BRITISH LEAGUE - final weekend 18/19 March 2017
With the Scarborough team safe from relegation and several players unavailable, Glenn Hodgson stepped in to play at number four and make his British league debut. It couldn’t have been a harder start as the team’s opponents were league leaders, Whitworth academy. With three of their players ranked 40, 58 and 75 in England and the other being 10 in Scotland, Scarborough were up against it. After four matches the team were 4-0 down. Martin Lowe playing at one was not able to overcome young Scot Calum Morrison. Graeme Barella at two, took a set from Sam Perry, Whitworth’s number one. James Rule put up a great performance only losing to England 75 David Arrowsmith 11-8, 15-17, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11. Hodgson had a very tough introduction losing 3-0 to number 56 Ross Wilson. Lowe and Rule took an excellent doubles 11-9 in the fifth set to earn Scarborough’s first point. After that it was all one way traffic with only Lowe coming close against Perry losing 11-9 in the fifth. Whitworth 9 Scarborough 1
The second match of the day saw Scarborough take on eventual runners up Draycott. All in all Scarborough put up a fine performance to earn a draw, but were slightly disappointed having led 5-2. Lowe began with a great five set win over number 56 Jon Taylor. Barella added a very impressive 3-0 win over number 81 Mark Green and Rule played a superb match to beat rising star Naphat Boonyaprapa in four sets. Hodgson, playing better, did well against Jack Grant number 76. He almost took the first set losing 12-10, before going down in three. Lowe and Rule added a doubles win and the score was 4-1. Hodgson and Barella fought hard, but lost their doubles 3-1. When Lowe played Mark Green he took a 2-1 lead, but Green levelled at 2-2 and stormed to a lead in the fifth set. With Lowe 10-4 down all looked lost, but six straight points for Lowe brought it back to 10-10. Lowe then lost the next point, but took the next three to complete a great recovery. Rule then played well, but couldn’t overcome Taylor and Barella had a strangely quiet game against Grant. That left Hodgson to go for the win, but despite taking one set to 16-14 he couldn’t quite get to grips with Boonyaprapa. Scarborough 5 Draycott 5
On the second day the opponents were a young and vociferous Ormesby side. Lowe won easily against James Garrod, before Barella had a very close 3-2 loss against Joshua Stacey. James Rule was suffering with a bad shoulder for his next game, and consequently did well to record a win, despite being taken to five sets by Jack Dewar. Hodgson lost in three to George Hill and the Lowe/Rule partnership endured their first loss 3-2, although they squandered two match points. Hodgson and Barella also lost in five, two results which ultimately turned the match. Rule recorded a five set win over Garrod and Barella easily beat Hill, but Lowe and Hodgson couldn’t add to the teams tally which meant a narrow loss for the side. Scarborough 4 Ormesby 6
In the final match of the season Scarborough faced Nottingham Sycamore. Lowe was involved in yet another five set marathon, this time losing 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 14-16, 9-11 to Joel Webb. With Barella and Hodgson also losing it was left to Rule to gain Scarborough’s first win in the match. The doubles pairs were tactically switched and Rule with Barella earned a win, but Lowe and Hodgson could only manage a set in their loss. Of the last four singles three went Nottingham’s way, but the highlight for Scarborough was Rule’s impressive 3-0 victory over Webb. Nottingham 7 Scarborough 3
Scarborough finished in fifth place with 11 points in the league of 8 teams.
Full details can be found on the British League website under National division A-1.