20th JANUARY 2015 MATCH REPORT

With the leaders of Division One of the Eastern Valley Table Tennis League, Bristol Nomads, having a week off, Cwmbran Blues were looking to close the gap in their game in hand against Cwmbran Colts. Without their top player Lee Thomas the Colts were always going to find it difficult and despite a spirited performance from Thomas' replacement Jonathan Allen they lost 10 - 23. This win for the Blues means they are now only 4 points behind the Nomads who they play next week in a match that could be crucial in the race for the title.

The other match in Division One was a much closer affair between YMCA and Cwmbran Aztecs with 5 of the 9 matches going to a deciding set. Due to player unavailability YMCA were able to call upon the services of Dean Cundy, currently ranked No. 9 in Wales. However, Cundy, playing with a bat borrowed from a team mate, did not have it all his own way as he was involved in 2 terrific matches with the Aztecs' Mark Edmunds and Tony Collins which both went to 5 sets. He came from 2 sets down to beat Edmunds 13-11 in the final set but lost to Collins who came back from being 2 sets to 1 down. Despite a player of the match performance from the Aztecs' Tony Collins who won his 3 matches, YMCA won 21 - 18 with Cundy being ably supported by Claire Flannagan with her 2 wins.

The Division Two leaders Blaenavon Aces were looking to follow up their performance from last week when they beat the previously unbeaten Cwmbran Dynamos. Unfortunately, all their usual players were required to attend a Welsh training squad session. At least they were able to call upon the experienced Jonathan Allen to play with 2 members of the Blaenavon Bulldogs squad in their match against Cwmbran Fellows. Despite Allen producing a player of the match performance with his 3 wins the Aces were shot down by the Fellows 19 - 10. Allen dropped just 1 set all night and that was in a reasonably competitive match against Wayne Ford.

The second placed team before this weeks matches, Cwmbran Panthers comfortably saw off the challenge of Cwmbran Eccentrics 23 - 8 with another player of the match performance from Mike Blatchford with his 3 wins. Despite their defeat the Eccentrics did provide the shock of the match when Dave Page beat the higher ranked Yuri Cherkasenko in 5 sets. However, Cherkasenko did recover to achieve an excellent win against Lincoln Alford. This win saw the Panthers take over top spot from the Aces.

With the Panthers winning comfortable the other chasing team Cwmbran Dynamos needed to have a big win to maintain their challenge. This they did with a convincing win over Cwmbran Devils 24 - 8, helped by another player of the match performance from Alex Jones. As in Division One next week sees a match between the 1st and 2nd placed teams Panthers and Aztecs which could have a bearing on the outcome of the Division Two title.

Author: via Eastern Valley Table Tennis League
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