DIVISION 1 – 18.02.18 – DAY 4
CROWNWOODS ALREADY THERE WITH A MEETING TO GO
Crownwoods led the table on 27 points after Day 3, 10 points clear of Otford A and Darenth A tying on 17. Leigh A were on 14 with Darenth B on eight, one ahead of fellow struggler, Leigh B.
Whilst all three matches ended in decisive victories, the derby match between Leigh B (Sue and Roger Pingram) and Leigh A (Farhang Fazeli/Dan Powley) was far closer than the 4-1 recorded by the B team suggests. Leigh have been struggling to get teams out all season and once more the A had to call upon the services of Dan Powley to accompany Fazeli. He certainly turned in a very good performance. It looked like a good start for the A when Fazeli beat Sue in the opening set. Husband Roger had his work cut out with Powley, dropping the first 10-12, then taking a 2-1 lead, before being pegged back but finally running out the winner 11-4 in the fifth. The B won the doubles in four but then Roger and Sue are the Open Doubles champions. Sue had to go the distance to beat Powley 11-9 in the fifth. This made it 3-1 and Roger rolled it up by defeating Farhang in straight games, only 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 though.
One would have expected the local derby tween Otford A (Martin Tate/Graham Windram) and Darenth A (Terry McKee/Matt Emery) to be something a bit special and maybe decided by the odd point in five but while Tate and Windram worked hard for their points, there was no reward here even though four sets required a fourth game. Five points deposited in the bank were most welcome for Darenth A.
The Richards, Beckham and Farthing, were in fine fettle against Darenth B (Dave Bonner/Will Chan) and didn’t give much away. They were taken to a fourth game by Bonner but otherwise it was another maximum haul for them.
Thus after seven rounds Darenth A were not able to make any inroads into the ten point lead held by Crownwoods but had nosed into second place on 22. Otford A were in third still on 17 with Leigh A moving a point nearer on 15. Leigh B on 11 had overtaken Darenth B on eight.
Darenth A (McKee/Emery) were looking to maintain their second spot when they took on Leigh B (Sue Pingram/Roger Pingram). They took the first two sets relatively comfortably but something went awry in the doubles which was a very up and down affair. Darenth held a 2-1 lead but dropped the fourth 4-11 and then had an uphill task in the fifth which they eventually lost 9-11. Emery dropped the first game of the reverse singles but came through it in four while McKee was fully extended by Roger and only just scraped home 11-9 in the fifth for a 4-1 victory.
Otford A (Tate/Windram) had their hands full with Darenth B (Bonner/Chan). Bonner pinched a game from Tate and Windram had to go some to turn a 1-2 deficit into a win 11-6 in the fifth against Chan. The doubles went comfortably to Otford. Chan never got going against Tate but Bonner, never one to give up, took a 2-1 lead against Windram, dropped the fourth 12-14 and then sailed home 11-6 to earn a valuable point for Darenth.
Crownwoods recorded a full house against Leigh A (Fazeli/Powley). Fazeli, however, took a game from Beckham and Powley stretched Farthing to the limit before losing in five. This was Powley’s third set to go to five games without a win to show for it. Crownwoods upped the ante thereafter and made sure of five points.
Crownwoods on 37 are therefore already champions. Darenth A on 26 have made a challenge for the runners up spot but will need a strong performance on the final day to stave off Otford A on 21. They will be sure to be looking to upset the apple cart if they can. Darenth B are most likely to be relegated but who goes with them between Leigh A on 15 and Leigh B on 12 is open to question.