Division 3 League Report - 6th December 2018 by Mike Holiday

Ruckinge C win promotion to the second division.

In a crucial match in Division 3, long time front runners Ruckinge C took on third placed Little Chart Posties knowing a 6-4 win or better would confirm top spot with a match to spare.

On an evening where five of the top eight players in the singles averages where playing, it promised to be a closely fought affair.  However the match never really lived up the billing, with Ruckinge C full of confidence they brushed their opponents aside rushing into a 4-0 lead without losing a leg.  The fifth match saw Frazer Duncan taking on Daniel Simmons, with Daniel Simmons protecting a 100% average.  Frazer started will edging a tight first leg 12-10, before Daniel found his range a breezed through a second 11-5.  However Frazer was not going to go quietly, but despite fighting hard he had to accept a 3-1 defeat losing legs three and four 10-12, 10-12.  The win secured at least a draw for the visiting side, and put them within a point of the title.   Next saw Colin Price taking on Richard Wright, eighth and seventh in the averages.  Again Ruckinge were proving too strong in every encounter, with only a third leg reverse possible for Colin losing out 3-1.  The result promotes Ruckinge, and leaves Little Chart fighting for second place.

Daniel Simmons and Terry Yeomans then added to the score with 3-1 wins over Brian Milner and Colin Price.  Going into the final singles encounter trailing 8-0, Frazer Duncan finally gave Little Chart a deserved win, with a 3-1 result over Richard Wright.  Unfortunately that was it for Little Chart, with Ruckinge taking the doubles 3-0.  Final score 9-1 to Ruckinge, and the title.  Little Chart Posties are currently in third, but with games in hand should overtake Ruckinge E to claim second spot.

Elsewhere in the division Ashford TT C were playing for pride against Challock D.  The home side were already relegated to the fourth tier, but sitting a place above them Challock D represented their best opportunity to take a confidence boosting win.  Ashford TT C started brightly with the improving Max Behrens getting a deserved first win of the season, getting the better of Richard Mummery over four legs, although a second leg win for Richard could easily have gone either way.  Unfortunately for Ashford event unwound somewhat with Challock winning the next six encounters.  Joe Morgan over powered Max, Jenny Swain, and Spencer Hewins for the loss of just one leg.  Challocks’ third player, Chris Near, beat all of the Ashford trio 3-1 but Spencer pushed him close in the first and final legs however Chris had enough to win out 10-12 in the fourth. 

Ashford TT C were able to get a second point on the board thanks to captain Jenny Swain coming through 3-0 over Richard Mummery, but Richard was able to beat Spencer by the same score line to make the result 7-2 leading into the doubles.  Jenny and Max teamed up against Richard and Joe, with the score line suggesting they might have well just flipped a coin for each leg.  The Ashford duo took the first leg 11-9, before the Challock side stole the next three legs 11-13, 11-13, 10-12.  This result means Challock are safe in Division 3 for another season, and Ashford TT C will be dropping down into the fourth Division but as clear favourites to win the Division.

Author: via Ashford Table Tennis League
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