DIVISION 2 – 23.09.18 – DAY 1

TRIPLE TIE AFTER THE FIRST MEETING

There appears to be a very strong line up in Division 2 which began its campaign on 23rd September.   This includes Darenth B who were relegated from Division 1, Bromley Common A stayed in Division 2 as Otford A had withdrawn from Division 1 with the newly promoted South Croydon A and Bromley Common B joining Darenth C and Leigh D from last year’s line up.   It certainly augurs well for a cracking competition.

Round 1

This round frequently included two domestic derbies as the teams are listed alphabetically.   The first was Bromley Common A where Jenny Hunter was helping out Sylwester Czapinski while Bromley Common B had Stuart Inglis and Dave Walkley on duty.   The match stood at one set apiece after the opening singles.   The B claimed the doubles in four to take the lead which Walkley consolidated with a win over Hunter.   It was down to Czapinski to try to keep the score to 2-3 which he did, beating Inglis in straight games.

The Darenth B and Darenth C (Scott Gabriel/Vander Caceres) match saw problems with two players stuck in heavy traffic leaving Dave Bonner to battle on alone.   He dropped a game in the opening set to Gabriel but held on to take the fourth 12-10.   Frantic messages were being ferried to the Hall on the progress of a second player still en route, Bonner therefore took on Caceres.   It was a close set, Caceres dropping the second game but holding on to take the fourth 11-9, a mishit clipping the side edge of the table at a crucial time tipping the balance in his favour.   All part of the game!   Eventually Thomas Arnott got to the Hall.   He looked a bit ring rusty against Gabriel but managed to serve his way out of trouble.   The B, an untried pairing, quickly settled in the doubles working well together.   The C pinched the third game but the B shot off the mark and roared away with the fourth.   Caceres stormed away with the first against Arnott who then levelled.   Caceres was racing away with the third, leading 8-1, but Arnott began to find his rhythm.   He dropped that game but then picked up the pace to take the next two games which made it a 4-1 victory for the B.

A strong looking Leigh D had Dan Powley and Roger Harris on duty against the newly promoted South Croydon A team of Ian Brown and Graham Hansen.   It turned into a very lengthy and keenly contested match with lots of very close games.   The opening sets were shared with Brown scraping past Powley while Harris took a game to settle against the left hander Hansen.   Harris dropped the first but then squeaked home 14-12 in the second, defending magnificently as he always does and ground Hansen down to win in four.   A close five game doubles went to the left-right handed South Croydon pair 11-8 in the fifth, having recouped a two game deficit.   The score was thus 2-1 to South Croydon A. The reverse singles were even more keenly contested than the first two.   Powley gets a lot of stuff back and, despite Hansen’s best efforts, won 11-8, 11-9, 12-10.   Harris revels in someone going at him and the final set between him and Brown was a very good battle.   Harris got it in four but a glance at the scores give a clue as to how tight it was 14-16, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8.   It meant a 3-2 victory for Leigh D.

Darenth B led the table on four after Round 1 with Bromley Common B and Leigh D equal second on three.   Bromley Common A and South Croydon A had two each in fourth.   Darenth C were off the mark on one.

Round 2

This Round brought some very fine play in all three matches which were very hard fought affairs.

Darenth C (Gabriel/Caceres) had a tough assignment tackling the Leigh D team.   It was a terrific scrap from start to finish.   Gabriel began well against Harris only just losing the first 11-13 and taking the second game.   However, his attack faltered in the third and fourth as Harris put up the shutters.   The closest set came between Caceres and Powley with some long exchanges.   It went to Powley, who gets an amazing amount of stuff back, 11-9, 13-11, 13-11.   Darenth won the doubles 11-8 in the fifth from 1-2 down but this was their sum total as Leigh took both the reverse singles.

Four sets went to four games in the longest match of the day between Bromley Common B (Inglis/Walkley) and South Croydon A (Hansen/Brown).   Hansen came close to extending Inglis to a fifth game in the opening set, losing on 9-11 in the fourth.   The only set decided in straight games went to Brown who survived a late charge from Walkley in the third.   All the subsequent sets went to four.   The doubles and then two tight singles – Brown unable to find the key to Inglis’ box of tricks while Walkley had his hands full with Hansen winning only 11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9 to record a 4-1 success for Bromley Common B.

The closest match came from the Bromley Common A (Czapinski/Hunter) and Darenth B (Bonner/Arnott).    Czapinski got the ball rolling for Bromley Common with a four game win over Bonner.   This was cancelled out by a win for Arnott over Hunter and Darenth took the lead with a straight games win in the doubles.   One of the best sets of the day was that between Czapinski and Arnott where Arnott was 2-1 up.   Czapinski cut out the errors to take the fourth but Arnott worked his way into the lead in the fifth only for it to slip through his fingers 10-12.   This made it two sets all.   Hunter loves to counterhit and managed to take a game from Bonner but to no avail as Bonner kept it tight in the fourth which brought Darenth a 3-2 victory.

It is therefore a three way tie at the top.   Bromley Common B, Darenth B and Leigh D all have seven points.   Bromley Common A are in fourth on four, South Croydon A have three and Darenth C two.   It promises to be a competitive, if somewhat noisy, Division.

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