Week 26 – West Maldon To Keep Top Flight Status [Alternative Title: It’s Windy At Woodham!]
All of the Siberian snow melted away, allowing the Burnham pingers to get on with their season.
In Division One West Maldon A’s fate is sealed as they will now definitely finish in the bottom two, following an 8-2 loss to a Cold Norton A that featured Duncan Taylor, whom received fantastic support from Sam Lowman who scored a fine treble over Gavin Price, Tim Cramphorn and Glen Laing, while Price and Cramphorn picked up their side’s points by each getting the better of Neil Want. Mapledene A kept up their chase for the title by beating Maldon B 10-0, although the match was not without its difficulties with Steve Muth needing five ends to see off reigning Ladies’ Singles champion Dawn Baldry, and Muth paired with Lee Prentice to just get the better of Steve Scholz/Bryn Thomas in the doubles 5, -10, 4, -10, 8. Maldon A have all but secured bronze by defeating Mapledene C 9-1; Maldon won all four of the matches that went to a fifth end, and Debbie Auvache and Simon Jacob were each involved in two of them, just missing out each time. Elsewhere, Mapledene B versus Stow Maries A finished all square in a match where no player was undefeated and every player won at least once; this result helps Stow immensely in steering away from relegation. Fambridge A faced probably their windiest conditions of the season at Champions Manor Hall where the air conditioning was malfunctioning, but nonetheless they walked away 10-0 victors over Woodham A which brings them one step closer to the title, however it looks like things will be decided in the very last week of the season, as Fambridge have yet to play Mapledene B in their final fixture while Mapledene A are set to play their own B & C teams before the fat lady sings.
In Division Two West Maldon B have now definitely achieved a promotion spot following their recent result beating Woodham B 7-3, when both Nick Duce and super-sub Louis Gunn were undefeated; Allan Steel and Chris Crooks of the opposition bit back with wins over Chris Ciniglio and the doubles over Duce/Ciniglio 7, -11, 2, 1! In the battle of the C teams it was Woodham who came out on top, 10-0 over West Maldon; Allan Steel, Luca Bailey and Kieran Stanley seemed to thrive in the windy conditions as they raised their sails and brushed aside the challenge of Steve Siggs, Tim Huxtable and Barry Evans; Stanley just clinching his win over Evans 12-10 in the fifth. Woodham D (Vince Gurney, Mike Matlin, Mike Burton) faced the wrath of Stow Maries B (Peter Hance, Dave Marsh, Nicholas Reece-Ford) as Stow ran out 10-0 winners without any matches going to five, while Stow C edged out Cold Norton C 6-4 with Tim Pulham pipping teammate John Marshall to the Player of the Match post, both players scoring hat tricks. Division leaders Maldon C beat their own E team 8-2; E’s Mark Shorney was his side’s saving grace with wins over Roger Hance and Mervyn Perriman, while Martin Hogg was unstoppable for the C team.
In Division Three things finished all square in the mid-table clash between Maldon U3A B (Alan Mills, Philip West, Kath Little) and Maldon F (Garry Eames, Robin Sach, Brian Dixon); Eames was unbeaten while Mills picked up two for U3A including a last-gasp win over Sach 2, -10, 11, -9, 8. Elsewhere though were very one-sided results with Maldon U3A A beating Mayland B, Stow Maries D beating St Lawrence A, and Woodham E beating Burnham B, all decided 10-0.
Next weekend is the annual Championships, and a preview article will follow soon together with players’ start times.
Lee McHugh - Press & Publicity Officer - Burnham Table Tennis League