SPORTS A RESUME CONTROL
After 4 weeks of the new season Sports A have moved into top spot in the Aylesbury and District Table Tennis Premier Division. Danny Baxter, Steve Munson and David Croucher eclipsed a two man Bellingdon team, 10-0 and, with Robert Hansell replacing Danny, they took a strong 9-1 win against Bierton A. Craig Brown took the win for Bierton against Steve Munson.
Haddenham A are in close contention in fourth place with a game in hand, having beaten bottom team, Thame A, 10-0. Meanwhile the lower placed teams have pressed the leaders more closely this week. Sports C took a good 6-4 win at Tring with Mariusz Konopacki subbing from Division Two and winning twice. Alfie Lyons was unbeaten for Tring. The match of the week was Sports B v Bierton B with 3 resolute defenders involved. See match report below. The expedite rule was brought into play in two games, both involving Tim Cheek, once against Duane Brooks and then against Mark Croucher. Even so the match finished at 23.55. With Mark unbeaten and Mike Aistrop winning once, the Bierton team achieved a draw. Ben Rolfe and Tim Cheek both won twice for Sports. Finally Ridgeway A trounced Tring A 10-0 to stay in second place equal on points with Bierton A.
Sports B 5 V 5 Bierton B
A very long tough night!
The last ball was struck in anger at 11.55, so well after midnight by the time everyone left.
With Tim Cheek on one side and both Mark Croucher and Duane Brooks on the other, then a long night was always likely. It was pointed out that if Tim had been joined by Messrs Wackrill and Ridgeway that it might have taken till dawn!
For (possibly) the first time ever, Tim played two expedites on one night (it may have happened once before in around 1984)
The evening started with Tim playing Mark. At one leg all, it was agreed to play expedite. Although Tim was well up in both legs, Mark would not be passed and won 3-1.
Chris Hawkes was feeling off colour and lost on deuce in the 5th to Duane and very close in 5 to Mike Aistrop. He also lost in 4 sets to Mark.
Ben Rolfe beat Mike and Duane, but was reeled in by Mark who took a fine maximum.
Tim had also beaten Mike, which took the score to 5-3 to Bierton B.
Tim and Duane reached 1-1 before agreeing to expedite. Tim took a 2-1 lead, but Duane came back to force a decider and took a 7-3 lead before Tim turned it round to win 11-9.
The doubles was another marathon affair with Tim/Ben finally overcoming Mark/Duane in 5 sets as we reached 11.55.
BELLINGDON ON FIRE
The new table tennis season has started with a strong Bellingdon team stating their case for honours this year. Their first two matches were against weaker opposition in Bierton B and Sports C, but 19 from 20 points is a good start dented only by Pete Tillotson from Sports with a defeat of Stuart Brown.
Leading the chase behind Bellingdon is Bierton A who dropped 3 points to Ridgeway A, Kevin Doyle taking wins off Michael Wilkins and Alan Cherry. Last season’s champions, Sports A crushed Thame, 10-0 but then had a difficult early encounter with last year’s runners up, Haddenham A. Robert Hansell was in good form for Sports in their 6-4 win. Andy Misseldine starred for Haddenham with wins against Steve Munson and Dave Croucher. Sports are in third place on 14 points.
Tring A had a magnificent start to the season with a 6-4 win against Sports B, Matt George remaining unbeaten. James George then stepped up in the fixture against Thame which they won 8-2 to move level with Sports A on 14 points. Les Ferguy took notable wins against Ben Rolfe and Chris Hawkes in the Sports match.
ARTHUR HURST TROPHY 2018
FIRST WIN FOR ED
Seventeen Aylesbury Sports Club players and one guest competed in the Annual Arthur Hurst Table Tennis handicap Trophy recently at Quarrendon and Meadowcroft Community Association. The guest player was Paul Brown from the Bishopstone Club and he proceeded to upset the odds by winning through from his group, then knocking out fancied players, Mark Binder from Division Two and Premier Division’s Nick Hansell who lost by just one point in a third set play off. Paul had the final in his sights when he met Ed Lock in the semi final. Ed had not dropped a set all night winning his group comfortably and easing past Phil Blind to get to the semi final.
In the other half of the draw Sue Marchant was dominant using her handicap advantage well. She won her group and beat fellow Division Three player Craig Saunders to reach the semi final. There she was to face Pete Edwards who had qualified as second to Nick Hansell in his group. Pete ousted Barry Hammond and then last year’s winner, Andy Bradley by 6 points.
The Semi Finals saw a one-sided comfortable win for Ed against Paul and an 8 point win for Sue against Pete. So the final was to be between Summer Competition Team mates, Sue and Ed, an interesting matchup where Sue had a 1 point per set advantage. It proved highly competitive with Ed roaring into a lead of 8 or 9 points, but on 15 he became indecisive against Sue’s game plan and she overhauled him to win the first set 21-19. Ed had it all to do and was understandably annoyed with himself for throwing points away. He kept a more controlled game for the second set, maintained a lead and won 21-15. When Sue’s handicap advantage was added in this gave the match to Ed 40-38. This was his first Title of any note and he was well pleased. Congratulations to both Ed and Sue for an enthralling final.
SUMMER COMPETITION 2018
Winners Sue Marchant and Ed Lock aka The Mighty Marlocks - they beat Brill's Daniel Creanga and Poh Jin aka The Smashing Guys 5 - 0 for report see Summer Competition page.
|Premier Division||Aylesbury Sports A||Haddenham A|
|Division One||Bierton B||Aylesbury Sports E|
|Division Two||Haddenham D||Brill A|
|Division Three||Brill B||Aylesbury Sports G|
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.