Division 2 League Report - 28th February 2019 by Mike Holiday

Iron Room A stretching clear


With Iron room A sitting eight points of Ruckinge B at the top of the division having both played five matches it was down to Challock B to try and slow them down.  Challock B finished second last time out, and were expected to be challenging for the top again this quarter, but they find themselves tied for sixth place and a massive twenty points points behind the leaders albeit with a game in hand.  Iron Room A started the match with the only unbeaten record in the division, and were hoping to hang onto this for at least another week.

Niether side held back with their team selections, with Challock B fielding arguably their strongest side and Iron Room A following this lead.  Challock captain, Cliff Ball, started the evening brightly for the away side with a 3-1 win over Keith Harris before Steve Smith (last seasons averages winner) faced off against Keith Yarnley.  It has been almost a year since Steve had felt defeat in the Ashford league, and thanks for Keith this run came to an abrupt end win in straight sets 11-9, 11-6,11-9.  Regining Mens Singles Champion, Jonny Bispham then recorded a 3-0 win over Bob Baker to put Iron Room A 2-1 up.  Keith Yarnley then handed out another 3-0 defeat to Cliff Ball, before Bob Baker pulled one back for Challock with  a 3-0 over Keith Harris.  This was to be the last win for Challock in a while as Johnny Bispham beat both Steve and Cliff 3-0, and despite winning one leg Bob Baker was unable to overcome Keith Yarnley.  These wins put Iron Room 6-2 up with two to play.  In the final singles Steve Smith and Keith Harris were going head to head to avoid suffering a whitewash, whilst each each was tight the Challock player came through 3-0 to reduce the team deficit to 6-3 with the doubles to play.  Reigning doubles winners Johnny Bispham and father Steve (guest appearance for the evening) took on Steve and Cliff in five leg thriller.  The first four legs were shared alternatly, and it was the Challock pairing who proved the more consistent taking the win, and restcting Iron Room to a 6-4 win in their last match of this rotation.  The result puts Iron Room 14 points clear at the top but everyone else has games in hand.  Challock B find themselve four points off the bottom, with the two teams below them with a game in hand, against each other.


In that other match Ruckinge C took on Ashford TT B in an early relegation match but with the opportunity for both teams to leap frog Challock B, and with two teams to get relegated both needed the points.  Ruckinge C went into the match a mere three points ahead of Ashford, so it looked on paper to be a tight match.  Ashford B already faced an up hill battle with one of their regulars unavailable, so they were forced to call up Bob Young from Division 4 as a stand in.  Ashford started brirghtly with Matt Hills leading the way with a straight sets win over Terry Yeomans who, on paper, would be the toughest match of the night.  Ruckinge C hit back quickly with Dan Simmons eding past Luke Garvey in five, before Bob was brushed aside by Clive Devlin to leave Ruckinge 2-1 up on the night.  Matt Hills then threaten to thrash Dan Simmons winning the first leg 11-1, but Dan showed some of the confidence which help Rucklinge to the Division 3 title last time out to fight his way back into the match, and despite losing the second leg 11-5 he was able to take the next two to force a fifth leg shoot out.  But a run of defeats for Dan showed, and with Matts confidence on a high we can through 11-7 to draw the teams level.  Terry Yeomans then got his name of the board with a 3-0 win over Bob Young, but sadly for Ruckinge that was it for the night.  Luke Garvey overcame Terry & Clive without losing a set, Matt notched up a hat trick with a 3-0 win over Clive.  However upset of rhte night was Bob Young coming from 2-0 behind to beat Dan Simmons 3-2.  With Ashford bubbling with confidence it didn't take them long to tie up a 3-1 win in the doubles, and a 7-3 win on the night.  The result means Challock B are pushed to the bottom of the pile, and Ashford B have now edged one point ahead of Ruckinge C.  Next week is the end of the first round of match before the reverse fixtures start, so all three teams have some ground to make up on the rest of the division.


Ruckinge B enjoyed  a week off this week, and the match between Hamstreet A and Sportsmen A was rearragned until the end of the season.


We are getting closer to the first session at Repton Connect for everyone interested in playing table tennis on a more social basis.  It all kicks off at 8pm, so come along and say hi.


For full results and tables please visit www.tabletennis365.com/Ashford 
Author: via Ashford Table Tennis League
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