0 scoreline. Topspin could have drawn first blood in the opening set with Russell Penn leading 5-0 and 10-8 in the 5th before capitulating to opposing skipper Nick Howard. Then Andy Smith, enjoying a Topspin debut, took Guy Sparrow all the way to 13-11 in their decider. But Kings ‘ace in the pack’ Matt Haynes was in no mood for such largess and set a new ‘best of season’ for least points conceded in a match, a meagre 38 on the night. He is a class apart and the main reason why Kings are walking away with the title. Mervyn Kelly was the other Topspin player.
MK Phoenix decisively beat MK Powers 8-2 to increase the lead over their relegation rivals to 7 points. Powers turned out a full compliment of players this time round with Keith Carrington making a guest appearance alongside Pete Tillotson and Minesh Pitamber, both of whom logged a win over Mervyn Phillips. Co-incidentally Keith’s last match in the Premier, for Sasaki in March 2017, was against Powers themselves. Hat-trick here for Ioan Constantin and Alan Bolding.
Very unusual to see a Greenleys team play a man short, customarily the preserve of club MK, but that was the case for Warriors this week as only Ricky Taiwo and stand-in Danny Sedgwick made it on to the team-sheet against MK Spinners. Spinners had a rusty Gary Jones back in the side after his prolonged paternity leave and he was outplayed by the Warriors’ duo who took a 3rd win on the night when Ricky beat Neil Massa. Usual maximum for Alan Cherry.
Player of the week is Andrew Baggaley.
EAGLES IN FREEFALL
St. Christopher Van Hire extended the lead over their rivals after an emphatic 9-1 victory over mid table Greenleys Glory. Half the sets went to a decider but the only one lost was by David Broome against Ian Brown, who saved the whitewash in the last set. Hat-tricks for Biao Wang and Paul Haigh whilst Christine Scaysbrook and Jacob Midson completed the Glory line-up.
MK Pumas made hard work of beating second from bottom Open University Primes 6-4 but stay in the other promotion spot for now. The match started badly for them with the usually dependable Andy Smith crashing to a 5 game defeat against Patrick Wong and they were 2-0 down 20 minutes later after a straight games win for Martin Lok against Keith Carrington. But, as is often the case, Julie Snowdon came to hr side’s rescue by starting the fightback with a victory over Andy Tan and continuing with straight game wins over Patrick and Martin. And a vital contribution from Keith, who came up with only his second win of the season against a div 1 player when he got the better of Andy.
Greenleys Eagles looked to be walking away with the title when on an 11 match unbeaten run earlier in the season, but could slip to 4th in the next in the next round, behind this week’s opponents Woburn Sands Data. Data’s one time ‘wonder boy’ Darren Ward was man of the match after a stunning hat-trick in his team’s 7-3 success. The highlight was a win over Iain Lindsay, but either side of this mega win Darren dealt comfortably with both Dave Plumb and Barry Bishop. Rob McPheat beat Dave & Barry with James Molloy chipping in with a win over Dave and sharing the doubles with Rob in a match where no sets went to a decider.
Chackmore Hasbeens enjoyed an 8-2 scoreline, their biggest win of the season when beating a 2-player Newport Pagnell Vantage side, tailed off by 16 points at the foot of the table. In the clash between the Division’s only ever present competitors, Hasbeens’ Bub Burman got revenge over Sue Lewis for his defeat to her last time out with a straight games win, one of only 2 sets not to go to a decider. Tony Ardis got Vantage’s only singles win when beating Andy Whitehead, and took the doubles with Sue Lewis against Bub/Andy in a set that showcased this division’s two most prolific doubles partnerships, 24 appearances between them.
Player of the week is Darren Ward.