Ellesmere II vs Fulbourn VI, 4-6

Ellesmere 2 were reduced to a two-man team when Annette Ginn called in ill but still managed to give a good account of themselves for the visit of Fulbourn 6. Rob Boyce and Chung Lao reproduced their 5-game epic of last season but this time Rob prevailed, 11-9 in the fifth. Fulbourn included reserve Martin Pinner for some match time, so it fell to Chung and Carl Woolf to garner some points, though Rob and Rhys Burton came back with an entertaining doubles win against Chung and Martin.

Fulbourn VI vs Countess III, 7-3

A rejuvenated Brian Mitchell, complete with a new knee, swept through the ranks of Fulbourn 6 with gusto. His Countess team-mates, Stevie Foulger in his pink shoes and Phil Emmerson presented a worthy challenge to the Fulbourn team of Chung Lao, Arjun Tapasvi and Carl Woolf but without success. Chung and Arjun took the doubles for a final score of 7-3.

Soham Comrades II vs Ely II, 7-3

Chris Rule, cheered on by his new grandson from the Soham Comrades’ grandstands, rolled back the years, with his all-or-nothing serve-and-smash routine, defeating the Ely II trio of Fred Laband, David Haslam and Simon Braschi. His aging hips and creaking knees just about held together. Soham’s other Grandad, Alan Jugg, returning to the sport after a 20-year hiatus, didn’t fair so well, losing in five sets to Braschi and was later dispatched by Laband. Son Steve Jugg, brimming with the vinegar of youth, played with unerring accuracy and claimed three rubbers against the defenseless Ely players. The game of the evening was saved for the doubles, as Jugg Jnr and Rule paired up against Braschi and Laband. With a two-love set advantage and four match points, the home side looked set for another victory, but complacency set it, and Braschi and Laband fought back to claim another 5-set scalp, continuing their impressive doubles form. The evening finished 7-3 to Comrades.  

Ely III vs Comrades II, 7-3

Due to earlier postponements Ely 3 kicked off their first game of the season. The in-form Michal Turecki was the star player of the evening for Ely, making short work of the Comrades 2 trio of Alan Chambers, Martin Logan and Colin Gannon. Turecki’s fast and aggressive play simply overwhelmed the visitors. Ely 3 debutant, Clive Hodgson, put in 2 solid performances against both Logan and Gannon, his powerful forehand attacks working well. However he had a much tougher time against Comrades' Chambers, somehow turning a four point deficit around in the 4th leg to then dominate the final proceedings for a  5thleg win.  Ely 3 Captain Simon Bickers looked sharp against Logan comfortably winning 3-0, but failed to neutralise the outstandingly accurate backhand drives of Chambers, losing unanimously in 3 legs. Wily veteran Colin Gannon utilised his superior experience to just narrowly edge out Bickers over 5 legs. Comrades 2 took the doubles, with Logan and Chambers working well together, but it was Ely 3’s night with a 7-3 victory.

Impington I vs Impington II, 5-5

Imps 1 played host to their second string and right from the outset the seconds showed strong intent with Mike Johnston forcing Jeff Catlin to play extremely hard for his win.  Next up, Amy Catlin played a surprisingly quiet game and this was matched by similar play from Andrew Lea until the second string player opened up a little to level the match at one-all.  Colin Adams then faced last minute substitute John Bray who played like a typical last minute substitute and went down in three.  Amy then had to face Mike and didn’t really get a look in over three legs.  Jeff then played John off the park before Colin and Andrew produced a long five-setter with Andrew’s forehand top-spin of excellent length preventing Colin from putting away his own forehand attack, enough to seal the win for the seconds.  So after six matches the score stood at three-all.  Amy and John then produced another five-setter with John coming back from two-nil down to snatch the win.  The seconds then went further ahead when Mike got the better of Colin over four legs.  Jeff pulled one back for the firsts, defeating Andrew in four before the experienced doubles pairing of Jeff and Colin beat Mike and Andrew in four to save the first team’s blushes and secure the draw.

Author: via Ely & District Table Tennis League
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