Division 2 League Report - 18th September 2018
Challock B, relegated from from Division 1 before the Summer break were looking to bounce straight back and followed up last weeks 8-2 victory over Postling B with an equally convincing 7-3 over newly promoted Ashford B. Steve Smith & Cliff Ball, from Challock, remain undefeated and in an warning for the rest of the division didn't drop a set against the promising juniors from Ashford. However all three of the Ashford players (Daniel Housden, Luke Garvey & Matt Hills) all beat the luckless Roy Baker, although Daniel twice came from behind to win over 5 legs. This means the Ashford side who started with a 5-5 draw are still seeking their first win, but I expect that to occur fairly soon and Challock will face a much sterner test in the reverse fixture.
Sportsmen A having to rearrange the first weeks fixture opening their account against the experience of Postling B. Before the Summer break an injury littered season almost saw them drop into Division 3. But they saw out the final few games to finish mid and have now called in a few extra players to ensure then fight promotion. Both Russel Swain and Denise Glenister beat Howard Brightling in four legs, and Russell called on his top division experience to also beat Julian Thorne with the first legs being won 11-1! However Julians 'unique' style and awkward bat made life a little more uncomfortable for Russell in legs two and three but not enough to avoid the whitewash. Douglas Ho was the star man for Sportsmen beating both Russell, Densie, and third player Susan Allsworth, he was pushed to five legs by both Russell and Susan, before he really found his range brushing Denise aside 3-0. Julian chipped in with wins over Susan and Denise, plus a win for Howard over Susan w=saw Sportsmen hold a 6-3 lead going into the doubles. Douglas and Julian started brightly for Sportsmen winning the first legs 11-3. But a combination of Denise and Russell, plus the clashing styles of the Sportsmen pair was Postling seal the point with a 4-1 win. Final score 6-4 to Sportsmen.
The final tie of the week was the Darren Richardson show! His attacking style proved too much for Mike Holiday, Mike Galvan and Richard Wright winning all matches 3-0, but each Ruckinge player was able to get close in one leg the rest we very much one sided. With Darren unbeaten for Challock C, and Cliff and Steve unbeaten for Challock B the singles average winner looks likely to come from the Challock club. Darren was ably support by Nigel Griffiths, although the manor of his wins was far more arduous. It all started well for Ruckinge B's Mike Galvan racing into a 2-0 lead (11-8, 11-6), but then either Nigel switched on or Mike switch off as Nigel took the next three 7-11, 8-11, 8-11. On a high he then took on Richard Wright playing up from Division 3, and I'm afraid the gap in divisions showed with Richard losing out 3-0, and only amassing 12 points over all three legs! Nigel finally went up against against Mike Holiday in the final singles over the evening with Challock leading 5-3 on the night. Mike started brightly with an 11-8 win, but then, like Mike Galvan, the wheels came off losing the next two legs 3-11, 9-11 before finally finding his range taking the fourth leg 11-6. The final leg was a tight affair with Nigel happy to defend and wait for an opening with Mike trying to dictate and open up the game. At 5-5 it was looking like a tight match before a run of three points swung the tie into Nigels favour through a combination of luck and excellent attacking. With nothing to lose Mike showed the seasons playing in the top division were not lost, and he closed out Nigels attack winning the next six points to win the game and take the match into a decisive doubles. Richard Warren playing in his first game for Challock was unable to register for the away side on this occasion. The doubles saw Mike & Mike take on Darren & Nigel, on paper Challock always looked like favourites, and on this occasion it turned out to be true with Challock winning a tight 3-0 (11-8, 14-12, 13-11).
After two rounds of matches Challock B are already seven points clear of Ashford TT B in second, but there is still a long way to go.
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Author: Michael Holiday via Ashford Table Tennis League