DIVISION 2 – 19.11.17 – DAY 2
TEEN & TWENTY TAKE OVER LEADERSHIP
The second meeting of Division 2 took place on 19th November. Leigh C led the table on eight with Teen & 20 and Darenth C tying in second place on seven. Halstead A were on five, Leigh D had two and Bromley Common A one point so there was plenty to play for. Strangely there was only one match which was not a 5-0, even more strange was that it happened for the second week in a row.
There was a top versus bottom clash where Leigh C (Sue Pingram/Michelle McGovern) were taken on by Bromley Common A (Stuart Inglis/David Walkley). Although this was recorded as a 5-0 to Leigh, boosting their hopes of promotion, it was by no means a walk in the park. Inglis put up a terrific fight against Pingram as 12-14, 10-12, 11-9, 13-15 shows. The doubles went to four and there was a tremendous effort from Walkley in the closing set where he charged off with the first game, sneaked the second 12-10 but then was kept at bay by Pingram, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8.
Halstead A (Richard Nash/Alan Johnson) were looking to improve their position being just two points adrift from Teen & 20 and Darenth C. Nash bravely turned out for his team despite being in some discomfort from a skiing accident which must have hampered his movement about the court somewhat. Graham Barnes came in for Ming Majoe and joined Nick Smith for Teen & 20. Teen & 20 ran off with the first two sets but had some trouble in the doubles where they dropped the second, scraped the third 12-10 and then held on to take the fourth for a 3-0 lead. Nash got off to a promising start in the first of the reverse singles taking the first 12-10. Smith responded by taking the second 11-8 and had to work hard for the third 12-10 before securing the set in the fourth game. Barnes wrapped it up for Teen & 20 with a straight games win over Johnson.
The only match of the day not to be a clean sweep was that between Darenth C (Thomas Arnott/Steve New) and Leigh D (Dave Cowlen/Dan Powley). This was a close run thing as two sets required a deciding game and the others went to four making it as long, hard match. Arnott held a two love lead over Cowlen who then held on to take the third 11-9. He then went on to win both the remaining games to secure the set for Leigh. Powley backed this up with a four game win over New and Leigh made it a winning lead by taking a very up and down doubles in five, either team could have won this. Arnott got Darenth on the board with a four game win over Powley who gets a lot of good stuff back. New followed suit, working hard for his four game win over Cowlen to keep the score to 2-3.
Leigh C thus still hold the lead on 13 but were coming under heavy pressure from Teen & 20, now just one point behind. Darenth had clarified their position in third place on nine with Halstead A still on five, now level with Leigh D while Bromley Common A languished at the foot of the table.
This round brought a top of the table clash between Leigh C (McGovern/Pingram) and Teen & 20 (Barnes/Smith). Teen & 20 were fast out of the traps, taking a 2-0 lead. Leigh made a determined effort in the doubles and recouped a 1-2 deficit 13-11 to level at two games all. Barnes and Smith put up the Thou Shalt Not Pass signs and won the fifth for a 3-0 lead. One of the best sets of the day came between McGovern and Smith. Mc Govern likes nothing better than to counter attack and it took a lot of skill from Smith to earn a 2-1 lead. McGovern didn’t retreat and took the fourth but Smith lit the afterburners to zoom away with the fifth. Barnes never let Pingram get into her stride so it was a 5-0 for Teen & 20.
Bromley Common A (Walkley/Inglis) were desperately looking for points from Leigh D who were just above them in the table. A good win here would kickstart their bid for survival. Walkley and Cowlen fought out a five game battle which went in the end to Cowlen. Powley worked out what to do with Inglis and Leigh then scooted through the doubles for a winning lead. They won both the reverse singles although the last set between Inglis and Cowlen was a keenly fought contest, Cowlen winning it 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, it just could not have been closer. It was a disaster for Bromley Common but brought some hope for survival to Leigh D.
Darenth C (New/Arnott) needed to build on their current third place but Halstead A (Nash/Johnson) weren’t going to be easy and were only a few points behind so a clean score sheet would come in handy. It began well with New defeating Nash who was clearly suffering. Arnott lost the first game to the lefthander, Johnson, but got down to work to win the next two. The fourth was tight but Arnott held Johnson off 15-13 to make it a two nil lead. Success in the doubles and New’s straight game victory over Johnson made it 4-0 for Darenth which left Nash to try to get something on the board against Arnott. He almost succeeded, recouping a 1-2 deficit to push the youngster to a deciding game but it wasn’t to be with Arnott closing the door at 14-12 for a 5-0 victory.
It was an interesting afternoon’s play and in some cases a 0-5 loss did not reflect the effort put in. However, there was a change in leadership with Teen & 20 surging to the top of the table on 17. Darenth C had nipped into second place on 14, one ahead of Leigh C with Leigh D moving up to a clear fourth on 10. Halstead A remained on five and Bromley Common on one point.