The maiden weekend of the British League season didn’t disappoint as the Ormesby crowd was treated to a splendid showcase in high class table tennis.
The weekend provided all the ingredients required for the perfect table tennis event. Unforgettable matches, palpable tension, a glimpse into the future and breathtaking performances.
There was little to separate the top three sides heading into the opening play, and in the end a solitary point split them come the end of it.
Sycamore, Ormesby and Drumchapel quickly surged to the upper echelons of the table having already distanced themselves from the other sides in the division.
Last year’s champions, Sycamore, perch at the top of the division on mere sets difference. The star studded lineup of Chris Doran, Matt Ware, Paul McCreery and Sean Cullen dropped just eight sets on their way to the top of the league. Doran was the star, registering eight consecutive wins, including victories over Enio Mendes, Darius Knight and Sebastian Loso, to set the platform for his side. He was ably supported by his fellow teammates, who remain unbeaten going into the next weekend.
The one blemish on their record comes in the shape of an unforgettable draw with Ormesby, whose record reads identical to that of their title rivals.
The two sides engaged in a mesmerising draw of the highest quality. Doran’s double over Ormesby new signings Knight and Mendes was equaled by a sensational double from England’s top junior Helshan Weerasinghe. Fresh off the back of his maiden ITTF Tour victory, Weerasignhe produced the type of performance that makes him so highly regarded around the world. Not only did he claim victory over Cullen, but a 3-1 victory over Ware will go down as one of his best to date.
Meanwhile, the most talked about team of the weekend, Drumchapel TTC, breath heavily down the necks of the pair in third. A perfect start to the campaign was vastly aided by Chinese superstar Xu Rui Feng, the conqueror of some of the world’s greatest players in recent months. Their impeccable record was halted, however, when Ormesby overcame them in a tight 5-3 result at the end of the weekend. That result was largely influence by another hot prospect. Tom Jarvis enjoyed a superb weekend, which culminated in him beating Scott Barton and Richard Main to guide Ormesby to victory.
Fusion and LVA London Academy head the rest of the pack. Fusion had arguably the player of the weekend in the shape of Luke Savill, the youngster ending with a stunning return of six wins from eight, beating the likes of Main, Barton and Marcus Giles.
Impressive victories over Bournemouth and Kingfisher pointed to a successful start for LVA London, who have already proved they have the potential to cause a few shocks on their way with Dexter St Louis and Sebastian Loso heading their attack.
Meanwhile, Barrow ended the event in sixth having registered one win in four. Gavin Evans battled valiantly through illness to help is side, and whilst his results weren’t as good as he would have hoped, his brilliant victory over St Louis was a reward for his perseverance.
Kingfisher picked up a vital win over Bournemouth as they quest for survival continues, meanwhile luckless Bournemouth will have to wait to register a point on the league ladder. Having surrendered a 3-1 lead to Kingfisher they will undoubtedly be disappointed, but offered hope that they can mix it up with the rest of the competition when the teams congregate in Glasgow November 1st.
Written By Matthew Shaw