DIVISION 4 – 10.09.17 – DAY 1
SOUTH CROYDON B STAKE AN EARLY CLAIM AFTER DAY 1
The honour of opening the season fell to Division 4 where a new club, Cleeve Park, were welcomed into the League which meant some new faces making their debuts. The withdrawal of Coney Hill created the vacancy taken up by Cleeve Park who joined Halstead B, the newly promoted South Croydon B and Darenth G plus Darenth F and Otford B.
There was only one close match here, that between Darenth G (Steve Fuller/Paul Lipscombe) and Halstead B (Andy Larner/Nicole Sears). The opening set between Fuller and Larner went to five games and could have gone either way. Fuller led 2-1 only for Larner to level at two all and then take the fifth 11-8. Lipscombe levelled for Darenth beating Sears in straight games. The doubles was a relatively straight forward win for Halstead putting them into the lead. The reverse singles were shared so it finished as a 3-2 win for Halstead B.
South Croydon B (Sam Porter and debutant Gaurav Narang, recorded a 5-0 over Otford B (Sarah Maris/Tony York) but this was no cakewalk for York stretched Narang to five games from 0-2 down and the doubles was also very close as South Croydon had to recoup a 0-2 deficit to take it. They added both the reverse singles despite a spirited effort from Maris who took Narang to a fourth game.
Perhaps the surprise result was Darenth F’s victory over a strong Cleeve Park team (Tony Annand/Vladimir Shadrunov) where Richard Holmes was guiding Karol Wolosievicz through his league competition debut. Darenth won the first three sets, Wolosievicz holding off Annand 11-4 in the fifth for a great start backed up by Holmes keeping Shadrunov at bay. Darenth pinched the doubles 11-9 in the fifth from 1-2 behind and Holmes made it four by defeating Annand. Shadrunov averted the whitewash with a four game win over Wolosievicz.
This round brought only one close result, an excellent hard fought victory for Otford B (York/Maris) over Halstead B (Sears/Larner). The opening singles were shared, York beating Sears 11-5 in the fifth after being pegged back to two games all and similarly Larner taking the decider 11-6 from Maris. Otford won the doubles in straight games and Maris made it a victory by beating Sears in straight games. York stretched Larner to a fourth game but was unable to take it further. So, it was a 3-2 in Otford’s favour.
South Croydon B (Porter/Narang) had their hands full with Darenth F (Holmes/Wolosievicz) where although they won 4-1 it could so easily have been a 3-2 the other way. The opening sets were shared, Holmes adding the scalp of Porter to his tally for the day and Wolosievicz had to give best in five to Narang after holding a 2-0 lead. South Croydon secured the doubles in four but were made to work hard for their last two points. Narang was given a run for his money by Holmes 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9 and Wolosievicz was similarly close with Porter, 9-11, 7-11, 10-12 gives a good indication.
Cleeve Park (Annand/Shadrunov) didn’t have things all their own way against Darenth G (Lipscombe/Fuller) for Fuller took a game from Shadrunov and stretched Annand to five games well. Alas there was no joy for Darenth G here.
South Croydon B who have enjoyed considerable success since joining the League are therefore the leaders on nine points. There is very little to choose between the others at this early stage. Cleeve Park have six, Darenth F and Halstead B five each, Otford B three and Darenth G two. It bodes well for a good competition.