TOP TWO IN BATTLE ROYALE
by Iain Willcocks
With the season coming to a close, the last couple of weeks look to have decided the title.
Both Sports A and Haddenham A both secured comfortable 10-0 victories, dispatching Sports B and Sports C respectively.
This meant the long awaited clash between the top two teams would probably decide the title.
In the first half of the season Haddenham took the spoils 6-4 and Sports A were out for revenge.
With 6 of the regular top performing stars all on show Haddenham took an early lead as Elson Costa beat Danny Baxter 3-0.
The tie then swung the other way as Sports A won the next 3 matches, all in 4 legs, with Rob Hansell and Danny beating Darren Palmer and Steve Munson defeating Andy Misseldine. 3-1 Sports A.
The in-form Elson then beat Steve and Rob beat Andy to make it 4-2 to Sports A.
The next two matches went to 5 legs. Firstly Steve squeezed past Darren in a fantastic show of attacking table tennis winning 11-9 in the fifth.
Then Andy managed to defeat Danny 11-8 in the final leg making it 5-3 Sports A
The final singles match up saw both undefeated players with Rob taking the spoils in 4 legs against Elson.
The doubles was another tight match with Sports winning meaning a victory 7-3 to Sports A...and almost surely the title.
JUST A MONTH TO GO
As we near the business end of this year’s season, the top two teams in each Division of the Aylesbury Table Tennis League are almost decided. Aylesbury Sports A lead the Premier Division by 16 points and seem certain to retain their Title. Haddenham A in second are well clear of Bellingdon in third, 18 points behind with a game in hand. Sports C and Thame A seem destined for relegation after a difficult season.
Division One is the exception to the others where Sports D and Sports E are equal top on 90 points but Bierton A , currently third on 89 points, have a game in hand. The Title is theirs for the taking but the two Sports teams have to fight off Ridgeway B to claim the runners up spot. Bierton won a tough match with Sports E this week, 8-2, to really take a strong hold on the Title. Duane Brooks, Mike Aistrop and Graham Butcher were outstanding.
Haddenham D will return to Division One as Champions of Division Two with Brill A in second. Mark Penn is the outstanding player on 97% for Haddenham but Greg Lewis, 85%, and Daniel Creanga, 90%, are the emerging players in Division Two this season for Brill. Longwick and Bishopstone E occupy the relegation places.
Whilst Dave Stevens leads the averages on 100% in Division Three for Risborough A, it is Brill B and Sports G who are the top teams for promotion. Poh Jin on 97% is their top player. The new players to the League, including juniors, in Quarrendon C will be stronger next season and looking to improve on their return of 37 points from 15 games at the bottom of the Division.
SPORTS ARE CHAMPIONS IN WAITING
Somebody once said “they think it’s all over”. Well in Aylesbury Table Tennis, it is now, following the inability of Haddenham A to field a full team against Tring A. Giving 3 valuable points plus a huge win for Tring’s young James George against Jon Abungan, has practically gifted this season’s Premier Division Title to Aylesbury Sports A. With nearly two months to go Sports A have a 16 point lead over Haddenham A and look well set to retain their Title. Both teams are well ahead of the rest of the Division. Sports A have recorded overwhelming 10-0 wins against Ridgeway A and Haddenham B, but were reined in by Quainton’s Dave Ralls and James Mccafferty to 8-2, James beating Danny Baxter and James overcoming Dave Croucher. Dave Ralls has been outstanding in recent games beating all three Ridgeway players, albeit in 5 sets against each player, in Quainton’s mid table draw. He also managed two wins against Bierton A losing out to Alan Cherry. Bottom team Thame were blitzed by Haddenham A 10-0, Jon, Darren Palmer and Elson Costa trying to make up some lost ground on the leaders.
Excellent Junior News from Tring
Two juniors, Gabriella Tonev and Aliya Power, who attend the Monday coaching sessions run by the Tring Table Tennis Club. are part of a Table Tennis team of four for their school, Greenway Primary & Nursery School, Berkhamsted.
They are entered, for their age group, in the Butterfly National School competition under the auspices of the English Schools Table Tennis Association [ESTTA].
They have won through three previous rounds, and on Saturday 3 February they won the regional round at Bristol to qualify for the National finals to be held at Hinkley Leisure Centre, Leicestershire on 10 March 2018.
Tring TTC and ADTTL wish Gabriella and Aliya the best of luck on that day - and also extend it to the other two members of the team as well.
It is not clear who is the favourite this year, but Ridgeway A are going strong in the defence of their Title. See New Frank Mitchell page.
1 point difference, but 1 match in hand for Sports
The two top Aylesbury Table Tennis teams continue to head the Premier Division in the start to the second half of this season. Sports A dominated their sister C Team with a 9-1 win which keeps them 1 point ahead of Haddenham A with a match in hand. The only blot for the Sports A Team was the defeat of Steve Munson by rising star, Andy Bradley, albeit in 5 sets and with Steve suffering with a stiff neck. Haddenham by contrast received a walkover from Sports B after struggling in the previous week to beat Bellingdon 6-4. In this match nobody remained unbeaten, Darren Palmer and Elson Costa winning twice for Haddenham and Keith Newell and Lee Rogerson doing the same for Bellingdon. Jon Abungan managed a five set win against Stuart Brown in a pulsating encounter. Lower down the Division there were outstanding performances from young John Ho for Thame with two wins against Quainton whose Dave Ralls managed a maximum on the night. Also Matthew George with three wins and brother James with two eclipsed Ridgeway 6-4, the brothers teaming up to win the doubles. James just lost 10-12 to Nick Tyler in the fifth set.
Haddenham A dent Sports progress.
Leaders Sports A had a home clash with second place Haddenham A in a top of the table clash. Steve Munson was in fine form winning all 3 of his matches, however, Andy Misseldine and Mark Scott both won 2 games each against Danny Baxter and David Croucher. Darren Palmer narrowly defeated David 11-8 in the 5th leg of their match and Andy and Mark combined to win the doubles to make it 6-4 to Haddenham A who also recently took an 8-2 victory against Quainton A. This brings them 8 points behind Sports A and in touching distance at the halfway stage.
Bierton kept up the pressure with a 6-4 victory over Ridgeway with Alan Cherry securing a maximum.
Bellingdon are also still in touch with an impressive 9-1 victory over Haddenham B, Lee Rogerson and Keith Newell both winning all their games.
Toward the bottom of the division another big match was won by Sports C as they overcame Tring A 7-3. Andy Bradley, Pete Tillotson and Iain Willcocks all winning 2 matches but none of them could defeat upcoming youngster James George who won the 3 matches for Tring A.
SIX WEEKS IN
Aylesbury Sports A top the Premier Division by 8 points from Haddenham A (66 pts) with Bellingdon third, a long way behind on 44 points. Best 100% performers are Steve Munson and Robert Hansell (Sports A) and Dave Ralls (Quainton A).
Div One sees Bishopstone A top with 42 points from 7 games, but two Sports teams follow closely with the D Team 41 points from 6 and the E Team 35 from 5. Good to see Matt Axford, Mike Aistrop and Nick Gourley playing recently for Bierton B in their draw with Bishopstone B for whom the undefeated Mark Dixon was the outstanding player. Also outstanding in this Division is Andrew Eggleton with 15 wins from 18. Mark Dixon is currently 88%.
Div Two and Three show Brill A and Brill B top respectively. Daniel Creanga has played in both Divisions and is 100% in both. Haddenham D are second in Two with Mark Penn undefeated. In Division Three it will be a contest for second place, currently occupied by Sports G, with Quarrendon A 2 points behind. Top of the charts with Daniel is Risborough's Dave Stevens.
Sports A Lurking
Haddenham A are temporarily top of the Premier Division with 56 points from 7 games, but Champions Sports A lurk 1 point behind with a game in hand. Haddenham took a 10-0 win against bottom team, Thame A but young John Ho is showing some fine form, taking a leg off Darren Palmer and making Andy Misseldine go to 5 sets.
The teams at the bottom are having a real dog fight to avoid the drop, although it is still early in the season. Whilst Thame are stuck in bottom place Tring, Sports C, Quainton A and Sports B are all in danger. Quainton have outstanding matches to play but Sports B due to a shortage of player availability have it all to do as it proved when they visited Quarrendon to play Sports C.
The result was a win for the B Team, 9-1, but the C Team would argue that they had more than a good shout in the 4 games that went to 5 legs, with both Andy Bradley and Pete Tillotson playing very well. Andy led Rob Hazelwood 7-2 in the 4th set, leading 2-1 in sets, but Rob levelled and took the fifth set 11-9. Andy won a titanic struggle with Dave Wackrill, wining 11-8 in the 5th set. Pete led Dave 8-3 in their decider only for Dave to draw level at deuce and snatch the win. In his encounter with Tim Cheek, Pete was majestic in winning two games but made too many mistakes in the last set. As a result the B Team moved up one place to 7th place.
Look in NEW Frank Mitchell page for results as they occur week by week with a report from the Organiser
EASY FOR SPORTS SO FAR
Champions, Aylesbury Sports A benefited from a walkover this week against Quainton A due to sickness and as a result top the Premier Division table by 3 points with a match in hand. Haddenham A have had the toughest battles at the start of this season. Last week they faced Dashuai Zhang, a British League player representing Sports B. In a display of fascinating top class table tennis, he beat all Haddenham’s best dropping just one set to Darren Palmer. Haddenham still ran out winners 7-3. They then had to face Bierton A this week for whom Alan Cherry and Craig Brown feature. However, Andy Misseldine and Mark Scott took maximums and accomplished another 7-3 win for their team.Craig and Alan with one each for Bierton and a tight doubles victory for Alan and Neil Massa winning 11-9 in the 5th set.
There were two excellent performances from teams at the other end of the table. Firstly Sports C gained a credible 5-5 draw away at Haddenham B. Chris Hawkes was in fine form winning all 3 and Ben Rolfe only losing out in a great match to Iain Willcocks who won 2 for Sports C. Pete Tillotson and Graham Silversides both picking up one win each.
Tring A are working their way up the table with a superb 7-3 victory over Sports B. James George winning all 3 in convincing style, not dropping a set all evening. Les is rolling back the years and playing great table tennis winning 2 matches including the scalp of Dave Wackrill in a 5-set thriller.
The final result was a 10-0 win for Ridgeway A against a struggling Thame team. Gary Keers, Kevin Doyle and Mike Bellamy all recording maximums.
SPORTS START TITLE DEFENCE
After three matches in the new Aylesbury Table Tennis season, Bierton A lead with 25 points but last season’s champions, Sports A, have amassed 20 points from two matches and are on course to pinch the lead. Adversaries Haddenham A are second on 22 points having played tougher matches earlier than others. Bierton have benefited from one walkover against Sports B who languish second from bottom behind their promoted C Team. New Club Thame have suffered at the hands of Sports C 10-0 and Sports A also 10-0, although Sports A demonstrated the difference in skills beating their C Team 10-0. Outstanding performances have come from young James and Matt George for Tring with wins against Mike Bellamy (Ridgeway). Elsewhere Biao Wang won twice against Bellingdon for Sports B including a win against Singles Champion, Lee Rogerson. Equally, Keith Newell and Jim Welch did well to win two games each against Bierton A in a drawn match. It is early days yet.
Dafna Dekel and David Badham win The Summer Competition 2017 see Summer Competition page
Jack Bacon wins The Handicap at 14 years old see Championships
MIKE ATKINSON TAKES DIV ONE TITLE see Championships
3/5/17 Martin Taylor wins Div Two and Dave Stevens wins Div Three see Championships