2016/17 Season Weeks 1 - 7
Match Reports – Division Two
Glossop Bandits C 6 v 4 Hollingworth Conservative Club A
Sam played some good T.T. - unlucky losing to Gary. Neil played well against Gary, taking it in the fifth. A few nets and edges in the match causing a few tantrums, but overall there were some good matches played during the evening. Peter played better as the night went on, beating Neil in 5 - it was anybody’s game.
Hyde YMCA 'B' 7 v 3 Hyde Cricket Club
The welcome return of the Hyde derby after one season’s absence resulted in a 7 - 3 win for YMCA. Harry Garside and Martin Capper were undefeated for YMCA, whilst Pete Green got his money’s worth engaging in three 5-setters. After one successful year in Div. 3, Hyde C.C. battled hard with good wins from Brian Hadfield and Ian Barker who teamed up to comfortably win the doubles. Lee Brown strangely developed the ‘yips’ on his serve resulting in a frustrating winless evening. It is good to reinstate our long and friendly rivalry with Hyde C.C. We
look forward to the reverse fixture up the hill.
[and Lee’s version of events]
IT’S NOT FUN TO PLAY AT THE YMCA
Had a dream the night before where I was in a building the size of an aircraft hangar and it was full of table tennis tables and all the players were dressed as either Red Indians, Cowboys, Construction Workers or Highway Patrol Officers and THAT song was playing all the time. Every time I played a game the player turned into Harry, who constantly brushed the table as he said the dandruff was affecting the ball. I woke with a start but it was only our greyhound licking my nose as I was late with her breakfast. Bit of a disappointment, I thought it was the wife. Of course, I thought, we’re at the YMCA tonight, first game of the season. I seriously thought of going dressed as a
Red Indian but I didn’t think it would go down well with Harry.
When I arrived late, as some nutter had tried to get an artic the size of an aircraft carrier over Broadbottom bridge, Brian was well into his fourth game with Peter and managed to take it and force a deciding fifth set. The first few points were shared but then Peter made too many unforced errors and Brian landed some good backhand drives, which allied to a couple of serves that Peter had trouble returning, enabled Brian to take the game. I was on next against Harry and we were only on about the third point when Harry stopped the game and marched to my end. I thought he was going to tear my Indian headdress off but no, he went to the curtains. Apparently the street lamp was sending him morse code messages! I gave him a decent game but I’m always on edge playing Harry, always waiting for his next bit of gamesmanship. A few points later another delay, something on the table? Dandruff...well definitely not mine! To be honest Harry played really well and though I should’ve taken one game
off him, I was never really in with a shout.
Brian was well stuffed by Martin as he couldn’t decide whether to attack him or defend and ended up doing neither. I played Peter next and if the canal had been a bit closer I would’ve jumped in. After four very close games I had the winning post in sight and what do I do....serve four faults! What a pillock. I lost by three and after a summer of practicing not giving points away on serve as well. Ian lost to Harry, who was on top form and then Ian had a cracking match with Martin but Ian’s usual deadly forehand smash was out of kilter and going wildly astray and Martin, like Harry, was on top form and took the game. Brian was a little too canny for Peter mixing his game up really well and Peter’s backhand smashes were only finding the net and Brian took the game. Ian and Peter had their usual humdinger but Peter went for too many backhand drives that again, only found the
net and Ian cut out most of his unforced errors which enabled him to take the game.
Me against Martin and although I gave him a decent enough game I prefer the old Martin from a few years ago who used to go for wild smashes. This new version is much too steady and hardly takes a risk at all. Radio 4 v The Rock Channel and Radio 4 won in 3 sets. Ian and Brian made the scoreline more presentable by taking the doubles with the best display they’ve put on for a few seasons. I had an interesting meeting after my game with Peter. I toddled off outside to have a puff on my pipe to calm down and I was approached by a young Asian chap. “Are you Arfan? Arfan the dealer?” He inquired. “Fraid not,” I replied. “I’m Lee the last United fan!” He shrugged his shoulders and slunk off. I ask you, do I look like a drug dealer and an Asian one at that? Come to think of it....don’t answer that. So our first game back in Div.2 ended up in defeat but there was some splendid tennis played, especially as Brian is recovering from an ear infection which gives him a kind of vertigo and Ian had a car bonnet drop on his head at work earlier in the day. Good company at the YM as usual and we look forward to the return where the table will be well scrubbed and there are no street lights!
Hollingworth Conservative Club A 7 v 3 Strines Knights
Star man - Peter Woodland, who won his three matches. Four of the evening’s matches went to 5. Two good sides, more balanced than the score suggests.
Strines Knights 4 v 6 Stanley Square D
A close win for Stanley Square D, Knights not hitting top form yet, despite three wins from Dave Clark.
Hyde Cricket Club 3 v 7 Glossop Bandits D
There I was taking an evening stroll in the Autumn sunshine minding my own business when suddenly I was aware of the sound of horses. Through the woods came three riders approaching fast so I hid behind a tree. They must have seen me for when they reached the tree they all skidded to a halt and the horses reared up on their hind legs. Two men and a woman but I recognised them all. Stephen Turpin, Sam the very small Kid and Lauren (Bonnie) Parker, Glossop bandits each one of them. “Evenin’,” I said. “Your money or your life!” shouted Parker, who seemed to be the leader. “I haven’t got any money,” I replied. “Then what have you got?” “Just my old table tennis bat, I was off for a practice session.” “Then hand it over,” she demanded. “B b but I’ll have nowt to play with,” I replied disconsolately. Then I noticed, instead of pistols in their belts they had table tennis bats. She saw that I had seen the bats and she gave the order, “Pepper him!” They all drew their bats and handfuls of balls from their saddlebags and proceeded to batter me with them. I ran as fast as I could with their manic laughter ringing in my ears until I awoke with a start, more laughter but it was only that idiot Chris Evans on the radio.
Bandits tonight, I thought hope that battering was not a prediction of the match, unfortunately...it was.
Brian got us off to a good start as Stephen had no answer to his lethal backhand drives and accurate chops and blocking. I gave Lauren a decent game managing to take a set off her but I couldn’t maintain any consistency at all and my forehand smash refused to land at all and she took the game in four. Brian went on again against Sam and bearing in mind when we last played the little chap earlier this year, we just kept the ball in play to give him a game, the progress he has made is stunning. Although Brian took a game off him he never really looked like beating him. He plays very much like his Dad with some lethal top spin drives both forehand and backhand and added to a very accurate chopping game and good serving, he won’t lose many this season and he saw Brian off in four. Ian’s radar was well and truly out as he too went down in four to Lauren who has worked out how to cope
with players targeting her weaker backhand.
I lost in three to Stephen in probably the worst games I have played for many a season. In one rally I lost my bat and actually played better with just my hand. Ian’s game against Sam was almost a carbon copy of Brian’s and although he too took a game off him, he never looked like winning and succumbed in four. Brian had a Titanic duel with Lauren and at two games down looked dead and buried as the Bandit was on top of her game and Brian was missing too many smashes. He bucked up though, cut out the unforced errors and relied more on his chopping game to wear her out and his tactics proved fruitful as he took the next two sets to level the game. By now he was on fire and after winning one point with a lusty forehand smash he let out a roar but it was only his indigestion. Lauren never got a look-in in the fifth, which Brian took to nil. I went on against Sam, a few minutes later I came
off, soundly thrashed, ‘nuff said!
Ian’s game with Stephen was the game of the night as both players saved their best play for the last game of singles. Stephen took the first set 12/10, Ian the second 12/10 after being down 8/3. Stephen the third set, again 12/10. The fourth set was worth the admission fee alone as Ian saved a couple of match points to take the set 15/13 and level the game. The fifth was nip and tuck until some nicely controlled backhand drives enabled Ian to take the game 11/8. Brian and I were rubbish in the doubles and went down in three to Sam and Stephen. So another loss, but we shall strive to improve and well played the Bandits. We look forward to the return when I shall glue the bat to my hand.
Stanley Square C 5 v 5 Hyde Cricket Club
[report by Lee Brown]
A ‘SHIRTY’ TRICK
When Man Utd played at Southampton in 1996, they played probably their worst game of the season and lost 3-1. Ferguson said the players couldn’t see each other because they were wearing those dreadful grey shirts. He got permission from the ref to change them at half time to blue ones. The grey was possibly the worst colour scheme for a shirt the team has ever worn and the replica shirts only sold two. One was to a Chinese man, Hy By Wun, from Shanghai, who is colour blind and the other was bought by Ron Mitchell and once again he insisted on wearing it on Wednesday but only to play me. What a dastardly trick as he knows I can hardly see him in it. So combined with a deadly serve that I couldn’t figure out and his vicious top spin drives I did well to give ‘The Shirt’
a decent game.
Brian also had a cracking game with Ron to open the proceedings and in a thrilling four setter both players attacked with gay abandon. Brian’s usual blocks were proving futile against Ron’s drives and in the end it proved his undoing as a couple of intended blocks drifted off the table and Ron emerged the victor. I was hoping that one of the Square’s Ian’s would be playing but halfway through Brian’s game a great shadow was cast over me and in came the giant figure of Steve and I had to play him next. How do you get the ball past a Goliath such as Steve when you’re as Lilliputian as me. No matter what I tried to move him about he just stretched out his great arms and back came the ball, usually at a great pace. Again I did well to take a game off him but in the end he’s not just
a giant, he has good skills as well and he just had the edge on me and won in four sets.
Ian played Lilian and he found out she is much improved from when we last played against her a couple of seasons ago and she blistered some drives past him and though she eventually lost in three, Ian had to dig deep to come out on top. Brian had probably his hardest game of the season so far to get the better of Steve and the fact that he eventually won in five sets was due to his tricky serve that Steve struggled to return and quite a bit of carelessness from Steve. Both players traded big drives and there were some fabulous rallies but it was Brian who emerged victorious. I dropped a set against Lilian and we had some great rallies but at last I found some
consistency with my chops and Lilian went astray with her drives enabling me to win in four.
Ian found Ron too strong especially as his radar wasn’t working and too many drives missed the edge of the table. His serves didn’t trouble the Stanley Sq. man either and he was on top form as well and saw Ian off in three sets. Brian did the same to Lilian as he proved too strong for her although she did surprise him with a few drives through his defence. Ian’s game with Steve was yet another five setter and once again Steve’s concentration seemed to wander at crucial points and Ian’s radar was now working and Steve had no answer to his counter drives. Ian should’ve wrapped the game up in four but missed a couple of easy drives to enable Steve to level but as the fifth moved to its climax Steve once again made a couple of crucial errors and handed the game to Ian. Ian and Brian just do not gell as a doubles pairing and we needed the doubles for our first win of the season Steve and Ron proved to be quite a formidable pairing however and to be honest made mincemeat of the Hyde pair. A very enjoyable night’s tennis with excellent company and we look forward to the return when I hope ‘The Shirt’ has gone to the bonfire!
Hyde YMCA 'B' 9 v 1 Stanley Square D
The Stanley Square boys found YMCA in good form and struggled to compete at times. However, Mark Lees was excellent - defeating Adrian Borrell in three and taking Harry Garside to ‘deuce’ in the fifth. James won some good rallies in his matches, but Tom was off form on the night. All matches only lasted three games with the exception of the battle of the No.1’s. I am sure it will be closer on Stanley Square’s table later in the season.
Hyde Cricket Club 4 v 6 Hollingworth Conservative Club A
The Great Net Scandal
I was trying to play tt against someone who looked vaguely familiar, he had arms that looked like they belonged to someone else, they were far too long for his frame. He also seemed to have mystical powers for every time I attempted to get the ball over the net he’d twitch his right eyebrow and the net would grow in height just enough to block the progress of the ball. When I complained he’d whip his ruler out of his back pocket, measure the net and say, “Perfect.” Needless to say I was thrashed three games to love and I didn’t get a point. Mighty strange I
thought, when I woke up but it all came clear that evening when we played the Con Club.
The table was set up and the net was in place as it has been for countless seasons when Peter, just like in the dream, whipped his ruler out of his pocket, well we’ve all got one in our pockets haven’t we! He proceeded to measure the net and came up with the conclusion that it was about 5mm too low. The fact that it was pre-set and had no adjustment facility made no difference, he wanted it raising. Ian Wilson asked if we had a piece of 2 x2 and he’d cut it down and slot the pieces under the net supports! Eventually common sense prevailed and we got underway. Always a pleasure to welcome the Jack Russell and his team to the Club, didn’t know he was a
professional scorer, he did it all night bless him!
Brian opened up against Peter and in the first two games he blitzed him. Peter had no answer to Brian’s tricky serve and blistering backhand drives. To give him credit though he fought back well in the third and but for a few net chords might have taken it but Brian came through 12/10. I went on against Gary, I came off a few minutes later. I’d like to plead that my dreadful cold had something to do with my performance, maybe it did, but I was well and truly dealt with although I did come back well in the third once I’d figured out how to return his serve, too late though. Ian on against a much improved Tony from the last time he played against us a few seasons ago. The first three sets were nip and tuck with Tony just shading it but Ian blew him away in the fourth 11/2, as he found his length with some great smashes and good blocking. He should’ve closed it out in the fifth but he got drawn into Tony’s chopping game and missed some good smashing opportunities and Tony prevailed 11/9. I went on against
Peter, I came off pretty smartly, never in it as Peter’s forehand drives saw me off in no time.
Brian had a good game with Tony and after dropping the first game, mostly through underestimating Tony’s game, he bucked up and took a very close second to square the match. He then put Tony to the sword in the third as he got his backhand top spin drives going. The fourth was a wee bit closer as once again Tony drew his opponent in to his chopping game but fortunately Brian was wise to it and managed to edge the game to 9. Ian went on against Gary, Ian came off after playing Gary, well he stood at t’other end of the table. It’s a long time since I have seen Ian so dumbfounded as to how to play an opponent and he fared even worse than I did, which is saying something! Me and Tony had a right chopping battle, just the stuff to bring the crowds back. I took the first, Tony the second and third and me the fourth and wouldn’t you know it...I saved my worst for the last. Concentration
nil, serves off the table into the net! I think it comes from trying too hard.
Ian recovered from his mauling at Gary’s hands and in a thrilling five setter came away with a rare win against Peter as he found his length with some good drives both forehand and backhand. An edge and a net chord gave Ian the game much to Peter’s chagrin and he sat back in his chair muttering about how we didn’t play to the rules and the net was a scandal. Last singles was the game of the night, Brian against Gary and it went the distance. Gary was baffled by Brian’s serves in the first set and as Brian landed some telling drives he took the set to 4. Once Gary had figured the serves out he came storming back and with some big forehand and backhand drives took the second to 6. There were some incredible rallies in the third as the players traded big drives but Brian just shaded it to 9. It was the same in the fourth and I had the feeling that this was the set Brian had to win if he was going to take the game. He almost did but began to run out of steam a wee bit and lost it with a couple of careless shots, Gary took the set 13/11. Brian had nothing left now and Gary was on top form and blew Brian away 11/1. Ian and I got the better of Gary and Tony in the doubles in another thrilling five setter. And so ended the Great Net Scandal but there was some very good tennis played and I’ve thought of an answer, we’ll put the table on blocks....that’ll raise the height of the net won’t it Peter!
Strines Knights 2 v 8 Glossop Bandits C
A good night’s T.T! The score does not reflect how close some of the matches were. Alan Darnell, playing his first match since eye surgery, narrowly lost two matches in the fifth. At something like 9 - 9 against Barry Fordham, Alan ran into the rubber mats on the rear wall and they collapsed onto him. Barry very sportingly suggested a let. Both young Sam Coombes and veteran Paul Roberts won their three. Ken Wood, having discarded his new bat and returned to his old one, appears to be regaining his old form and competence.
Stanley Square D 5 v 5 Hyde Cricket Club
[report by Lee Brown]
ALL SQUARE AT THE SQUARE
What a night’s tennis! We needed the doubles for an honourable draw and after writing last week that Brian and Ian do not gell as partners, they came up trumps in this one. Both played out of their skins to beat Thomas and Mark in four and gained us the draw. Brian got us off to the best possible start by beating the guy from ZZ Top, James in straight sets. James had no answer to Brian’s tricky serves and blistering drives both forehand and backhand, although he did lose concentration somewhat in the second and James was a whisker away from taking it. Thomas did some stone walling for me a couple of summers ago and I played him next and I’m sure he’d managed to attach some of his stone to my legs. That’s how badly I played and he waltzed through the three sets
it took to see me off with ease.
Ian then had the most topsy-turvy match I’ve ever seen him have against Mark. He lost the first 14/12 but got his sights adjusted in the second and won it with ease to 6. Back came Mark in the third and he won that equally comfortably to 5. Ian stormed the fourth to 5 with some great blocking and deadly smashes but abandoned his attacking game in the fifth as he was drawn into Mark’s chopping game and lost it to 8. Thomas gave Brian one of his hardest games so far this season and as both players traded smashes and there was rally after rally. I was absolutely knackered and I was only scoring! Every game was won to 8 and Brian managed to take the fifth as Thomas made quite a few unforced errors. Ian overcame James in four and he was so in control winning three
sets to 4, 6 and 3 that it is a mystery how he allowed James to take the second 15/13.
The stones were still around my legs when I played Mark and he trounced me three nil. Ian had a thrilling five setter with Thomas coming back after losing the first set he took the next two fairly comfortably as once again Thomas made too many unforced errors. He cut them out though in the last two sets and had Ian in trouble with his serves and won a lot of the long rallies to eventually take the game 3/2. Brian made short work of Mark who had no answer to Brian’s expert blocking and fierce drives. At last I managed to free myself of the stones and had a decent game and though I lost in five to James I did at last find a wee bit of form. Which left us needing the doubles for the draw. A really excellent night’s tennis and good company but that was a bit below the belt to bring up those three pints of lager before the last game. Ian couldn’t take his eyes off them!
We look forward to the return.