Division 4 League Report 15th February 2019 by Mike Holiday
Division 4: Hamstreet leading the hunt for promotion
Four weeks into the new season, and Hamstreet B are holding top spot in the division with Challock E within touching distance. Both sides have an unblemished start to the season, and it is hard to see where the challenge will come from based on results to date. Hamstreet opened their campagin with a 7-3 win over Ashford D, and a 6-4 over Sportsmen C. This week they entertained junior side Ashford TT E. Despite the promise and enthusiasm the Hamstreet side used this experience to steamroller through to a 10-0 win. Jack Westbrook started brightly taking an 11-8 win in the first leg against Andrew Millbank, before the Hamstreet play took the next two. Jack was able to pull himself back into the game with a closely contested fourth end. The fifth end was a cagey affair, with the more 'reserved' Millbank taking the leg and the game 11-8 but it could have so easily gone the other way. From then on it was very much one way traffic with Tim Woodhouse and debutant Darren Holliday going through the evening without dropping a leg, which of course means Harvey Horsley and Arthur Ellison Burroughs end the night without a leg to their name. There was some respite in the doubles with Arthur and Harvey combining to win a first leg over Andrew and Darren. But normal service was soon resumed with the home side coming through for a 3-1 win, and a 10-0 on the night.
The only other match this week in Division 4 saw Ashford TT D taking on Ashford TT C in a battle for club bragging rights. In a fairly evening matched affair the night came down to the fifth leg of the doubles! Ashford TT C started brightly with Michael Radford and young Spencer Hewins winning 3-0 over Dennis Brindley and Keith Young respectively, and beyond a second leg 13-11 between Keith and Spencer the result never really looked in doubt. Glen Walters then put Ashford TT D on the board with a 3-0 win over Elliott Heal, but if the thrid leg 12-10 win had gone in Elliott's favour the result could have been very different. Kieth Young and Michael Radford took their time in a four legged affair with very little between the two players, but Michael was able to provide the more consistent threat and ran out a 3-1 winner. For both teams this was a turning point with Ashford TT C leading 3-1, Ashford TT D out in a burst of three straight wins. Dennis Brindley edged past Elliott Heals, Glen Walters won out 3-0 over Spencer, before Keith ended Elliotts hope of avoiding a winless night with another 3-0 win. With victory in sight Glen Walters was unable to get the game to avoid defeat with Michael Radford winning out 3-0 and tie the match at 4-4 with two to play. Dennis and Spencer then went head to head in a very seesaw match despite the end result. Dennis edged the first leg 13-11, in a tighter second (if that was possible) Dennis again came through 14-12. But the efforts of the first two legs with nothing to show began to tell, and Spencer let Dennis get enough of a lead to run out a 11-7 winner. 5-4 Ashford TT D with just the doubles. Glen and Dennis against Spencer and Elliott in a game of leg tennis. Glen and Dennis took the first and third, both 11-5. This was interrupted by Spencer and Elliott taking the second and fourth 11-2, 11-5. But Ashford TT C were unable to break the trend, and Ashford TT D took the final leg by a very consistent 11-5, and with it the match (and bragging rights) 6-4.
Challock E had a week off this week after winning their opening encounters 8-2 over Ashford TT E, and 7-3 over Sportsmen C. They will return to action against Ashford TT D shortly. Sportsmen C were the other no playing side this week, but having played three and lost three they will be looking for a change in fortune against Ashford TT E.
For those of you looking to get into the sport there are a number of venue offering a less competitive option with Ashford Vineyard running a club on a Tuesday evening at their Cobbs Wood Estate venue, more details can be found on their website. And from March 7th at 8:00 Repton Connect will be offering come along and try sessions. Details for both of these evenings can be found on the league website at www.tabletennis365.com/Ashford shortly.
Author: Michael Holiday via Ashford Table Tennis League