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

Division 2: Battle of the Also Rans


In a head to head been first placed, and undefeated, Iron Room A and second placed Ruckinge B, the lower placed team had the chance to make up ground on the leaders.  In the reverse fixture Ruckinge B had come cloest of any team to taking a win, but had to settled for a 5-5 draw after losing out in the doubles.  No such troubles for Iron Room A this time out though.  Robert Huntley was on find form, and refused to be distracted by some 'sporting' behaviour from the away side.  He coasted though the evening without losing a leg to Mike Holiday, Mike Galavan and Chris Cloake, although the latter put in a fine performance eventually losing out 11-8, 11-8, 11-9.
In the first encounter of the evening an upset was on the cards, David Cue was in fine form and took a 2-0 leg over Mike Galvan (12-10, 12-10), and had it not been for a fine retrival at 14-13 in the fifth it could have been so much more.  As it was Mike scraped through the leg 16-14, and with some solid defending took the next 8-11, and won the final leg at a canter 3-11 against the tiring David Cue (but at nearly 80 an excellent match).  Chris Cloake and Mike Holiday had no such troubles, both winning 3-0 with a little to spare.  That however was the sum total for the Ruckinge players.  Iron Rooms third, Keith Harris, was on excellent form coming through a tight 3-1 win over Chris Cloake he set himeself up for a head to head against Mike Holiday.  Keith took the first 11-8 after a fast start by Mike Holiday, but lost out in the next two 11-6 before hitting back in the fourth also 11-6.  The fifth leg was looking to be an uphill struggle with Keith trailing 4-0, only to claw back to 5-5.  Some excellent looping attack from Keith, was well countered at distance by Mike who edged into a 9-7 lead, and was almost over the line, but Keith held his nerve and took his third match point to win 13-11.  Keith was the forced to repeat the epic against Mike Galvan who took the first and fourth legs 15-13, & 12-10.  But sandwich inbetween was an 11-8, and a 12-10 for Keith.  Unfortunatly ffor Ruckinge Keith was able to get a commanding lead at the start of the fifth, which left Mike chasing the game, and allow Keith a little more time to pick his shots and take the win 11-6.  In a once side doubles Keith & Robert, strolled past Mike & CHris 3-0.  The 7-3 win means they are now 20 points clear of Ruckinge B with three to play, so have all but secured promotion straight back to Division 1, there next goal will be going undefeated for the season.  Ruckinge B will be looking over their shoulders to everyone from thrid to sixth with games in hand, their second position is by no means secure.
Elsehwere Challock B continued their slow rise back up the table after a disasterous first half to the season.  Welcoming Ashford TT B, fresh off an 8-2 win.  However at the time of going to print the result was not known.
Finally dark horses for second spot, Hamstreet A, took on Ruckinge C.  Both teams started the night in the relegation spots, but with three games Hamstreet were in a much stronger position to reach safety.  The Hamstrteet duo were again in fine form registering their fourth double hat trick of the season, and were well supported by the ever improving Anthony Bodle.  However the individual matches were not as convincing at the scoreline suggestions.  Martain Yeandle edged passed Daniel Simmons 12-10, 11-9, 10-12, 13-11, edged passed Richard Wright 11-9, 11-9, 12-10, before cutting lose a little beating Terry Yeomans 11-9, 11-8, 11-7.  Three points n the bag, and with only four defeats all season looking good for a high finish in the averages.  Ben Brown went through the Ruckinge side without losing a leg, and never really looked in danger against a Ruckinge side looking increasingly likely to be relegated in the first season up from Division 3.  Anthong Bodle only came away with one on the night but it could have been more.  Terry Yeoman was trailing 2-1 to Anthony, and needed decue wins in the fourth and fifth legs to take the point for Ruckinge.  Daneil Simmons was unable to take a leg off the Hamstreet player, but his team mate, Richard Wirght, came through in five legs.  Although none of the legs were particularly close on the night.  In a small consolation Daniel and Richard did win the dooubles 3-1 over Anthony & Ben. 
For full league results, and details of the Summer League starting in May, please visit www.tabletennis365.com/Ashford
In other news Love Ashford have announced that two outdoor tables will be coming to Park Mall from the 11th April 2019.  They will be open to all, and free to play.  For more details look up there website.
Community Table Tennis continues to grow at Repton Connect with the addition of two more tables, taking their capacity to five tables.  Everyone is welcome every Thursday night from 8pm.
Mike Holiday

Author: via Ashford Table Tennis League
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