Veteran Division 2D Hereford 1st travelled to Trowbridge, to play their final set of fixtures on Saturday. The team was represented by Ola Andersson, Nigel Foreshew, Mark Stubbs and Liz Hallam.


The morning started off against Somerset 1st with Ola kicking off with a comfortable win in 3 sets. Mark stepped up next and was unlucky to lose in the 4th set at deuce, for the score at 1-1. Nigel lost in 5 sets with each person dominating the winning sets to trail 1-2. Liz and Nigel partnered in the first mixed doubles with a loss in 3 sets for 1-3. Mark beat his 2nd opponent easily in 3 sets to reduce lead to 2-3. Liz went up next, but found her opponent in control to lose in 3 sets to trail 2-4. Mark and Ola partnered the mens doubles match winning in 4 sets for 3-4. Nigel had a 5th set decider and came out as the winner to level the score at 4-4. Ola was in good form to win in 4 sets to lead for the first time at 5-4. The last match of the second mixed doubles with Liz and Ola were able to dominate the first 2 sets, then lost their way in the 3rd, and had to fight hard to win at deuce in the 4th set for the victory at 6-4 to add 2 points to their tally for a total of 7 points.


Scores: Ola Andersson 11-3, 11-1, 11-8 and 11-5, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10. Nigel Foreshew 9-11, 11-9, 4-11, 10-12 and 11-13, 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5. Mark Stubbs 9-11, 11-9, 4-10, 10-12 and 11-3, 11-5, 11-6. Liz Hallam 4-11, 8-11, 1-11. Mixed doubles 1 Liz and Nigel 4-11, 8-11, 4-11. Men’s doubles Ola and Mark 2-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8. Mixed doubles 2 Liz and Ola 11-5, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10.



In the 2nd match Oxford 1st proved to be too strong for the Hereford team. Only the 1st mixed doubles for Liz and Ola was pushed to a 5th set. Nigel and Mark pushed a singles match each to a 4th set. Their only win came in 3 sets from Ola to lose the match at 1-9. Oxford won the division and the Hereford team had a good overall season. Ola had an excellent season with 11 out of 12 wins.


Scores: Ola Andersson 11-13, 8-11, 8-11 and 11-5, 11-8, 11-1. Nigel Foreshew 9-11, 12-14, 6-11, 11-9 and 7-11, 11-6, 3-11, 7-11. Liz Hallam 2-11, 7-11, 4-11. Mark Stubbs 5-11, 9-11, 5-11 and 5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 6-11. Mixed doubles 1 Liz and Ola 12-10, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11. Men’s doubles Ola and Mark 7-11, 9-11, 9-11. Mixed doubles 2 Liz and Nigel 9-11, 4-11, 11-13.

Veteran Division 2D  5th March 2016 Hampshire 2nds v Hereford 2nds

Hampshire            M1-David Russell, M2-Paul May, M3-Ramesh Bhalla, W1-Celia Hooker

Hereford                M1-Steve Brown, M2-Steve Knight, M3-Brian Kitchener, W1 Pauline Hart


Results                   Hampshire 7 v Hereford 3

Steve B: 5-11, 11-8, 6-11, 7-11 (loss) & 5-11, 5-11, 7-11 (loss)
Steve K: 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-3 (loss) & 11-4, 11-9, 15-13 (loss)
Brian K: 6-11, 5-11, 7-11 (win) & 11-8, 13-11, 11-7 (loss)

Pauline: 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 (loss)

Steve B & Pauline: 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 7-11 (win)
Brian & Pauline: 12-14, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11 (win)
Match Report
           Another trip for the Veterans, but this time back to the familiar venue of the Kingfisher Table Tennis Club in Reading. The team was slightly changed from the last outing: with Mark Stubbs missing in order to play up for the first team, his place was  dutifully deputised by Steve Knight.
           The opening game of the weekend saw Hereford 2nds away against Hampshire with a team loss of 7-3.
Early on it looked as if it could be closer - Steve Brown lost the opener in 4 games, but then Brian Kitchener stepped up to play Ramesh, a double sided pimple bat hitter. The pair had met before and Brian had never had a look in, but today was a different day and Brian never allowed his opponent to start or get any rhythm at all. He showed us that with good concentration and shot selection the game can be made to look easy. His deft touch drop shots  and backhand hits from below the level of the table seemed impossible to make, but they were only impossible to return - a three straight victory for a 1-1 match score. Steve Knight has not played much this season and did struggle to get it to all come together at the start. There were a few glimpses of what we had * come to expect over the years, and although he did manage to take the third game he was unable to do any more.
          Steve Brown and Pauline tried the first mixed doubles, and going themselves two games down quite quickly it appeared that this was also going down the same route as before. Steve started to get a bit of form and concentrated on keeping the ball in play rather than trying for the flamboyant crowd pleasing shots, and this worked a treat with the Hereford pair notching up a win and putting the match score at 2-2. This was an unusual  position for us at such an early stage in the day.
          The next five sets were all won three straight by the home team.  Brian was close in his second singles,  racing to nine points in the first game and ten points in the second, but he was unable to convert either into a win.  The match score had moved on quickly and in one direction only, Hereford were now 7-2 behind.
          Pauline and Brian had both won something in this match and this was to continue in the final mixed doubles. They were two games up by managing to hold their nerve and convert the very tight points, but the opposition were not going down without a fight and won the next two games to set up a fifth end decider. Again this was tight throughout but the Hereford pair conquered and, although the match ended in defeat, it was a good note to finish on, and for Brian and Pauline it meant that they had been involved in two winning games.

Hereford 2nds v Middlesex 6ths

Hereford                M1-Steve Brown, M2-Steve Knight, M3-Brian Kitchener, W1-Pauline Hart

Middlesex             M1-Artur Lopata, M2-Gerald Hawkins, M3-Bharat Malde, W1-Susan Merican.

Results                   Hereford 2 v Middlesex 8

Steve B: 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (win) & 7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11 (loss)
Steve K: 3-11, 5-11, 7-11 (loss) & 3-11, 10-12, 8-11 (loss)
Brian K: 6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8 (win) & 8-11, 6-11, 7-11 (loss).
Pauline: 11-8, 5-11, 6-11, 3-11 (loss)
Brian & Pauline: 11-8, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (loss)
Steve B & Pauline: 11-13, 9-11, 7-11 (loss)
Steve & Steve: 8-11, 9-11, 9-11 (loss)
Match Report
         After some serious practice at lunchtime to try and find the old form then it was time to play again, and this time Hereford were the home team against Middlesex 6ths.
         Steve K was on first but still found that his touch had not fully returned and lost his way, losing three straight. Captain Bri then stepped up to take on Bharat in a set that was going all the way. They shared alternate games with Brian having to play catch up each time. The fifth decider changed the sequence and ‘backhand Bri’ flashed and drove Hereford through to level the score at 1-1. Steve B then had to play Gerald, a player that he had met when he first started in the Veterans  9 years ago (I know what you are thinking, but yes, that's all it is). Steve remembered being thrashed at that meeting, but after losing the first closely it looked as though Steve may have a chance. Indeed he did, and took the next three games by playing consistent table tennis whilst his opponent made many uncharacteristic errors. The match score was 2-1 up to Hereford, and a couple of comments were made about us being in front as this was uncharted territory. Pauline and Brian played the first mixed doubles and after taking the first game things were looking promising, but the left handed side spin loaded loop from Artur was starting to dominate and took the Middlesex pair through the next three games. Steve K was back on but now it was  outwardly visible that things were not going to plan today, and although games two and three were close he lost three straight to Bharat. Pauline took on Sue in the ladies singles, and this was all about styles. Sue was able to push and hit whilst Pauline demonstrated her ability to grind her opponent down and force her into making enough mistakes to take the first game. It was to be the only glimmer of hope as Sue then became more consistent and patient in the next games, and she now waited for the right shot each time even when that meant long rallies were in order. This proved to be the key as Pauline was unable to attack back, so Sue came through on four games to win and put the match score at 4-2 to Middlesex. A change to the men's doubles pairing saw the two Steves take on a strong opposition. The Hereford pair were close throughout but somehow unable to gain advantage towards the tight end of each game. It was a loss three straight but it really could have gone either way. Brian was now back to try and restore something for Hereford and, as before, he played well but fatigue was starting to show. He had the game to win but after driving, captaining and playing he did not have the energy reserves to draw on and lost three straight.
         The result was now already confirmed as the visitors had reached 6 sets. This left Steve B to play singles and mixed doubles with Pauline to try and notch up something just to change the scoreboard. Despite playing some of his better table tennis today, Steve B was unable to cope fully with the left handed looping of Artur in the singles. In the mixed doubles there was very little in it, but again Hereford were unable to cross the line first when the points were tight at the end of a game. Their opponents did manage to keep their composure and ran out winners in both of the last two sets to give an overall match score of 8-2 to Middlesex. Today was definitely Brian's day, who led by example.
6th March 2016 Hereford 2nds v Dorset 2nds
Hereford                M1-Steve Brown, M2-Steve Knight, M3-Brian Kitchener, W1-Pauline Hart
Dorest                    M1-Norman Swift, M2-Mark Smith, M3-John Hook, W1-Miranda Edwards
Results                   Hereford 0 v Dorset 10

Steve B: 1-11, 5-11, 8-11 (loss) & 9-11, 7-11, 6-11 (loss)
Steve K: 3-11, 7-11, 1-11 (loss) & 11-5, 7-11, 2-11, 5-11 (loss)
Brian K: 6-11, 11-8, 5-11, 5-11 (loss) & 9-11, 5-11, 5-11 (loss)
Pauline: 1-11, 1-11, 7-11 (loss)
Pauline & Brian: 8-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-13 (loss)
Pauline & Steve K: 3-11, 6-11, 6-11 (loss)
Steve & Steve: 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 5-11 (loss)
Match Report
        After a night's rest we hoped to be able to fair better today and support Brian, who led by example. Steve Knight started off against the very strong Norman who had all the shots in the bag and with added side spin. Steve struggled to get started and soon the home team were 1-0 down. Brian's turn to see if he could continue with his form from yesterday. After losing the first it looked as if today would be different, but Brian had other ideas and showed that there was some fight left taking the second end, but alas it was not enough, and his opponent took the next two games. The third men's singles saw Steve B struggle against the combination bat of Mark, and it wasn't until midway through the third that he started to put up a bit of resistance, but it was too little too late. The Dorset team were definitely up for the win today and looked like they needed it to be a whitewash, maybe they were looking at the bigger picture and the possibility of count back aggregates. Brian and Pauline were the first mixed pairing and have started to gel well as a couple. They pushed hard against the Dorset pair of Mark and Miranda and got well ahead in the first game only to lose it. Often this lets the heads drop but not in this case and the Hereford pair came back to take the second. Dorset took the next but the resilient Hereford combination would not lie down and took it to a fifth game decider.  With Hereford 5-3 up at the turnaround it also changed to what had been their best combination for receiving. The Dorset pair turned it around though and got to 8-6 up before Hereford went ahead 10-8. Fittingly this was a deuce game, which in the end was won by two clean hits by Mark.
         Steve Knight was next on and he took the first end well. In the second it was tight until 7-7, and then two missed service returns and and a missed serve were too much for Steve to recover from. In the third the Dorset player steamed ahead which knocked Steve’s confidence again. The fourth game needed a change of tactics, so Brian stepped in to coach and see if he could do something to help. It was the Dorset player who got the better start with a string of points that Steve would not recover from. Dorset continued on their mission to prevent Hereford troubling the scorer and held a commanding 5-0 lead. The ladies singles had Pauline looking to employ her usual tactics and stop her opponent playing their natural game, but Miranda was not going to allow that to happen. The Dorset lady stuck to her normal game and attacked very competently. There was a brief challenge in the third when Pauline tried to start hitting back, but Miranda proved too strong and consistent for her and came through three straight. The Steves were put in for the men's doubles and looked as though they could at least make the opposition work for it. The first end was lost game 9 and this was the best way round for Hereford. The Steves did manage to take the third end, but it was never going to be enough to threaten the Dorset pair.  Brian then played his last singles for this match against Mark - it was a close game throughout but somehow the Dorset man was always in front. Steve B went on for the last singles and got away to a good start, taking a 9-3 lead in the first before miraculously snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and losing it 11-9. The final mixed had Steve K and Pauline together to try and salvage something for the Hereford team, but to no avail. It was a 10-0 victory for Dorset who were very deserving of the result.
6th March 2016 Oxford 2nds v Hereford 2nds
Oxford                   M1-Chris Lansley, M2-Anders Markvardsen, M3-Gary Jackson, W1-Sharon Curtis

Hereford                M1-Steve Brown, M2-Steve Knight, M3-Brian Kitchener, W1-Pauline Hart


Steve B: 1-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (loss) & 3-11, 8-11, 3-11 (win)
Steve K: 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (loss) & 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (loss)
Brian K: 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 14-12 (loss) & 7-11, 6-11, 8-11 (win)
Pauline: 11-4, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6 (loss)
Pauline & Brian: 7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 7-11 (win)
Pauline & Steve K: 12-10, 11-5, 13-11 (loss)
Steve B & Brian: 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 6-11 (win)
Match Report
        This was the last match of the season and after this morning's defeat it was going to be difficult to pick ourselves up. Steve B started with great intent and ripped through his opponent in the first 10-1, and then in the second took a 7-1 lead before something went wrong. Steve lost the second 12-10 and never really recovered after that, losing the next two and the set. Captain Bri came to the table and against a controlled player pushed him hard, but at the crucial points it just didn't go his way. Steve Knight has struggled to find form this weekend and this set was no different for him. There were some signs of a bit of form but it was never consistent enough to trouble his opponent; was this match going the same way as this morning's? The first mixed was not going to be Brian and Pauline, but we talked the Captain round and he agreed to play even though he would have to stay on for the next singles game afterwards. It was the right decision, and the Hereford pair won in four after managing to break the sequence of who would win from each combination of serve and receive. Brian was now warmed up to put it mildly and he took his form forward into his last singles of the weekend. Brian always looked in control and came through three straight to reconfirm that he has been our best player this weekend. The match score was now 3-2 to Oxford.
        The ladies singles saw Sharon go through Pauline in the first, but then Pauline somehow made Sharon doubt her own ability and Pauline levelled the game score to 1-1. Sharon was not going to be drawn in though, and went on to win the next two to win the set and put the match score at 4-2.  Captain Bri decided to change the men's doubles combination and went on with Steve B to try and help rebuild his confidence after his earlier singles match. The first two games were tight and at the critical points it was Steve B that made the errors, Hereford were two games down and felt they should have had them both. Games three, four and five went to the Hereford pair and Steve B made up for his earlier errors and very much played his part in securing the set.  Steve Knight’s last singles was another three straight and summed up his weekend when nothing went his way at all. Steve B was on for the last singles against Chris. The style of the Oxford player suited Steve well, and he controlled the set throughout playing his best table tennis of the weekend by running out the winner in a reasonably straight forward manner. This set up a chance of a draw if Hereford could win the last mixed doubles, but it was not to be as Steve K and Pauline were unable to convert the two deuce games and ended up losing three straight.
The end of another season for the Veterans who, as always, had represented the County in good spirit and manners. Thanks to Brian for driving, organising, Captaining and, of course, leading by example and being the best Hereford player over the whole of the weekend.

Report by Steve Brown



Veteran Division 2D Hereford 1st travelled to Trowbridge, to play their next set of fixtures on Saturday. The team was represented by Ola Andersson, Toby Eckley, Nigel Foreshew and Liz Hallam.

The morning started off against Wiltshire 2nd with Ola kicking off with a win in 4 sets, after dropping the 3rd. Nigel stepped up next and was unlucky to lose in a 5th set decider, for the score at 1-1. Toby also won in 4 sets after dropping the 2nd to lead 2-1. Liz and Toby partnered in the first mixed doubles with a good start at 2-1 up, but were worn down to lose in 5 sets for 2-2. Nigel was unable to trouble his 2nd opponent to lose in 3 sets to trail 2-3. Liz went up next to go down 2 sets before a comeback and almost forced a 5th setter to lose the 4th at deuce to trail 2-4. Toby and Ola partnered the mens doubles match winning in 4 sets for 3-4. Toby then won his 2nd singles in 4 sets to make it 4-4. Ola dominated his opponent to win in 3 sets to lead 4-5. The last match of the second mixed doubles with Liz and Ola were unable to dominate to lose in 4 sets for the final match score at 5-5. Each team pick up a point for the draw.

Scores: Ola Andersson 11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 12-10 and 11-3, 11-9, 11-6. Toby Eckley 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 and 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5. Nigel Foreshew 10-12, 11-8, 14-12, 5-11, 9-11 and 3-11, 7-11, 6-11. Liz Hallam 8-11, 7-11, 11-4, 10-12. Mixed doubles 1 Liz and Toby 11-8, 5-11, 12-10, 5-11, 5-11. Men’s doubles Ola and Toby 13-11, 2-11, 11-8, 11-8. Mixed doubles 2 Liz and Ola 6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11.

In the 2nd match against Berkshire 3rd Toby won the first in 4 sets, after dropping the 2nd, followed by Nigel to also won in 4 sets, dropping the 3rd. Ola won in 3 sets to lead 3-0. Liz and Ola lost the first mixed doubles in 3 sets, followed by a win for Toby also in 3 sets to make it 4-1. Liz lost her singles in 4 closely fought sets, but Toby and Ola in the Mens doubles completely dominated to win in 3 sets to make the lead 5-2. Nigel dropped the 1st, but then went on to win the next 3 for winning score at 6-2, followed by Ola in dominant form to win easily in 3 sets to underline the win at 7-2. The final match of second mixed doubles was also icing on the cake for Liz and Nigel to win in 3 sets for the final score of a win 8-2, for which they pick 2 points. This brings their total to 5 points with final 2 fixtures on 6th March.

Scores: Ola Andersson 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 and 11-3, 11-4, 11-5. Toby Eckley 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5 and 11-9, 11-6, 11-5. Nigel Foreshew 11-5, 12-10, 10-12, 11-9 and 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6. Liz Hallam 14-12, 8-11, 6-11, 9-11. Mixed doubles 1 Liz and Ola 9-11, 6-11, 9-11. Men’s doubles Ola and Toby 11-6, 11-4, 11-2. Mixed doubles 2 Liz and Nigel 11-7, 11-4, 11-9.


Veteran Division 2D Hereford 1st hosted Worcester 2nd at Green Farm Table Tennis Club on Saturday. The team was represented by Toby Eckley, Andy Castle, Nigel Foreshew and Anthea Knight for her debut for the County. The match ended with a 2-8 defeat with the only wins coming from Toby in one of his singles and the Mens doubles with Andy.

Scores: Toby Eckley 7-11, 11-9, 3-11, 2-11 and 11-9, 11-6, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8. Nigel Foreshew 6-11, 9-11, 5-11 and 6-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-8, 6-11. Andy Castle 7-11, 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, and 6-11, 11-6, 6-11, 7-11. Anthea Knight 2-11, 5-11, 9-11. Mens doubles Toby and Andy 15-13, 5-11, 11-2, 11-9. Mixed doubles 1 Anthea and Nigel 8-11, 7-11, 8-11. Mixed doubles 2 Anthea and Toby 4-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11.


Veteran Division 2D Hereford 1st travelled to Trowbridge, to play their first set of fixtures on Saturday. The team was represented by Ola Andersson, Toby Eckley, Nigel Foreshew and Liz Hallam.

The morning started off against Devon 1st with Toby on his maiden match for the County kicking off with a loss in 3 sets. Nigel stepped up next and was unlucky to lose in a 5th set decider, with 2 games going to deuce, to trail 0-2. Ola put the team on the scoreboard after another 5th set decider. Liz and Nigel partnered in the first mixed doubles ending in a loss in 3 sets. Toby won his first match in 4 sets to reduce the deficit to a single game at 2-3. Liz up next to lose her singles in 3 sets for the double deficit again at 2-4. Toby and Ola partnered the mens doubles match winning in 4 sets for 3-4. Nigel lost his second singles in 3 sets to trail 3-5. Ola won his second singles in 3 sets to reduce match score to a single game once again. The last match was the second mixed doubles with Liz and Toby and sea-sawed until the 5th set, which the opposition completely dominated for our side to lose 4-6.

Scores: Ola Andersson 11-5, 11-2, 12-14, 5-11, 11-8 and 11-8, 11-6, 11-6. Toby Eckley 10-12, 5-11, 8-11 and 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-8. Nigel Foreshew 5-11, 13-11, 11-5, 12-14, 5-11 and 3-11, 6-11, 6-11. Liz Hallam 3-11, 3-11, 4-11. Mixed doubles 1 Liz and Nigel 5-11, 6-11, 9-11. Men’s doubles Ola and Toby 11-8, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7. Mixed doubles 2 Liz and Toby 5-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 1-11.

In the 2nd match against Hampshire 1st Ola won the first in 4 sets, followed by Nigel who also won in 4 sets. Toby continued in the same fashion to make it 3-0, also in 4 sets. Liz and Ola lost the first mixed doubles in 4 sets, followed by a loss for Nigel in 5 sets for the score at 3-2. Liz won her ladies singles in 3 sets to increase the lead, followed by a win for Toby and Ola in the Mens doubles in 4 sets to make it 5-2. Toby made it 6-2 in a closely fought 5 sets, followed by a win for Ola in 4 sets for 7-2. The final match of second mixed doubles was a win for Liz and Nigel in 4 sets for the final score of a win 8-2. The team pick up 2 points for the win.

Scores: Ola Andersson 11-2, 11-8, 10-12, 11-3 and 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8. Toby Eckley 13-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-4 and 11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 8-11, 11-9. Nigel Foreshew 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-2 and 11-8, 9-11, 11-2, 8-11, 4-11. Liz Hallam 5-11, 11-13, 5-11. Mixed doubles 1 Liz and Ola 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 7-11. Men’s doubles Ola and Toby 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8. Mixed doubles 2 Liz and Nigel 11-9, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6.

Veteran Division 3D Hereford 2nd travelled to Okehampton, to play their first set of weekend fixtures on Saturday. The team was represented by Steve Brown, Mark Stubbs, Brian Kitchener and Pauline Hart. See report below from Steve Brown.

Date       28th November 2015          Venue     Okehampton TTC                Division 3D

Home Team                           Away Team

Devon 2                                 Hereford 2

M1          David Svenson     M1          Steve Brown

M2          Peter Kneil           M2          Mark Stubbs

M3          Wim Faassen        M3          Brian Kitchener

W1          Pat Lyon                W1          Pauline Hart

Home Player         Away Player         Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5        Match Score

                                Recorded is the score of the losing player. A minus sign (-) is used if the home player loses the game            

                                                                                                                                                H             A

Peter Kneil           Steve Brown         -7            -7            -8                                            0              1

Wim Faassen        Brian Kitchener   -7            7              -2            5              -8            0              2

David Svenson     Mark Stubbs         -6            -9            -7                                            0              3

Wim & Pat            Steve & Pauline   4              7              5                                              1              3

Peter Kneil           Brian Kitchener   7              7              -8            10                           2              3

Pat Lyon                Pauline Hart        -6            0              -11          2              -9            2              4

David & Peter      Mark & Brian       -8            -6            10           -7                            2              5

Wim Faassen        Mark Stubbs         -9            -5            -3                                            2              6

David Svenson     Steve Brown         -7            10           -10          8              -9            2              7

Dave & Pat           Brian & Pauline  8              4              -14          8                              3              7

Match Report

A new season and yet another journey into the unknown, well Okehampton, but it has been a few years since we travelled there. The first opposition was Devon who were hosting the weekend. Steve was up first against a player he had previously lost to, a fact that he was reminded of on the way to the table. This seemed enough to spur him on and he appeared in control of his game and his opponent winning three straight. Brian was now to play the second men's singles but this one was not going to be straight forward. Naturally jaded from driving, organising and all the other responsibilities that fall on the Captain’s shoulders Brian thought it would be a good idea to have a five game set. Alternate games almost going with ends a comment from Brian about the lighting one end adding to the thoughts that the changing of ends in the decider may be important. Brian had been advised to keep playing his natural game, the backhand hit. It became more consistent from use and pulled him through in true grit style.

On next Mark, who had come both mentally and physically prepared for the weekend after last season’s injuries. He looked sharp and controlling against an attacking style that on first impressions looked like it may cause trouble but, it was not to be and Mark ran out winning three straight.

The first mixed saw Pauline partner Steve but they were greatly overpowered by their opponent’s male aggressor.

Brian up again and was just struggling with the hit for the first two games. He looked like the corner had been turned after again following the advice from master technician and mentor Mark taking the third. Game on in the fourth with Brian starting to show his flare but at deuce was unable to convert to push to a decider.

Pauline was next with her no frills but highly effective grinding down game. Her opponent had all-round strokes on both flanks but Pauline’s consistency was the key in the first. The Devon lady came out in the second with a whitewash and clearly showed she had the game to go through the Pauline. Game three and Pauline again grinding away. Game 4 and the Devon express went through 11-2 were the ends of the table a factor here too?  Pauline spoke to Mark, but she still had to put it in to practice. She stopped her opponent playing her natural game which suited Pauline who ran out as the winner in a very tight fifth game.

Men's doubles Brian & Mark looking to show that Hereford meant business and indeed they did. They played as a pair thinking about what each other would get back and this was the key. Whilst they lost the fourth game in deuce the other three games were won well.

Mark next and on the back of the doubles showed he had also packed stamina for this weekend and really showed the opposition how to serve. He went cleanly through Win to ensure that Hereford would get both points from the opening game of the season.

Steve played the final singles and the team adrenaline continued as he managed to beat the big hitting Dave albeit by the slenderest of margins in the fifth.

The final mixed paired Brian and Pauline who did manage to win a tight fourth.

Final match score a 7-3 win.

Date       29th November 2015          Venue     Okehampton TTC                Division 3D

Home Team                           Away Team

Hereford 2                            Cornwall

M1          Steve Brown         M1          Will Aboualmana

M2          Mark Stubbs         M2          Austin Chapman

M3          Brian Kitchener   M3          Malcolm Peters

W1          Pauline Hart        W1          Jackie Rice

Home Player         Away Player         Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5        Match Score

                                Recorded is the score of the losing player. A minus sign (-) is used if the home player loses the game            

                                                                                                                                                H             A

Mark Stubbs         Will Aboualmana                4              -4            -5            -10                          0              1

Brian Kitchener   Malcolm Peters    9              8              -6            7                              1              1

Steve Brown         Austin Chapman  8              6              -6            7                              2              1

Pauline & Mark   Jackie & Will       -8            -4            -5                                            2              2

Mark Stubbs         Malcolm Peters    9              5              2                                              3              2

Pauline Hart        Jackie Rice           -4            -7            8              -3                            3              3

Mark & Brian       Will & Malcolm   -9            -4            -8                                            3              4

Brian Kitchener   Austin Chapman  10           -8            -8            11           9              4              4

Steve Brown         Will Aboualmana                -9            -5            -3                                            4              5

Pauline & Steve   Jackie & Austin   -8            -8            6              -8                            4              6

Match Report

Mark on first against the Cornwall number. A first game to behold as Mark dominated with his serves, pimples and blocking winning the game 11- 4. But this was just his opponent’s opportunity to assess Mark’s style. Games 2, 3 & 4 were good to watch with some thoughtful play but the overall control, consistency and calm approach of the Cornwall number one was too much although the fourth was a very slim victory.

Brian next and after a good morning and a lunch break he looked a much more relaxed player. He was more consistent in the first two ends but was forced into making a few errors early in the fourth however, overall shot selection and consistency was now improving and this was his afternoon.

Steve played the third singles and for the first two games looked to be in total control against his opponent’s

combination bat. A slip in the third game put some unnecessary pressure on Steve and while his game did not flow as well in the fourth he did enough to come out on top.

Mark and Pauline first mixed but up against strong opposition with the Cornwall number one very much star of the show but worryingly for Hereford it was clear that he was also ably assisted by a very competent partner.

Mark’s second singles saw him draw on his reserve energy tank and step up to really pressure his opponent. This was a player that had previously got the better of Mark so this was a mind game too. Mark was the victor in both departments today with tight serving and punching blocks and one or two glaring looks that would take the hiss out of a pit of snakes. A three straight victory by a wider margin in each game. Pauline’s singles saw her face a consistent opponent who could defend and hit should she need to. Pauline stuck to her game plan but in this instance it did not prove to be enough. She did take one game but lost the set 3-1overall.

Men’s doubles saw Brian and Mark take on the number one and number two from the Cornwall team. It was a tight game and had a very pivotal point when a miss hit shot from Hereford hit the table or was it the net post?  There was discussion, doubt and debate but the umpire gave the point to Cornwall. This clearly played an important role and like any controversial decision ended up being worth more than one point as it affected the flow and the mind sets of the Hereford pairing. They did not seem to recover from this any lost three straight.              

Brian’s second singles saw a titanic struggle and yet another pivotal point. After being nip and tuck with Austin, Brian was receiving serve at 10-9 down in the fourth game and 2-1 down in games. Brian thought the serve was a let and played the ball back towards his opponent only for it to land in the net, the Cornwall player thought he had won the set. The umpire stood firm and this decision went in favour of Hereford.

Was Brian going to take advantage? It seemed not as the next point set up a smash opportunity for the Cornwall player but it wasn’t taken and Brian took the game to a decider. It was close, it was on a knife edge and the noise level did increase but, captain Bri stayed firm and silent and completed the job in hand to level the match score to 4-4.

There were now two chances for Hereford to get some points. Steve had to take on the Cornwall number one. The first was a case of trying to work each other out, the next two showed clearly who had managed it as the Cornwall player came through easily.

5-4 down and into the last mixed doubles. Pauline and Steve needed to gel to get a point. The first two games were tight but Hereford could not quite get ahead at any stage to take either of them. The third saw Steve become even more positive and Pauline returning well to prevent her opponents getting in first, 2-1 and game on. The fourth was tight and the Hereford pair were behind and then Steve again went for it. With Hereford 10-8 down a strong attack brought the pair to 8-10 and they had won a series of points before this which had started to remove the confidence of the Cornwall pairing. Steve serving and…….. 

Those that were there saw it, those that are reading can only think, what!  All I can say is sorry (although it may have sounded different at the time). For all of you reading, especially the developing juniors, service and return is still one of the most important parts of the game. You can’t win a point if you serve into the net. Did it cost us a draw? Who knows? All that can be said for sure is that the team were very supportive.

Date       29th November 2015          Venue     Okehampton TTC                Division 3D

Home Team                           Away Team

Berkshire 3                           Hereford 2

M1          Steve Miller          M1          Steve Brown

M2          Keith Swain          M2          Mark Stubbs

M3          Ivor Hardman       M3          Brian Kitchener

W1          Sue Purton            W1          Pauline Hart

Home Player         Away Player         Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5        Match Score

                                Recorded is the score of the losing player. A minus sign (-) is used if the home player loses the game            

                                                                                                                                                H             A

Keith Swain          Steve Brown         7              4              -14          4                              1              0

Ivor Hardman       Brian Kitchener   -5            9              7              -10          11           2              0

Steve Miller          Mark Stubbs         -4            9              8              2                              3              0

Steve & Sue          Steve & Pauline   4              7              7                                              4              0

Keith Swain          Brian Kitchener   -8            -6            6              3              15           5              0

Sue Purton            Pauline Hart        8              12           9                                              6              0

Ivor & Keith         Brian & Mark       7              -5            -3            5              7              7              0

Ivor Hardman       Mark Stubbs         -9            -6            -7                                            7              1

Steve Miller          Steve Brown         -8            -9            -7                                            8              1

Pauline & Ivor     Pauline & Mark   -9            -10          10           3              6              9              1

Match Report

After a night out in the same pub as the opposition, a shared hotel with the opposition and a good sleep for some day two commenced. It was known that this would be a tough match based on previous meetings against the individuals making up this team.

Steve’s day was a little flat and whilst he had reasonable spells in both singles he did not have the fire power or consistency to register on the score sheet today.

Brian was one of the ones that slept well and this showed today. He had the stamina to complete both his sets going all the way to a fifth decider deuce both times. He played some of the best table tennis that I have seen him play this season but he didn’t get the rub he needed and lost both by the smallest possible margins. This was not to be Brian’s day, frustrated at losing both sets so closely but hopefully he will take the positive message out of how well he played and how well he improved just over the weekend as this will bode well for the rest of the season for him.

Mark was the only person to beat the Berkshire number one last season and there was definitely a score to settle. Mark served so well in the first and his opponent did not know what to do with them. The second continued in the same vein although Mark was also struggling with service return almost trying to do too much in order to keep the pressure on his opponent. Near the end of the second Steve managed to attack Mark’s serve and that made the difference. The third game followed the same pattern and again Mark lost narrowly. This just fuelled the Berkshire number one and he ran away with the fourth to get the revenge he sought from last season’s defeat.

Mark’s second game registered the only score on the board for today with a solid victory over Ivor which was very entertaining but did only ever appear to he going one way.

Pauline was familiar with her opponent today from last year and the umpire had prepared himself for a possible expedite as advised by those that saw this match last year. The game did not follow the same pattern as last year. Sue was trying to ensure that she kept her open game going and Pauline rose to this blocking well and creating some great cross table angles. Yesterday Pauline had been caught out down the line on the backhand side but today she ensured that this was not the case.  She lost three straight but they were all games that could have gone either way but in the same manner as was most of the morning it went the way of the home team Berkshire.

The doubles combinations were close for two out of three today. The mens doubles had Brian and Mark looking as if they would come back after losing the first they comfortably took the second and third game. They really did look in control but the Berkshire pair turned it back around and took the fourth and fifth without any of us really seeing what they did differently.

The first mixed doubles had Steve & Pauline losing comfortably but the final mixed doubles saw entertainment and agility from both sides. Mark Stubbs had decided to put all remaining effort into this set.  They won the first two games and looked as if they would take it three straight. The opportunity was there at 10-8 up but Berkshire pulled it round and took this game 12-10.  The fourth and fifth went well for Berkshire who rounded off a competent display and won the match 9-1.

The team spirit was still good but we really had been up against it today. There was no afternoon match so the journey

home reflected on a few things that had happened over the weekend including how to help someone pack their shopping at a supermarket and how to exercise at a bus stop using a technique called “kettling.” 

Thanks to the driver for the ride both ways and to the team for an enjoyable weekend.

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