CUP FINALS 2019 - W/C 06/05/19
The week started with the Division One Cup final between Chaddlewood A (Denis Cajon, Tony Sweet and Glyn Price) and Railway A (Mark Weymouth, Martin Parnell and Jacob Kodicek) with Railway slightly the stronger team according to the averages. The first four sets went to form, two sets each, Cajon breaking his bat as he lost to Weymouth. Cajon then played Kodicek who has only lost one set all season, to Sweet. Having replaced his rubbers onto an old bat, Cajon beat Kodicek with some vicious attacks, 12-10 in the 5th end. Price then beat Parnell, Sweet beat Kodicek and Price faced Weymouth. Weymouth comfortably won the first two ends, Price pulled back to take the next two before a tense 5th end which Price just won 16-14 to finish the match at 6-2.
The Division Two Cup final saw the top team, Woodland Fort A (Brian Luscombe, Colin Poyntz and Jim Lock) play the second team, Astor B (John Turner, Tony Powlesland and Les Cole). Astor's strongest player, Turner, took his hat-trick, Cole chipped in with a win over Lock and the match was poised at 5-4 to the Fort. Fort cleverly held back their strongest pairing, Luscombe and Poyntz, for the second doubles. This allowed Turner and Cole for Astor to draw level with a comfortable win over Luscombe and Lock but in the deciding set, the experienced Fort partnership just overcame Turner and Powesland 11-9 in the 5th to end an exciting match 6-5 in favour of Fort.
In the Division Three Cup final the top team, Astor D (Steve Harvey, Gerry Elliott and Nick May) seemed to be favourites against Woodland Fort F (John Dean, Dave Brown and Pete Andrews) who finished well below Astor in the league. However, in a competitive match with no maximums and every player contributing, Fort lead 4-5 in the singles then Dean and Andrews beat Harvey and May to pull off a surprise victory by 4-6.
The Handicap Cup semi-finals were both a bit one-sided. Chaddlewood A, fresh from winning the Division One cup the previous evening, gave 13 points to their Division One opponents, Railway C (Steve Foster, Bryn Ford and Colin Mitchell). Foster beat Cajon by 50-51 in the first set but that was their last point. Mitchell came close in two sets but, with Tony Sweet contributing three wins, Chaddlewood booked their place in the final, winning 6-1. In the second semi-final Division Two's Woodland Fort C (Richard Searle, Mike Willis and Dave Wyatt) faced Joola H (Charlie Sprawson, Harry Chan and Tim Diss) from Division Three giving them 11 points. With Diss undefeated in Division Three and having played up successfully in Division One, he was always going to be too good for the Fort. He won all his sets without the handicap and, with his team-mates also playing well, Joola won 1-6.
Joola H went in to the final receiving 34 points from Chaddlewood A. Hardbat player Diss beat all three Chaddlewood players while his young team-mates also played well for a 1-6 win. Only Tony Sweet could wrest a point, winning the tie-break at 50 all against Harry Chan.
With a couple matches still to be played, the top and bottom positions in the three divisions are clear. Presentation Evening will be on Friday 31st May at the Railway Club from 7pm.
Continuing their winning ways at the top of Div 1, Railway A (Mark Weymouth, Jacob Kodicek and Martin Parnell) won 10-0 over Chaddlewood C, no set going past four ends. Kodicek also won the averages with only one loss (to Tony Sweet) though Sweet also lost only one game played (to Kodicek). Chaddlewood A (Denis Cajon, Tony Sweet and Glyn Price) also won 0-10, against Railway C, no set going past four ends. Railway B finished the season with a fine 9-1 win over Crafthole A, Crafthole's Shirley Luckhurst providing their only point with a 10-12 win in the 5th against Gary West. Mike Briggs took his three and the doubles with a resurgent Dave Pellow who deserves special mention for his second maximum, all in three ends against strong opposition. Joola C have been a player short for some time now, relying on players from other divisions but this week they were two players short. Angharad Beman took a solid hat-trick against Chaddlewood B and Andy Strike, playing up for Joola D on the next table, simultaneously played bravely with Beman to enable the match but failed to contribute so Chaddlewood won by 3-7. Steve Garlick and Steve Cookson both scored maximums and the doubles in a 9-1 win for Astor A over two-player Sibleyback who join Railway C in bottom position.
Top team Woodland Fort A raced into a 4-1 lead against Railway D but, in an even contest with no maximums, Railway had the better of the second half of the evening to force a draw. Fort's Colin Poyntz beat Clive Davies to pip him to top of the averages at the moment with Lee Mill’s Richard Smaridge yet to play his final match. Astor B beat Woodland Fort D 7-3 with Les Cole taking a maximum and the doubles with John Turner. Joola D had Andy Strike standing in for Charlie Dolton and contributing two points against two-player Railway E who finish bottom team. Joola's long-pimpler, Archie Trott, expertly twiddled his way to a hat-trick and the doubles with Ethan Nankivell and is surely destined to relieve yours truly as the most frustrating player in the league. I inherited this important position from John Smith some years ago and am now ready to give way to a younger and more able player. Dave Wyatt just took his hat-trick for Woodland Fort C against Crafthole B. Bob Hallett pushed him all the way, eventually missing his own three 13-15 in the 5th. Crafthole managed to win a hard-fought match by 6-4 despite losing a number of crucial deuce games. Jon Goodfield scored his hat-trick and the doubles with Norman Hall as Woodland Fort B beat Joola E 7-3 though three of his four wins went to the 5th.
Astor D won Div 3, beating Astor Molyneux 3-7 though none could stop Molyneux' John Dodd taking his three to confirm his position at the top of the averages. Bailey Page and Ben Cresswell took three each plus the doubles as Joola F beat Woodland Fort F 3-7. Astor E (Rob Jenkins 3) won 4-6 against Joola G, the strongest opposition coming again from 8 year-old Jamie Buddell who showed character winning two singles and the doubles with Simon Dixon. All went to the 5th and in each case Buddell came from behind to win the last two or three ends, proud parents looking on. Dixon also came back from two games down to beat Dave Harding in the 5th. Woodland Fort E beat Chaddlewood E 1-9, Dave Backholer and Nigel Aston scoring maximums and the doubles. Chaddlewood's Laura Bone, seeking her first win, took John Cobbledick all the way before the veteran Cobbledick called on all his experience to win the 5th end and deny Bone a point. Laura Bone had another crack at her first point when she joined her son, Mike Chapple (3), and James Marsh (3) in Chaddlewood D to take on the bottom team Joola I which included her father, John Bone. She lost to Jewel Vittle and Julie Lang but it looked more promising against Dad as she took the first end 13-11. Having lost to his grandson, John Bone was not in the mood to give family favours, taking the next three ends to keep his daughter pointless despite her improvement. Chaddlewood won 7-3 and Joola I remain bottom team although they have played valiantly throughout the season, the three players turning up for every match.
In the penultimate week and with one game to play, Railway A cannot be caught at the top of Div 1 though Chaddlewood A (Denis Cajon, Tony Sweet and Glyn Price) moved closer with a 10-0 win over Astor A who are one of five teams vying for the wooden spoon. This was a very competitive match with Astor's Steve Garlick deserving special mention for winning the first two ends from Sweet before Sweet had to change gear to take the set. Railway C are one of the favourites for the spoon though they took three points from Joola A (Ian Roper and Kevin Giles, 3 each plus the doubles). Crafthole are also in the mix, following a 0-10 loss to Railway A (Mark Weymouth, Martin Parnell and Jacob Kodicek) with only one set going to the fourth end. The other two bottom teams, Chaddlewood B and Siblyback did not play but noted the carnage improving their chances. Joola B have hit good form the last two weeks with 0-10 and 8-2 wins. They must have been full of confidence as they faced Chaddlewood C who were a few places below them in the division. Early retirement has rejuvenated the Chaddlewood old-timers, however, and with dogged defence and some hard-hitting attacks Shaun Gilbert, Russ Keith and Steve Hill triumphed 10-0 (their first of the season) over their youthful opponents. Hill, in particular, played exceptionally well with his first maximum including two five-enders and hanging on to win one vital end 20-18.
Div 2 leaders, Woodland Fort A, are now unassailable following a 1-9 win over two-player Railway E, Brian Luscombe and Colin Poyntz taking three each and the doubles. John Turner took his three and the doubles with Les Cole for Astor B as they beat Woodland Fort C 3-7. There were hat-tricks for Astor C's Martin Fowler and Dave Spry and the doubles as Astor beat Woodland Fort B 8-2. No hat-tricks when Railway D beat Crafthole B 7-3. Railway's Chris Ford came close, winning 12-10 in the 5th over Anthony Shapland, winning 11-6 in the 5th over Martin Wilcox but just losing 9-11 to Paul Ager, also in the 5th. Joola E lost 10-0 last week and took another hammering this week, losing 2-8 to Lee Mill (Richard Smaridge and Mark Chapman three each and the doubles). Joola's Ptolemy Beman was unlucky, losing to Wendy Roberts 12-14 in the 5th then doing well to take averages-player Mark Chapman to the 5th before losing.
Astor Molyneux (Mike Perry, Cecil Downing and John Dodd) moved closer to the top of Div 3 with a 0-10 whitewash of Joola I. Downing rolled back the years to take his first maximum, against the Joola “youngsters”. Astor E have slipped out of contention for the top spot but were strong enough to beat Woodland Fort F by 6-4 though Fort's Peter Andrew took his maximum. Simon Dixon and Mike Townsend scored hat-tricks as Joola G overcame Crafthole C by 2-8. Railway F lost 0-10 to Woodland Fort E but played all evening in a cheery mood, disguising their steely determination. Railway's Alex Riley lost the first game to 1 against Keith Phillips then recovered somewhat to win the third end (the only end that his team won) before losing the fourth 10-12.
Div 1's top team, Railway A (Mark Weymouth and Jacob Kodicek three each and the doubles), played the bottom team Siblyback only allowing them one point when Miles Noel-Johnson beat Martin Parnell 9-11 in the 5th. Railway B had Gary West and Mike Briggs, their strongest players, playing together for the first time and they came close to drawing with the powerful Chaddlewood A team, only losing the doubles 11-13 in the 5th for a 4-6 loss. Chaddlewood's Tony Sweet played really well for his well-deserved maximum and the doubles with Denis Cajon. Tom Doidge took his maximum and the doubles with Christian Nankivell for Joola B as they beat two-player Crafthole A 8-2. Bailey Page played up from Div 3 for Joola C, contributing a point against John Steuart of Chaddlewood C. That was not enough to prevent Chaddlewood winning 4-6, Shaun Gilbert scoring a hat-trick.
In Div 2 Richard Smaridge nullified the attack of the Joola D boys with solid antispin defence as he took his three without losing an end for Lee Mill. That was enough to hold Joola to a draw. Clive Davies is top of the averages in Div 2 and he showed his form for two-player Railway D, beating Astor B's John Turner and Tony Powesland, both good players. He found Les Cole a tougher opponent however, having beaten him in the first half he lost in straight games to give Cole his maximum. Andy Watmore just failed to score, losing to Powesland 12-10 in the 5th. Cole then won the doubles with Turner for an 8-2 win. Joola E suffered their first whitewash to Astor C (Nick Bray, Dave Spry and Martin Fowler), no set going past four ends. Crafthole B won 8-2 over two-player Railway E, Bob Hallett taking his hat-trick and the doubles with Anthony Shapland. John Goodfield scored a fine maximum and the doubles with Norman Hall for Woodland Fort B against their D team-mates as they won 6-4 in a very enjoyable evening. Ian Lindsay for the D team won his first point in the second half of the season, beating Bruce Damerell in three ends.
Astor D extended their lead at the top of Div 3 as they overpowered two-player Railway F, winning every end won with eleven points. Astor Molyneux won 2-8 over Chaddlewood E though Chaddlewood's Adam Forshaw showed his improvement by beating experienced veterans Cecil Downing and Mike Perry then taking averages leader John Dodd (3) to the 5th end. Joola G were a man short against Woodland Fort E so they called on Nick Page to play up from Joola F. Joola's captain, Peter Debnam, should have remembered from school that F comes before G so Page was ineligible and the point he contributed against John Cobbledick was disallowed. Debnam does remember his old classmate Dave Backholer from secondary school 59 years ago in 1960. Apparently Debnam has never beaten Backholer, whose clever and varied spin service baffles him every time as it has done to many of us! So it was again as Debnam was defeated by his nemesis in three ends. Backholer then beat the ineligible Page and was two points from victory in the third end over Simon Dixon before Dixon overcame the fiendish Backholer serve to win the third and the last two ends for the set, Captain Debnam cheering him on all the way. This denied Backholer his maximum though Keith Phillips quietly took his and the doubles with Backholer for a 3-7 win to the Fort.
Bailey Page played up for Joola C in Div 1 against Crafthole A. In the first half he took a maximum against the same team but Crafthole's Mike Cookson and Shirley Luckhurst were prepared for the talented youngster this time, holding him to a single point, against Iain Oxenham. Joola's Angharad Beman scored a maximum and the doubles with Holly Smithson as her team won 4-6. At the bottom Railway C were looking to gain points from Chaddlewood B but Chaddlewood's dogged defender, Steve Hugh, was not giving way. He took an impressive maximum without allowing any of his opponents to get past 7 points in any game. Chaddlewood won the first 5 sets before Railway came back to lose 6-4. Railway move off the bottom however, courtesy of a surprising result in the Siblyback versus Joola B match. Joola (Dylan Jones, Jaydon Weston and Tom Doidge) won 0-10 for the first time, inflicting a rare duck (a bufflehead) on Miles Noel-Johnson.
In Div 2 Woodland Fort A stay at the top, beating Lee Mill 4-6 with no maximums. Les Cole and John Turner did score maximums and the doubles for Astor B against Railway E as Astor won 1-9. Railway's Chris Willis beat Tony Powlesland 11-8 in the 5th to deny him his three. Rob Jenkins is comfortably in the averages in Div 3 but he faced some tougher opposition when he played up for Astor C against Woodland Fort D. He did contribute a point however, beating Ian Lindsay to help Astor win 3-7, Dave Spry taking his maximum and the doubles with Martin Fowler. John Goodfield took a comfortable hat-trick for Woodland Fort B as they took on their C team-mates. The doubles was not so easy but, Goodfield and Bruce Damerell just overcame Mike Willis and Dave Wyatt 10-12 in the 5th to draw the match.
Astor D are pulling clear at the top of Div 3, this week winning 8-2 over Joola G. Steve Harvey and Nick May took three each and the doubles, both beating Mike Townsend who had only lost four all season. Joola H (Harry Chan and Tim Diss) were down to two players as they travelled to play Crafthole C only to find that Crafthole were also fielding a pair. They won all the matches they could to win 2-7. The missing point comes because the two absent players did not play each other! Astor Molyneux (Mike Hoskin, John Dodd and Mike Perry) trounced the long-suffering Railway F 10-0, only losing one end. Chaddlewood E (Adam Forshaw, Rob Brunton and Paul Moore) were even more convincing, winning every end as they beat Joola I 0-10. Both these losing teams, one new to the league, the other veterans of the league, continue to enjoy their competitive table tennis and look forward to new teams joining in future years so they can dish out the kind of punishment they have been receiving so sportingly.
Div 1 leaders Railway A had Mike Briggs playing up from their B team against Joola A and contributing a point. Railway's Jacob Kodicek and Mark Weymouth took three each but, combined, they lost the doubles to Ian Roper and Kevin Giles, Railway winning the match 7-3. Joola B's Tom Doidge and Dylan Jones both beat Denis Cajon for Chaddlewood A but that was all as Tony Sweet and Glyn Price took their hat-tricks to win 2-8. Joola C (Angharad Beman 3 and the doubles with Holly Smithson) had Bailey Page playing up from Div 3 and taking a point from Siblyback's Jim Hughes to help Joola to win 7-3. He also showed his potential, taking Miles Noel-Johnson and Colin Jago to the 5th, only losing to Jago in the tie-break. Chaddlewood C called on fifth player, Jordan Bone, to toy with their B team opposition. Despite lack of practice he took a quick maximum before disappearing again to deepest Devon leaving his team to tidy up for a 6-4 win. Astor A's Steve Garlick came from two ends down to beat Railway C's Colin Mitchell 15-13 in the 5th for his maximum and the draw.
Div 2 leaders Woodland Fort A kept second-placed Joola D in their place with a 7-3 win, Colin Poyntz taking his maximum and the doubles with Brian Luscombe. Tony Powlesland mentored Callan Hurst in his team last year with frequent advice to help improve his game. So, when Powlesland (Astor B) played Hurst, now with University, he was delighted that the young man had improved so much that he beat Powlesland 11-13 in the 5th. We can imagine Powlesland's pride as he shook his pupil's hand. Astor won 6-4 with John Turner taking a hat-trick and the doubles with Les Cole. Astor C had a convincing 9-1 win over Woodland Fort C, Nick Bray scoring his second maximum and the doubles with Dave Spry who also took his three. Joola E also won 9-1, against Woodland Fort D, Graham Pearson and Andy Strike taking maximums, Fort's Rob Batten providing their sole point from Ptolemy Beman. Clive Davies, second in the averages, helped his cause with a maximum for Railway D against Woodland Fort B but his two-man team could only draw.
Joola H (Harry Chan, Tim Diss and Charlie Sprawson) continue to show improvement with a 10-0 trouncing of Woodland Fort E who put up a brave, but pointless, resistance. Also pointless were two-man newcomers Railway F hosting Chaddlewood E (Adam Forshaw, Rob Brunton and Paul Moore) who only joined the league last season. The night saw plenty of open, attacking play, unusual for Div 3. All matches were played in very high spirits; everything a league match should be. Crafthole C were unable to raise a team against Chaddlewood D, the match being adjudicated 6-0 to Chaddlewood.
Eggbuckland's Sports Hall emptied, table by table, until Joola G were left, completing their marathon with Astor Molyneux in an eerie emptiness. Joola won five of the nine tie-breaks but lost four of the five five-enders, losing the match 3-7. Young Jamie Buddell starred in three of the five-enders. After beating Mike Hoskin he faced top-of-the-averages John Dodd. He won the first two ends then, at 10-10 in the third, he powered the ball past Dodd to set up match point, only to hear umpire and team-mate, Peter Debnam, call a let. Debnam, fatigued by a week of excessively energetic jogging, had been distracted by a ball from a neighbouring table. Young Buddell took it well as did Dodd who won the next two points and the last two ends for his hat-trick. The final singles saw the rematch of 8 year-old Buddell and veteran Mike Perry, 76 years his senior. Buddell won the last one in the 5th but Perry, showing gritty determination and stamina at 22:50, triumphed this time, 9-11 in the 5th for a remarkable maximum. Buddell showed his sportsmanship, congratulating his arch rival then overcame his disappointment to beat him and Hoskin in the doubles with Simon Dixon at 23:05, way past his bed-time and, probably, past Perry's. Many thanks to Debnam (0) for his comments, he again receives the “Butt of the Week” award, Tony Powlesland in second place (again).
W/C 25/03/19 Handicap and Divisional Cup Semi-Finals
Chaddlewood A (Denis Cajon, Tony Sweet and Glyn Price) gave Astor B (John Turner, Les Cole and Tony Powlesland) 15 points handicap. The first match was Turner, the Astor strongman, against Chaddlewood’s lowest-ranked player, Cajon. Cajon had a surprisingly easy win and despite a couple close wins for Astor, Chaddlewood won the match, somewhat prematurely, 2-5. Woodland Fort B (Mike Wakely, Jon Goodfield and Norman Hall) received 9 points handicap from Div 1’s bottom team, Railway C (Steve Foster, Bryn Ford and Colin Mitchell). Some close sets could not stop Railway winning convincingly by 1-6. The Fort’s C team (Richard Searle, Mike Willis and Dave Wyatt) did not need their 17 points from Siblyback (Jim Hughes, Anton Luiten and Colin Jago) in two of the sets. They won 0-6 though, again, there were close sets, for example, when Searle had to win the deciding point in his set with Luiten. Joola H (Harry Chan, Charlie Sprawson and Tim Diss) received 8 points handicap from Railway E (Chris Willis, Dave Turnbull and Wayne Tucker). Diss seemed certain to win his three singles so it came down to Railway's sets against the two boys. When Willis lost to both, Railway, trailing by 4-3 and unhappy with the handicap, conceded the match.
In the Div 1 Cup, Chaddlewood A (Tony Sweet, Glyn Price and Denis Cajon) strolled through to the final 6-0 against their C team (Shaun Gilbert, John Steuart and Russ Keith). Only Gilbert came close to tripping them up before losing in the 5th to Cajon. Chaddlewood's third team, the B team, were due to face the mighty Railway A team but, with one player feeling a bit poorly and the other two suffering from weak spines, they thought better of it and conceded the match, preferring the fine to crushing humiliation.
The Div 3 Cup also followed form. Woodland Fort F (Pete Andrews, Ken Chambers and John Dean) demonstrated that their ranking at the Fort had been incorrect by walloping their E team (Keith Phillips, Dave Backholer and John Cobbledick) 6-0. Astor D (Steve Harvey, Gerry Elliott and Nick May) had a 6-3 win over Joola G (Mike Townsend, Simon Dixon and Jamie Buddell) but not before Townsend had taken his hat-trick and Buddell had dragged Elliott to the 5th where he just lost 12-10.
In Div 1 Chaddlewood A (Tony Sweet and Glyn Price 3) had a comfortable 9-1 win over two player Joola C. Chaddlewood commented afterwards that the games were much closer than the score suggested with many fine rallies. Joola A lost 4-6 to their teenage B team demonstrating the improvement the youngsters are making. The B team’s Dylan Jones on 43% average, played exceptionally well for his hat-trick which included beating averages players Kevin Giles and Ian Roper. Mike Cookson for Crafthole A has played some very average matches till he found great attacking form two weeks ago (against the hapless Chaddlewood B for his first maximum). He continued his fine form with another confident maximum against Chaddlewood C. Chaddlewood’s Steve Hill lost his first two singles then found his form beating the higher ranked Shirley Luckhurst and winning the doubles with John Steuart against Luckhurst and Cookson. Crafthole won 6-4. Railway B (Mike Briggs 3) beat their C team 6-4 though Bryn Ford put up strong resistance for the C team, winning his last two singles and the doubles with Colin Mitchell. Chaddlewood B met Astor A losing 4-6, Astor’s Steve Garlick taking his second maximum.
Div 2 leaders Woodland Fort A (Brian Luscombe 3) won 2-8 against Joola E though young Ptolemy Beman and Graham Pearson each had a good win against higher ranked players, James Lock and Colin Poyntz respectively. Lee Mill’s Richard Smaridge had only lost one set all season until his team’s match with Astor B when he lost to both John Turner (3) and Les Cole. Astor won 3-7. Joola D won 8-2 over Crafthole B, reversing the first half result. Joola demonstrated their determination as they won all five singles that went to five ends. There were no maximums but some fine rallies as Railway D lost 4-6 to Astor C. Railway’s Clive Davies showed his nerve as he won all five of his tie breaks. Dave Wyatt took a good maximum for Woodland Fort C against their D team including coming back from two games down to beat Abel Hernandez. The C team won 7-3. Luke Goodall won all his singles and the doubles with Callan Hurst to force a draw for University with Crafthole B who played two matches this week.
Astor E’s lead in Div 3 was short-lived as they lost 2-8 to Joola F who replace them. Bailey Page and Ben Cresswell took three each and the doubles while Bailey’s dad, Nick, showed predicted form beating Bob Steele. Astor D are two points behind the leaders with a game in hand after a 7-3 win over Joola H. Astor’s Steve Harvey lost his first set in ten matches to Charlie Sprawson but Nick May stepped up to take his three and the doubles with Harvey. John Dodd and Mike Hoskin (Astor Molyneux) scored three each plus the doubles against Woodland Fort F with Mike Perry chipping in with a win over Dave Brown. Super-veteran Perry still had the energy in his third set to take Peter Andrews to the 5th, just losing 10-12, Astor winning the match 8-2. Young Jamie Buddell played for Joola G against Chaddlewood E next to my table at headquarters. Great to see the little lad play with quiet determination and respect. There was no shouting, histrionics or petulance as displayed by some youngsters. Well done to him and his team-mates who supported each other throughout, winning 1-9. Many senior players could learn from the 8 year-old’s mature behaviour.
The top team in Div 1, Railway A, played the bottom team, Railway C, the gap widening as the A team won 10-0. Bailey Page played up for Joola C against their A team. He beat Debbie Whiting then came back from two ends down to beat averages-player Kevin Giles with an outstanding performance. Angharad Beman also had two good wins including beating Giles 12-10 in the 5th. The A team won the rest for a 4-6 result. Mike Briggs took his hat trick for Railway B as they beat Astor A 7-3. Dave Pellow also had a great evening taking his hat-trick just like the old days, his awkward long pimples style thwarting the Astor team. Miles Noel-Johnson took his three for Siblyback against Chaddlewood C without losing an end. He combined with Anton Luiten to win the doubles in five and force a draw. Storm Gareth battered the south west on Tuesday night as Chaddlewood B took the ferry to Crafthole. More impressive was storming Mike Cookson who battered the team with a powerful, non-stop attack to take his maximum and the doubles with Iain Oxenham. Chaddlewood took the rest of the points while Crafthole’s new player, Josh Lewis-Daniels finished pointless but showed potential.
Div 2 leaders Woodland Fort A took a 0-5 half-time lead against Crafthole B before Crafthole made a spirited comeback to rescue a respectable 4-6 result. Crafthole’s Anthony Shapland followed his maximum last week with a brace, only losing to Colin Poyntz (3) in the 5th end. Martin Hynes finished pointless but came close to taking the lustrous scalp of averages-man, Brian Luscombe, just losing 12-14 in the 5th. Astor B lost ground to the leaders losing 3-7 to Joola D. With both players on two points, Joola’s Archie Trott took on Les Cole in a long-pimpled challenge, coming away with his maximum, 9-11 in the 5th. Meanwhile, Astor C crept closer to their B team with an 8-2 win over Railway E. Astor’s Dave Spry took his three and the doubles with Trevor Mole. University could only muster two players so gave Woodland Fort B’s Bruce Damerell his first point by default. Luke Goodall for University scored his fifth straight maximum to save the draw. Woodland Fort C edged ahead of two player Joola E with an 8-2 win, Mike Willis taking his three and the doubles with Dave Wyatt.
All change at the top of Div 3. Astor E (Bob Steele, Dave Harding and Rob Jenkins) jumped into the lead with a 10-0 win over Joola I who battle on at the bottom. Joola F slipped to second place despite winning 7-3 against Crafthole C. Bailey Page and Ben Cresswell won all their singles in three ends but could not win the doubles against Holly Davis and Terry Wright. Joining Joola in joint second place are Astor D (Steve Harvey and Gerry Elliott 3) after a 1-9 win over Chaddlewood D. Mike Chapple scored the Chaddlewood point with a 12-10 win in the fifth over Nick May. Woodland Fort F also advanced, winning 8-2 against Chaddlewood E, John Dean scoring a maximum and the doubles with Peter Andrews. Octogenarians Cecil Downing and Mike Perry, together with “young” Mike Hoskins (Astor Molyneux), put up strong resistance but could not stop the Joola H boys winning 6-4. Joola G (Jamie Buddell, Simon Dixon and Peter Debnam) only lost two ends as they beat Railway F 10-0.
Div 1 leaders, Railway A, enhanced their position with a 0-10 win over Astor A. Chaddlewood A, in second place, lost ground when their C team opponents persuaded Jordan Bone to play his first league match. He beat Glyn Price and Denis Cajon (winning eight consecutive points to take the first end after being 9-3 down), only losing narrowly in the 5th to Tony Sweet who maintains his unbeaten record in matches played. The A team won 7-3, losing the other point as Russ Keith and John Steuart combined well to win the doubles. Chaddlewood B borrowed Steve Hill from the C team against Railway B. He contributed a point with a win over Dave Pellow to help the B team draw the match and keep in touch with his own team. None of the B team could get past Mike Briggs and his bionic hip. Bottom team Railway C also managed a satisfactory draw with Joola B (Dylan Jones taking his second maximum). They actually lead 5-4 after the singles only losing the doubles 12-14 in the 5th, the sixth set to go to five ends. Siblyback welcomed their old team-mate Iain Oxenham, now with Crafthole A. Jim Hughes beat him comfortably then Oxenham changed gear, beat Miles Noel-Johnson and Colin Jago and, with the help of Shirley Luckhurst, he beat Hughes and Jago in the doubles to give his new team a 4-6 win. Not so welcome now!
The top two teams in Div 2 clashed, Astor B closing on the leaders Woodland Fort A with an unlikely 3-7 win. Astor's John Turner was hardly troubled by Fort, winning all his singles and the doubles with Les Cole in straight games. Cole was denied his hat-trick by Colin Poyntz, 15-13 in the 5th while Fort's Brian Luscombe, second in the averages, failed to score for the first time. Bailey Page, recovering from surgery, played up for Joola E and provided two of their three points against Crafthole B. He could not get past Anthony Shapland who took three and the doubles with Paul Ager. Jon Goodfield took a fine hat-trick for Woodland Fort B against Lee Mill beating Mark Chapman, third in the averages and Richard Smaridge, unbeaten till then. The match finished as a draw. University reversed their first half score with an 8-2 win over Astor C. Top of the averages Luke Goodall and Connor Pyke both scored maximums. Railway D also reversed their first half score with a 6-4 win over Woodland Fort C. It was a hard-fought match dominated by the powerful hitting of Railway's Clive Davies as he took his maximum and the doubles with Chris Ford. Woodland Fort D's Abel Hernandez won his last singles and the doubles with Ian Lindsay, both in the 5th for his maximum and the draw with Railway E.
Astor E had a comfortable 2-8 win over Crafthole C in Div 3, Rob Jenkins and Dave Harding both taking hat-tricks and the doubles, all without losing an end. Railway F lost 0-10 but their continuing improvement was noted by their opponents, Woodland Fort F. There were some topsy-turvy sets throughout the evening as Railway scouted a couple of games from the more experienced team who showed plenty of depth and variety in their styles. Laura Bone was called on for only her second appearance for Chaddlewood E in their match against Joola H. The headquarters heating failed to work so she was hoping for an energetic workout to keep her warm. Bone came away undefeated but chilled to the bone as, following confusion over dates, Joola were absent and she had to stay for three hours as her son, Mike Chapple, was playing downstairs and required a lift home. The match was adjudicated 3-0 to Chaddlewood. Chapple's team Chaddlewood D were up against the experienced Astor Molyneux. It must have been too cold for veteran Mike Perry but his Astor team-mates John Dodd and Mike Hoskin both scored maximums and the doubles to win 7-3. The Joola G team, Simon Dixon, Mike Townsend and 8 year-old Jamie Myska-Buddell had a comfortable 0-10 win over their I team. Only Jewel Vittle, using all her experience and guile, came close to winning as she employed control of the short ball and angles to give young Myska-Buddell the run-around until she succumbed in the 5th to his superior skill. The little lad will learn to push us senior, less mobile players back with deep topspin attacks. We revel in the short ball from little-legged maestros and fear the inevitable growth spurt!
This week the remaining sixteen teams battled for the Handicap Cup. The best total points of two games to 25 (plus handicap) winning each set and the first team to win six sets winning the match. As before, in the event of a 5-5 deadlock, an extra doubles match, hereinafter referred to as the Backstop, is to be played. The winners go through to the quarter-finals, the losers complain about the handicap.
Joola G played well against Astor B's Les Cole and Tony Powlesland but they were no match against John Turner's high quality serve and his variety of shot as he won his three singles despite the 20 point handicap. Astor went through 3-6.
Chaddlewood A were just too good for their C team-mates. Shaun Gilbert put up the strongest resistance for the C team, beating Glyn Price comfortably without the 7 point handicap then beating Denis Cajon 50-51. The A team won 6-2.
Railway C were 4-1 up after five sets against their D team when Andy Watmore, celebrating his birthday, beat Bryn Ford, Clive Davies chipped in with another win then, with Watmore to play the last singles, it was 5-3 to the C team. Watmore, having an awesome night and hitting everything that came his way, only lost the first end with Steve Foster 25-24. With 7 points handicap to come, the D team were confident of taking the match into the doubles and even the Backstop. Foster was having none of it, he fought back to win the second end 25-19 and then won the deciding point to thwart the D teams hopes and take his maximum, his team going through 6-3 after a great match.
Woodland Fort A won two of the first three ends with their B team but that was all as the B team played exceptionally well against the division 2 leaders, even winning four sets without the 9 point handicap.
Siblyback graciously admitted that, if Bailey Page had played for Joola F, Joola would probably have won. Unfortunately for Joola, Page is recovering from surgery and no-one else could play up as they were all cup-tied. Joola's Ben Cresswell gave a strong performance, winning his three but Bailey's dad, Nick Page could not benefit from the 22 point handicap against the experienced Div 1 players and Siblyback went through 3-6.
Woodland Fort C beat Joola E 6-2 though details are not available.
Crafthole C's thirteen year-old Holly Davis gave an outstanding performance of girl-power as she beat all three Joola H boys using only 5 points handicap and, in one nameless set, not even using it. Joola soothed their embarrassment by winning all the other sets against Chairman Pete and Trevor Luckhurst to go through 3-6.
Woodland Fort D lost the first two sets against Railway E, and as has happened before, that was match over. Fort had no third player so, before Railway's Dave Turnbull could come to the table, Fort had to concede as they could not play the Backstop even if they had won every other set.
Chaddlewood A slipped into the Div 1 lead thanks to a 1-9 win over Crafthole and the fact that Railway A, leading for most of the season, did not have a game. Every set of the Crafthole match finished in three ends leading to an early night. Tony Sweet and Glyn Price scored hat-tricks and the doubles while Shirley Luckhurst took Crafthole's point. Joola A won 2-8 against two-man Chaddlewood C though Chaddlewood's Steve Hill had a fine tussle with Kevin Giles, just losing in the 5th to the higher-ranked player who took his maximum as did Ian Roper. No maximums when Astor A took on the Joola B boys, Astor will be happier with the resulting draw. The Chaddlewood B trio took the trip out to Liskeard to play Siblyback in their new venue. Jim Hughes also took a trip, crashing to the floor during a close set with Chris Dunn. Fortunately he arose unscathed and was able to continue but not to win. Miles Noel-Johnson was pushed to his maximum and a pleasant evening ended in an honourable draw. The trip home was lengthened as the two passengers, locked in a Brexit debate, failed to notice that the idiot driver, in pitch blackness, was taking the scenic route via Callington.
In Div 2 Astor B (John Turner and Les Cole 3 each and the doubles) won 7-3 over Crafthole B. Astor's Tony Powlesland turned up to play table tennis but played carp instead, scoring his first duck. Richard Smaridge won five sets for Lee Mill against Astor C. He won his three singles, then the doubles with Mark Chapman to draw the match. He then played another doubles with Ann Warren as, by agreement, the divisional cup was also being played and Lee Mill won that to go through to the next round. Luke Goodall stays at the top of the averages with another maximum and the doubles with Connor Pyke for University against Woodland D, University winning 3-7. Wayne Tucker and Chris Willis won all their singles for Railway E against Woodland Fort C but fell apart when they came together in the doubles, losing in straight games to Dave Wyatt and Richard Searle. Joola E could only muster two players when they visited Railway D but they found that Railway were a player short as well so the match was over after five sets, the score being 4-1 to Railway.
Astor D (Steve Harvey and Gerry Elliott 3) beat Joola F 1-9 and leap-frogged over them to lead in Div 3 but the circumstances that facilitated the win were unfortunate. Ben Cresswell had to drop out as he was ill just before the match with insufficient time to find a replacement and young Bailey Page was away in London having an operation. Simon Dixon played up for Page and did well to take Joola's point against Nick May. We hope that all went well for Bailey and that he is soon back pursuing his dreams on our tables. Joola H (Tim Diss and Ivan and Harry Chan) also moved closer to the top with a 10-0 trouncing of the long-suffering Railway F. Gracious as ever in defeat, Railway are already plotting their revenge for future years. Chaddlewood D took on their E team rivals who won the last three sets to force a draw. Adam Forshaw for the E team took a hat-trick and the doubles with Paul Moore. Crafthole C (Chairman Pete Nicholson, Jason Knell and Holly Davis) were ruthless with visitors Joola I, taking all ten sets. Only Joola stalwart, John Bone, could extract an end to frustrate Crafthole's dominance.
Railway A are 8 points clear of Chaddlewood A at the top of Div 1. Railway (Mark Weymouth and Jacob Kodicek 3 each and the doubles) would have hoped for a 10 nil win against lowly Chaddlewood B but Chaddlewood’s Chris Dunn disagreed. He took both Mark Weymouth and Martin Parnell to the 5th, stealing a point from Parnell for a 1-9 score line. In an enjoyable match played in a friendly sportsmanlike spirit, Chaddlewood A (Tony Sweet and Glyn Price 3) won by the same margin against visitors Siblyback. Miles Noel-Johnson won the only point for Siblyback when he beat Denis Cajon to deny Chaddlewood any gain over Railway. Joola A repeated the first half win of 7-3 over Crafthole A, Ian Roper and Kevin Giles taking a hat-trick each. A hat-trick also went to Christian Nankivell of Joola's B team as they beat Railway B 4-6. Railway congratulated the youngsters commenting that they had had good games with a lot of banter and joking that the combined age difference of a century and a half went against Railway. A century and a half of experience plus the new hip! ‘Twould seem the Railway glasses are half empty!
Woodland Fort A beat their B team 8-2. Brian Luscombe took a maximum and the doubles with Colin Poyntz. Astor B, hoping to make up ground on Div 2 leaders Fort A, were away to Joola D who they beat 7-3 in their first match. Astor were 1-3 up after four sets and John Turner had two comfortable wins under his belt. Joola then dug deep and, in a match which saw six sets go to the 5th end, they won five of the next six sets to win 6-4. Young Ptolemy Beman even broke Turner's unbeaten record with a fine win in the 5th. Fort A will be delighted! Joola D were off to a flying start against Astor C winning the first five sets. Nick Bray edged the next set against Ethan Nankivell, 12-14 in the 5th and Astor, thus encouraged, scooped the rest for an unexpected draw. University's Sam Millar and Luke Goodall took maximums and the doubles as University repeated their first half 7-3 win over Woodland Fort C.
Joola F are just a few points clear of Astor D and Astor E at the top of Div 3. At one set all against Astor Molyneux, Joola's Nick Page faced veteran Mike Perry coming away with a 12-14 win in the 5th end. After his fine effort Perry had to retire ill from the match. Page's son Bailey then faced John Dodd, averages leader, to try to replace him but Dodd held on in a tight set to maintain his position. Dodd took a hat-trick though the match went to Joola, 4-6. Astor D played Astor E and repeated their first half win of 7-3 to edge closer to Joola at the top. The D team's Steve Harvey scored his seventh consecutive maximum in the league. Tim Diss took his maximum for Joola H against their G team. 8 year old Jamie Buddell scored a duck in his first league appearance for the G team after triumphs in the cup matches. He did join Simon Dixon (2) in the doubles taking out his frustration on the Chan brothers, 11-1 in the 5th. The H team won 3-7. Woodland Fort F (Ken Chambers, John Dean and Dave Brown) had a comfortable 0-10 win over Joola I without losing an end. Nigel Aston scored three and the doubles with Dave Backholer as Woodland Fort E beat Crafthole C by 6-4.
Div 1 leaders Railway A were without averages number one Jacob Kodicek, fourth man Phil Nile filling in against Joola B, failing to score but taking an end from each of the boys. Mark Weymouth took his three and the doubles with Martin Parnell without losing an end, Railway winning 4-6. Chaddlewood A (Glyn Price, Tony Sweet and Denis Cajon) won 10-0 as expected against their B team but they were pushed by the weaker team, particularly in the doubles against Chris Dunn and Steve Hugh when Price and Cajon twice had to come from behind, only winning the 5th end 13-11. Joola A (Ian Roper and Kevin Giles 3) had a comfortable 1-9 win over Siblyback, Debbie Whiting showing continued improvement with her first brace and the doubles with Giles. Bailey Page played up from Div 3 for Joola C, scored two good points against Railway B but succumbed to the rejuvenated Mike Briggs and his new hip. Briggs lost to Angharad Beman (3) and 12-10 in the 5th to Holly Smithson but nimbly combined with Jon Palmer to take revenge in the doubles, Joola winning the match 7-3. Shaun Gilbert took his maximum for Chaddlewood C in their 6-4 win over Railway B. His team-mate John Steuart was close to his first three of the season but Bryn Ford frustrated that, 11-13 in the 5th.
In Div 2 Woodland Fort A could only draw with Astor C, Trevor Mole beating Fort's averages leader Brian Luscombe 12-10 in the 5th to deny him his hat-trick. Colin Poyntz was far from his best for the Fort with his first duck this season. John Goodfield took his three for Woodland Fort B against visitors Crafthole B but Crafthole ran out 4-6 winners. Joola D won 4-6 over Woodland Fort D. There were no maximums though Ethan Nankivell beat Ralph Stone in the 5th to prevent Stone's three and only missed his own when Abel Hernandez beat him after three tie-breaks. Woodland Fort C found Richard Smaridge and Mark Chapman too strong for them in their 3-7 defeat by Lee Mill. Wendy Roberts was very unlucky, closely losing her singles, but joined Chapman to win the doubles. Luke Goodall scored a hat-trick for University against Railway D, his team winning 3-7. Railway's Colin Easton, yet to score this season, played his last match before hip surgery. Good luck to him, we look forward to his return when, re-united with mobility, he can trounce all those who have taken advantage of him in the past. Graham Pearson was on fine form for Joola E taking his maximum without losing an end against Railway E. Joola's Andy Strike also took three and the doubles with Pearson for a 2-8 win to Joola.
Joola F continue to head Div 3 with an 8-2 win over Chaddlewood E, repeating their score in the first half of the season. Ben Cresswell and Bailey Page took an easy three each and the doubles while Bailey's dad, Nick, provided the excitement with a 5th end win over Rob Brunton. Astor D (Steve Harvey, Gerry Elliott and Nick May) won 0-10 against Crafthole C but there were some close sets, Trevor Luckhurst in particular taking Elliott and May to the 5th. Astor E repeated their first half win over Astor Molyneux by 6-4 but could not stop John Dodd taking another three to chase Bailey Page in the averages. Joola H (Tim Diss 3) won 6-4 over Woodland Fort F. Charlie Sprawson, normally winning two or three singles, had an off day, losing his first two then battling Peter Andrews before losing 18-20 in the 4th for a disappointing first duck. Harry Chan took all his three singles to the 5th end, winning two. Mike Townsend, now a strapping six-footer, continues to improve in the bottom division where he has played since he was a nipper, mentored by veteran pen-holder Peter Debnam. He took yet another hat-trick for Joola G and the doubles with Simon Dixon in defeating Chaddlewood D, 4-6. Debnam, frequently seen jogging aimlessly round the streets of Plymouth, avoided scoring though he was only just overcome by the power of Chris Hemmings, 13-11 in the 5th.
It was Divisional Cup week again, first team to six points going through to the next round. In the case of a 5-5 deadlock, an extra doubles, hereinafter referred to as the Backstop, is to be played.
Div 1's top team Railway A had a comfortable 1-6 win over Joola B though Joola's Tom Doidge deserves praise for his outstanding 4th end defeat of Mark Weymouth, second in the Averages. When Chaddlewood A visited Crafthole A they played all ten sets to make the trip worthwhile but only Shirley Luckhurst could score for Crafthole with a win over Denis Cajon. The final score was 1-9, Glyn Price and Tony Sweet taking three each. Chaddlewood C woke Jordan Bone from hibernation for his first match played this season against two-man Joola A. He scraped off the rust to beat Kevin Giles in three and then Ian Roper in five and that was enough to take Chaddlewood through as Joola could not have played the Backstop. Headquarters had the radiators blasting out heat to raise the temperature to freezing point when Astor A met Chaddlewood B. With the major advantage of a large flask of hot tea to go with refreshments provided, Chaddlewood were able to edge ahead to win an evening of excellent, competitive table tennis 2-6 (Jon Payn 3 and insufferably smug about it).
At the top of Div 2 Woodland Fort A are already through to the next round having earlier beaten Woodland Fort D 6-3. Second-placed Astor B won 6-2 against Railway D though Railway's Clive Davies put up strong opposition only losing to John Turner in the 5th to miss his hat-trick and give Turner his. Third-placed Crafthole B (Bob Hallett 3) also went through comfortably winning 6-1 over Woodland Fort C, no set going past the third end. Astor C's match with Lee Mill was postponed by bad weather.
Joola F are just clear of Astor E and Astor D at the top of Div 3. Unfortunately they could not raise a team against Astor D so had to concede which opens up the Cup in that division. Woodland Fort E's match with Crafthole C was postponed by the weather as the polar vortex from the USA hit the Disunited Kingdom, a snow flurry was reported in Tesco car park at Woolwell and Plymouth came to a standstill. Chaddlewood D were able to play before the chaos but instantly regretted it as they crashed out 0-6 to Woodland Fort F.
Still in Div 3, Mike Townsend scored 3 for Joola G against Astor Molyneux but the star of the match was his team-mate, 8 year-old Jamie Buddell. In his first set he came up against super-veteran and table tennis legend Mike Perry, 76 years his senior! Perry started playing as a young man in 1952 when there were six divisions in our league. He won his first trophy that year when his team came runners up and in the following years he climbed to Div 1 when there were fifteen divisions. Perry has played regularly only missing a total of eighteen months in sixty-six years. He had to call on all that experience as he faced his opponent peeking over the far end of the table. He won the first end, lost the second, won the third, lost the fourth. It could not have been closer nor could it have been more entertaining, reflecting what is so refreshing about our game. In the final end, Perry defied the passing of years while his diminutive opponent defied the passing of bed-time until, at last, super-youth prevailed and little Jamie took the decider 11-6. Perry later heaped praise on the youngster for his brilliant performance and his excellent temperament. Buddell continued his fine form into his next set with a win over Mike Hoskin only losing his third set, after taking an early lead, to top-of -the-averages John Dodd. Joola G go through to the next round 6-3.
It was Handicap Cup again, the best total points of two games to 25 (plus handicap) winning each set and the first team to win six sets winning the match. Caution by the stronger team and wild aggression by very weak teams may be advised.
Joola G (+14 handicap) went through 6-4 against University, 8 year-old Jamie Buddell stealing the show with an astonishingly mature performance displaying a level of play way beyond his years. He won two singles and the doubles with Simon Dixon, only losing his singles with Luke Goodall (3).
Astor C (+18) only had two players, going down 8-1 to Chaddlewood A (Tony Sweet and Glyn Price 3 each) who meet team-mates Chaddlewood C in the next round. Chaddlewood C (Shaun Gilbert 3) had an excellent, sporting match with Astor A, receiving just 2 points handicap but eventually going through 6-4 when Gilbert and Russ Keith comfortably won the doubles. Railway C (+4) travelled to Crafthole A, were drawing 2-2 after four sets, and the match was already over as Crafthole only had two players so could not have played the second doubles. Railway D (Clive Davies, Andy Watmore and Chris Ford) showed their experience winning every match against Railway F but with hard-fought points and good sportsmanship a fine evening was enjoyed. The F team can be proud of their efforts, gaining experience from higher-ranked teams; it is only a matter of time before their perseverance is rewarded. Bob Steele won a tie-break for Astor E (+17) against James Lock of Woodland Fort A but that could not stop Fort (Brian Luscombe 3) winning 3-6. In the next round Fort A will face Fort B who knocked out Fort E (+14) 6-2 with Jon Goodfield scoring three.
Crafthole B (+10) lost 6-2 to Siblyback, Jim Hughes winning three. Chaddlewood B gave 17 points to Joola F, the top team in Div 3. The Joola youngsters Ben Cresswell (3) and Bailey Page fought bravely against the annoying Chaddlewood team, winning five singles then coming back from losing the first end of doubles 25-10 to win the set 50-51 with handicap and the match 4-6. Young Ptolemy Beman helped his team Joola E by beating Lee Mill's Mark Chapman and Anne Warren without needing his 5 handicap! He could not master the more unconventional Richard Smaridge but his team-mates Andy Strike and Graham Pearson took Joola over the line to a 6-3 win. Joola B struggled giving Woodland Fort C 21 points handicap, Fort's experience showing through with a 2-6 win over the more talented teenagers. Ian Roper took three for Joola A against Joola H and Kevin Giles won a tie-break with Harry Chan but the H team boys dominated the other sets, Charlie Sprawson even winning one set without the 33 handicap for a 4-6 victory. Terry Wright turned up at Eggbuckland for Crafthole C and that was enough to take his team through. Opponents Joola C, giving away 36 points handicap, were a player short, lost the first two sets, match over before Wright could play! Just to confirm the result, Wright and Holly Davis played and won a couple more sets. The Joola D boys would have fancied their chances against another Div 2 team, Railway E, giving them only 9 handicap. The Handicap Cup, however, requires a cautious approach by the stronger team and the older, experienced Railway team won 6-2 though four of their wins were by three or less points. Mike Briggs played his first match this season for Railway B sporting a brand new hip. Against Ian Lindsay of Woodland Fort D Briggs bounced round the table like a new man for a comfortable win. Unfortunately for Railway, Fort's Ralph Stone (3) and Abel Hernandez were made of sterner stuff, the hip and Brigg's team-mates failed to perform, and Railway went out 6-1. Welcome back, Mike, keep it well-oiled!
Railway A (Martin Parnell, Mark Weymouth and Jacob Kodicek) are top of Div 1 but were a little apprehensive before their match with the improving girls of Joola C. They shouldn't worry yet as the final score of 10-0 to Railway shows, though Holly Smithson pushed Martin Parnell all the way till he won 12-10 win in the 5th. Ian Roper for Joola A had only lost one set all season (to Jacob Kodicek) but Chaddlewood A took two from him in one match. Denis Cajon (3) won 9-11 in the 5th end of a cracking match that had spectators enthralled then Roper came back to win against Glyn Price before Tony Sweet, who has not lost a set in matches played, beat Roper comfortably in three ends. Tim 'Hardbat' Diss played up again for Joola but could not score in their 1-9 defeat. Chaddlewood B (Jon Payn 3) were delighted to come away with a draw with Joola B particularly as Steve Hugh and Chris Dunn beat Jaydon Weston and Christian Nankivell in the 5th to end Chaddlewood's magnificent run of twelve consecutive doubles defeats. Weston lost 13-15 in the 5th to long-pimpled Hugh only to later come up against long-pimpled Payn and another 5th end defeat. Just a little more practice required! Shaun Gilbert took a hat-trick and the doubles with Russ Keith for a 3-7 win for Chaddlewood C against Astor A who had won the first half match 4-6. Bottom team Railway C were without their third player and did well to win four of the seven sets played against Crafthole A (Shirley Luckhurst 3) who had Martin Willcox playing up. Wilcox contributed a point against the absent player and then, after a tough battle with Railway's Steve Foster, he added a second, winning 17-19 in the 5th!
Div 2 leaders Woodland Fort A arranged with Fort D that this week's match should double for the League and League Cup and Fort A won both, 7-3 in the league and 6-3 in the Cup. Abel Hernandez played well for his maximum. Astor B had maximums for John Turner and Les Cole when they beat Woodland Fort B 8-2. Crafthole B had not lost a match all season so, when they did lose this week to Astor C, they “did it in style”, going down 1-9. Trevor Mole and Dave Spry both took three for Astor. Woodland Fort C were away to Joola D and, after losing 2-8 in the first half, may not have been too confident. They lost the first two sets then Fort's Richard Searle nervously faced Ethan Nankivell and promptly lost the first end 11-0! This ignominy galvanized him into action and he won the next three ends before disposing of Archie Trott and Charlie Dolton for an unlikely maximum against three higher-ranked youngsters and a draw for his team. Railway D still only have two players so suffered a convincing 8-2 loss to Lee Mill (Mark Chapman and Richard Smaridge 3 each).
With the confidence of youth, Joola F's Bailey Page and Ben Cresswell gave an accomplished display to despatch the two-man Railway F team 0-10 in Div 3. Against a festival of spin and power, Jason Butler and Ben Osborn fought valiantly but were overpowered by the tenacity of the young duo. The best set, however, was a nail-biting clash between Bailey's dad, Nick Page, and Butler, Dad winning 12-14 in the 5th. Adam Forshaw, for Chaddlewood E, demonstrated his improvement with a fine maximum against the experienced Astor E team. His team-mates have also improved but were unable to help so Astor won 3-7. Ten ends went to deuce (10 all) when Astor D faced Woodland Fort E, Steve Harvey showing excellent form for his hat-trick and the doubles with Nick May to give a 7-3 victory to Astor. Astor Molyneux gained ground on the leaders with a 9-1 win over Crafthole C, John Dodd and Mike Hoskin taking three each and the doubles. Joola H (Ivan and Harry Chan and Charlie Sprawson) won 10-0 against Joola I without losing an end. Ken Chambers and Pete Andrews both had maximums in Woodland Fort F's 6-4 win over Chaddlewood D.
Happy New Year! May you have all the luck, nets and edges that your opponents had last year!
Div 1’s Joola A had Tim “Hardbat” Diss playing up from Div 3 against Chaddlewood B. He contributed a point by coming back from two sets down to beat Jon “Also Hardbat” Payn. The pair also succeeded in annoying players on adjoining tables with the constant “plunk, plunk” of hardbat on ball, so another win for hardbat players! Ian Roper collected his customary maximum and the doubles with Debbie Whiting without losing an end in Joola’s 4-6 win. Graham Pearson also played up, for Joola C but could not contribute to their score against his old teammates in Joola B. The B team could still only draw as Angharad Beman took a hat-trick and the doubles with Holly Smithson for the C team. Tom Doidge for the C team would have been disappointed losing to both Beman and Smithson 13-11 in the 5th. Gary West took his three and the doubles with John Palmer to take Railway B to a 4-6 win over Chaddlewood C. Palmer just missed his three, losing 13-11 in the 5th to John Steuart. Colin Mitchell scored a fine maximum for bottom team Railway C but that was all the points they could muster, their opponents, Siblyback, winning 7-3. Crafthole A reversed their first half result against Astor A, winning 6-4. Crafthole’s Shirley Luckhurst won three and the doubles with Mike Cookson. Cookson had a close-fought game against Steve Cookson for Astor, Mike winning 11-9 in the 5th to demonstrate seniority over his kid brother.
Woodland Fort A (Colin Poyntz and Jim Lock 3 each) continued their winning ways by soundly beating their C teammates 1-9. Veteran pen-holder Barrie Oliver was the C team’s only success, inflicting a rare defeat on “top of the averages” Brian Luscombe. John Turner played his first match of the season for Astor B taking a hat-trick against their C team. The B team’s Les Cole also took three including a 13-15 win in the 5th against Trevor Mole. Crafthole B (Martin Hynes 3) repeated their first half score with a 3-7 win over Woodland Fort D who had Rob Batten back after a long absence. Joola D (Archie Trott and Charlie Dolton three each and the doubles) had an easy 1-9 win over 2 man Railway D, Railway’s Chris Ford scoring their only point against Ethan Nankivell. Railway E were also down to two men against Lee Mill who repeated their first half win 3-7. Richard Smaridge was back for the Mill after injury and back on form with a maximum. Lee Mill’s Mark Chapman was denied his maximum by Chris Willis, 12-10 in the 5th. Joola E reversed their first half score against University, winning 6-4. University had Connor Pyke playing his first match and picking up a couple of points.
At the top of Div 3 Joola F repeated their first half win over Joola G, 6-4. Bailey Page took another maximum for the F team though Simon Dixon did well, pushing him all the way to the 5th end. Astor E (Bob Steele, Dave Harding and Rob Jenkins) had a comfortable win over Railway F, 10-0 without losing an end. Their D team (Steve Harvey, Gerry Elliott and Nick May) also won 0-10, over Joola I. Astor Molyneux beat Woodland Fort E 2-8, Mike Hoskin and John Dodd taking three each and the doubles. Joola H could not repeat their first half 8-2 win over Chaddlewood D, losing 6-4. Work commitments prevented Paul Moore from playing earlier but he made a strong first appearance for Chaddlewood E against Crafthole C, narrowly missing a maximum by losing 12-10 in the 5th to Trevor Luckhurst. Chaddlewood’s Adam Forshaw did take a maximum and the doubles with Moore to secure a 2-8 victory.
W/C 17/12/18 Divisional Cups
This week saw the first round of the Divisional Cup matches but unlike normal league matches the winners were the first team to score 6 points. Joola A are near the top of Div 1 and would have expected to win comfortably over bottom team Railway C but Joola were without Glyn Price, Tim ‘Hardbat’ Diss playing up from Div 3. Ian Roper took his hat-trick for Joola, Diss contributed two which gave Joola a 5-4 lead, Roper and Debbie Whiting winning the first doubles for a 6-4 win. Shaun Gilbert won three singles for Chaddlewood C when they beat Railway B by 6-3. Railway's John Palmer played bravely with an injury but his point against Steve Hill was not enough. There were no maximums when Crafthole played Siblyback. Siblyback's Miles Noel-Johnson might have expected one after good wins over Mike Cookson and Shirley Luckhurst but Iain Oxenham pulled off a fine win over the higher-ranked Noel-Johnson to take Crafthole through, 6-3.
Div 2 leaders Woodland Fort A went through comfortably 6-2 against the promising Joola D boys, Brian Luscombe winning his three. Archie Trott won the two for Joola but, I guess, Luscombe's accurate hitting did not give Trott the spin to make his long pimples effective. Astor C were even more comfortable with their brief visit to Railway E who only had two players neither of whom could score a point. Wayne Tucker came closest, just losing 10-12 in the 5th to Trevor Mole. Lee Mill fielded a strong team against Woodland Fort B. The Millers' Mark Chapman took three points, Richard Smaridge two and Ann Warren chipped in with a win over Bruce Damerell to avoid the necessity for doubles, Lee Mill winning 6-3. Andy Strike won his hat-trick for Joola E against Woodland Fort C and his team were ahead 5-4 going in to the doubles. That was not enough, however, as first Richard Searle and Dave Wyatt and then Wyatt and Barrie Oliver won their doubles to give a 6-5 win to the Fort.
Astor E are second in Div 3, well ahead of their opponents Joola G. Joola were not phased by that, however, winning 6-3. Mike Townsend won his three but the outstanding performance came from Jamie Buddell, making his Divisional Cup debut. With mature and controlled play, way beyond that expected from an 8 year-old, he won two sets to secure the win for his team. Woodland Fort E won 6-1 over Chaddlewood E, Adam Forshaw scoring Chaddlewood's sole point. Chaddlewood D (Mike Chapple, James Marsh and Chris Hemmings) won 0-6 against Joola I, no set going beyond three ends. There was no animosity however, both teams agreeing to play out ten sets, all going to Chaddlewood. Chapple's three game win over his grandfather, John Bone, included a pointless end which means that there will be no Christmas turkey for him in the Bone household, though he may receive a slice of cold shoulder. Railway F travelled over to Anthony to play Crafthole but received short shrift from Chairman Pete's team, losing 6-0. They are used to this treatment and will surely improve, wreaking revenge in years to come.
W/C 10/12/18 Handicap Cup
This week the league matches were put aside and teams played the first round of the Handicap Cup. The format is two games to 25 points (games finish with first player/pair reaching 25). The winner of the set is the player/pair with the higher total of points including the handicap. The first team to six points are declared the match winners.
Tactics come into play with this format, particularly with a large handicap. The higher ranked players are usually best playing safe and waiting for the weaker players to make mistakes. Conversely, the weaker player should try to attack or encourage the better player to attack as mistakes are more likely. It is no use a poor player just pushing the ball back to a good player, the good player will not make many mistakes pushing. Also, within each team, if one player is weaker than his team-mates he would be expected to lose after the handicap so may find it best to play in a different style to normal as he probably has nothing to lose.
Most teams got a bye to the next round so only six matches are played in the first round and five results are in. Div 1 leaders Railway A gave Woodland Fort F 34 points handicap which was enough to see the Fort go through 2-6 after some very tight games. Ken Chambers and Peter Andrews won three singles each. University gave 20 points handicap to Chaddlewood E, University going through 6-3 with Luke Goodall winning three. Adam Forshaw played well for Chaddlewood, winning two but unable to beat Goodall to take the match into the doubles. Chaddlewood D only received two points from Joola G but might have expected to coast through to the next round when Joola's top player, Mike Townsend, was not in the starting line-up. He was replaced by Jamie Buddell, last seen by most of us as a toddler on Youtube, sitting on the table whacking balls past dad Kevin. Young Buddell's background showed as he won two singles, each by one point and after the first doubles it was 5-5. Chaddy's Chris Hemmings was injured and had to leave so Laura Bone stepped in to partner her son, Mike Chapple (3 singles) wearing her work uniform and work shoes. Thus encumbered, the pair could not overcome Buddell junior and Peter Debnam so Joola went through 5-6, presumably well past the little lad's bedtime. Chaddlewood A gave Astor D 31 points handicap which worked out perfectly as this match also went to the deciding doubles. Denis Cajon had earlier conceded the second end to Astor's Nick May, May having already scored a creditable 23 points to win the point with handicap. Cajon and Tony Sweet (3 singles) won the final set by four points. Astor C gave Astor Molyneux 15 points start in each set but were able to avoid playing doubles, winning 6-3 with no maximums for either team.
Half way through the season, Railway A are clear leaders in Div 1 with their nearest challengers, Chaddlewood A, 11 points adrift. Railway had an early finish at HQ against two-player Chaddlewood C, notching up another comfortable 0-10 win allowing the two teams to depart to a local hostelry. Meanwhile, on the next table, Chaddlewood B’s match with Joola C went on for nearly two more hours, five sets going to the 5th end before Joola won the match 4-6. Four of the long sets involved Chaddlewood’s dogged defender, Steve Hugh, who beat Joola’s averages girl, Angharad Beman and Holly Smithson. He lost 10-12, in the 5th, to Dominique Williams who was making her first appearance for Joola. Railway C only had two players against Chaddlewood A but Railway’s Colin Mitchell put up strong resistance, losing to Denis Cajon in the 5th then beating Glyn Price, who is ranked much higher. Tony Sweet and Cajon took their hat-tricks to complete a Chaddlewood win by 9-1. Sweet is the only regular player in any division to have won all the sets he has played though he dropped three points one week when his side could not field a team. Crafthole A lost 3-7 to Railway B (Gary West 3). Siblyback won 6-4 against Astor A, Astor’s Steve Cookson providing all his team’s points including the doubles with Steve Garlick.
Woodland Fort A (Brian Luscombe, Colin Poyntz and James Lock with his first maximum) lead Div 2 thanks to a 0-10 win against two-man Railway D, weakened by illness and injury. Luscombe trailed Andy Watmore by 5-0 at the change of ends in the 5th but fought back to win 10-12. An enjoyable evening was reported by Woodland Fort D when they entertained Astor B who won 2-8. Peter Kratochvila took a fine maximum without losing an end. Joola D won 1-9 over Railway E, Archie Trott and Charlie Dolton picking up three singles each. Five singles went to the 5th when Joola E played Woodland Fort B. Joola’s Andy Strike was responsible for three of them, winning two but losing to Fort’s John Goodfield who claimed his maximum.
Joola F advanced their cause at the top of Div 3 winning 7-3 against Woodland Fort F. Bailey Page and Ben Cresswell took three each plus the doubles together. Astor D beat Astor Molyneux by 7-3. Astor D’s Steve Harvey did not lose an end in his hat-trick or in the doubles with Nick May. His singles included a win against last week’s averages leader, John Dodd, who now is just behind Page. May also had a good night, winning two and just losing to Dodd after leading 7-2 in the 5th. Woodland Fort E beat Chaddlewood E 7-3, Nigel Aston taking a maximum plus the doubles with Dave Backholer, all in straight games. Chaddlewood D (James Marsh, Mike Chapple and Chris Hemmings) won 0-10 against the bottom team, Joola I, but Jewel Vittle came close to stopping the rout, taking Chapple, the grandson of her teammate John Bone, to the 5th end. Chapple disposed of his grandfather in 3 games, thereby crossing himself off the Bone Christmas card list. Crafthole C (Holly Davis, Jason Knell and Terry Wright, the last two with their first maximums) also took maximum points, from two-player Railway F, though Railway’s Jason Butler took Knell to the 5th.
Railway A (Martin Parnell, Mark Weymouth and Jacob Kodicek) continue to head Div 1, this week with a 10-0 win over Crafthole A. Crafthole were not able to mount much opposition in the singles but in the doubles Iain Oxenham and Mike Cookson held a surprise 2 game lead over Weymouth and Kodicek before the favourites took the last 3 ends. Chaddlewood A, in pursuit of the leaders, only dropped one point against Astor A when Denis Cajon lost to Astor's Steve Cookson, Tony Sweet and Glyn Price taking 3 singles each and the doubles. Christian Nankivell claimed another hat-trick for Joola B when they entertained Chaddlewood C, Joola winning 6-4. Railway B (Gary West and Colin Mitchell 3 each plus the doubles) won 9-1 against Siblyback, Colin Jago battling for Siblyback's sole point by beating Dave Pellow 10-12 in the 5th.
In Div 2, Woodland Fort A's Jim Lock is still waiting for his first maximum this season, narrowly losing to Railway E's Dave Turnbull in the 5th. That was his team's only point lost, as they won 9-1, Brian Luscombe and Colin Poyntz taking maximums and the doubles. Astor B won 8-2 over Woodland fort C, Peter Kratochvila taking 3 singles. Fort's Dave Wyatt won both their points. Crafthole B won 6-4 against visitors Railway D, the match done and dusted in two and a half hours. The best match came when Anthony Shapland for Crafthole clashed with Railway's Clive Davies, both players producing breathtaking table tennis from start to finish. Shapland won 16-14 and 13-11 in the last two games to complete his hat-trick. Jon Goodfield claimed a maximum for Woodland Fort B but his team lost 4-6 to Astor C. There were hat-tricks for Charlie Dolton and Archie Trott of Joola D as they defeated University 8-2, both boys winning in straight games against University's top player, Luke Goodall. The boys did not combine so well in the doubles, however, Goodall and Sam Millar winning in the 5th. 6-3 was the unusual scoreline when Lee Mill entertained Joola E. Mark Chapman and Ann Warren had maximums (Warren's first this season) and were 2 games ahead in the doubles when the lights failed above the barn and the doubles had to be abandoned!
Joola H in Div 3 inflicted a first defeat on Joola F by 6-4. H's Harry Chan was 2 games down to Bailey Page who had only lost one set this season. Chan won the 3rd end 13-11 and the next 2 ends to claim a notable win. Hardbat man, Tim Diss for Joola H, took his maximum, beating Page and the other averages player Ben Cresswell, all in straight games. Astor E could have taken advantage of this to catch Joola F at the top of Div 3 but were held to a draw by Woodland Fort F. Astor's Rob Jenkins did his best with a maximum. Astor Molyneux (Mike Hoskin, John Dodd and Mike Perry) did advance, with a 10-0 victory over Joola I, all in straight games. His hat-trick lifted Dodd above Page in the averages battle. Astor D also moved closer to the top with a 1-9 win against Chaddlewood E, Steve Harvey and Gerry Elliott taking maximums and the doubles together. Maximums from Simon Dixon and Mike Townsend and the doubles together helped Joola G to an 8-2 win over Crafthole C. Railway F lost 0-10 to Woodland Fort E (Keith Phillips, Dave Backholer and John Cobbledick). The score did not reflect the exciting matches, especially between Railway's Jason Butler and Backholer. Butler losing in the 4th to Backholer's relentless hard hitting which gave Backholer his first maximum. There were lots of laughs throughout the night and the experienced Fort players gave the new team guidance and league survival tips including “always carry in your pocket a tiny piece of hate against the opposing team”!
In a Division Div 1 leaders, Railway A (Mark Weymouth, Martin Parnell and Jacob Kodicek), continue to dominate with a 0-10 win over Siblyback who were without their top player, Miles Noel-Johnson. Only Jim Hughes took a set into the 4th end before he succumbed with his first duck. Second-placed Chaddlewood A just dropped one set to Railway B when Railway's Gary West beat Denis Cajon 10-12 in the 5th. Tony Sweet and Glyn Price took 3 each in their 1-9 win. Joola A won 7-3 against Astor A, Ian Roper and Kevin Giles with 3 each and the doubles together. Some great table tennis made for a late finish when Chaddlewood C drew with Joola C who had Tim Diss playing up from Div 3 and collecting a point from Steve Hill. Hill was unfortunate to come away without a point as he took both Holly Smithson and averages girl Angharad Beman to the 5th end, just losing 11-13 to Beman who claimed a maximum on her birthday. Down at the bottom of Div 1, Chaddlewood B picked up 6 points from Railway C, 3 from a fine hat-trick by Steve Hugh, not phased by rushing to play after mixing up his dates.
At the top of Div 2, Astor B took a knock backwards when they lost 7-3 to Railway D, Railway's Clive Davies taking a maximum and the doubles with Andy Watmore. It was a close match, Railway commenting that it had been an enjoyable evening with superb rallies and that the final score could have gone either way as indicated by the singles which all went to 4 or 5 ends. Nick Bray played his first match of the season for Astor C with a hat-trick and the doubles against Joola E, Astor winning 2-8. Graham Pearson provided the points for Joola with notable wins against higher-ranked players Trevor Mole and Dave Spry. Mark Chapman for Lee Mill took a fine maximum and the doubles with Ann Warren against the promising Joola D boys, all without losing an end. That was all the points available for the Millers though Warren fought hard against Archie Trott before losing 13-15 in the 5th. At Woodland Fort the D team beat the B team 7-3, Abel Hernandez winning 3 plus the doubles with Ian Lindsay without going into a 4th end. The D team's Richard Burley, playing pointless table tennis so far this season, turned a corner by beating Bruce Damerell. Like buses, when one win arrives after a long wait another follows and he also beat Dave Backholer who was playing up from Div 3. Backholer contributed a point to the B team, beating Lindsay.
Joola F maintain their position at the top of Div 3, beating Chaddlewood D 7-3. Bailey Page and Ben Cresswell notched up more maximums and the doubles. Astor Molyneux had a comfortable 9-1 win over Chaddlewood E, maximums going to John Dodd and Mike Perry. Astor D (Steve Harvey, Gerry Elliott and Nick May) were more than comfortable against two player Railway F, reaching a 10-0 win without losing an end. Woodland Fort F won 1-9 away to Crafthole C, Ken Chambers and John Dean taking 3 each and the doubles together. Nigel Aston won his 3 singles for Woodland Fort E against Joola G, inflicting a defeat on averages rival Mike Townsend. Townsend, partnering Simon Dixon in the doubles, took his revenge with a 5th end win over Aston and Dave Backholer to draw the match.
In a Division 1 top of the table clash, Railway A were home to Chaddlewood A with unbeaten records bound to go. Chaddy's Tony Sweet kept his 100% record in the games he has played, though Railway's Jacob Kodicek and Mark Weymouth both took him to the 5th end. Kodicek therefore lost his unbeaten record and Chaddy's Glyn Price lost all 3 sets, having won every singles played so far this season. Sweet and Denis Cajon won the doubles in the 5th, so it was 6-4 to Railway. Joola A (Ian Roper and Kevin Giles 3 each plus the doubles) beat Railway B 2-8. Railway's Gary West continues his up and down form, this week with a duck following two hat-tricks. No hat-tricks when Joola B met Siblyback. Siblyback's Jim Hughes had a fine, 3-game win against Joola's top-ranked player, Christian Nankivell, the match ending in a draw. Joola C welcomed young Bailey Page to play up for them from Div 3 against Crafthole A and he did not disappoint with an extraordinary maximum, showing his determination against experienced players. Angharad Beman also took her 3 singles to help Joola to a 7-3 win.
Joint leaders at the top of Div 2, Astor B may be heading straight back into Div 1 next year. Peter Kratochvila, Tony Powlesland and Les Cole won all their singles against Railway E before Wayne Tucker and Chris Willis denied them the whitewash in the 5th end of the doubles. The other joint leader, Woodland Fort A, also advanced, winning 8-2 against Lee Mill who were without an injured Richard Smaridge. The Fort's Brian Luscombe was back to his best, defeating an in-form Mark Chapman to claim his 3 and the doubles with Colin Poyntz. Crafthole B ran out 6-4 winners at home to University who had Crafthole's Paul Ager to thank for their transport. Crafthole, however, found Uni's Luke Goodall too hot to handle and rarely troubled as he took a fine maximum and the doubles with Callan Hurst to maintain his 100% record. Woodland Fort D called on Pete Andrews to play up from Div 3 against Astor C and he responded admirably with wins against Trevor Mole and Tony Bray and the doubles with Abel Hernandez. Dave Spry, for Astor, prevented his hat-trick with a 5th end win to take 3 himself, the match ending in a draw. Joola D met their E team, winning 8-2. Ethan Nankivell, after three straight ducks for the D team, returned to form with a maximum, Archie Trott also taking 3. Woodland Fort B's derby with their C team ended in a friendly draw, Mike Wakely just reaching his maximum by 14-12 in the 5th against Richard Searle.
Astor E are just one point behind leaders Joola F in Div 3 after a 3-7 win against Chaddlewood D, Rob Jenkins with a maximum and the doubles with Bob Steele. Joola H (Ivan and Harry Chan and Charlie Sprawson) were heading for a whitewash against Crafthole C, taking all the singles, when experience and youth, in the form of Terry Wright and Holly Davis, combined neatly to win the doubles in the 5th end. Mike Townsend won his 5th maximum in a row and the doubles with Simon Dixon for Joola G as they drew with Astor D. Astor had Dave Harding playing up and contributing a point against Peter Debnam. Chaddlewood E faced the bottom team, Joola I. Adam Forshaw and Rob Brunton took 3 each plus the doubles for a 7-3 result. Every set was over in 3 ends to give both teams an early night.
The top team in Div 1, Railway A, were away to second-placed Joola A coming away with a 3-7 win. Joola's Ian Roper lost his 100% record in the 5th to Jacob Kodicek, who is still 100%. Railway's Mark Weymouth also lost his unbeaten record, to Roper. Chaddlewood A (Tony Sweet and Glyn Price 3 each plus the doubles together) overtook Joola A with a 9-1 win over Joola B. Young Jaydon Weston for Joola beat Denis Cajon so taking the first point that Chaddy have lost this season in a match with a full team turnout. Graham Pearson played up for Joola C against Sibleyback but, although he did not score, he had a tight set of games with Colin Jago, who won in the 5th. Joola's Holly Smithson and Angharad Beman took a hat-trick each but lost the doubles together. Chaddlewood B faced their C team losing 2-8. Chris Dunn for the B team had a fine win against the higher-ranked Shaun Gilbert with a display of controlled aggression against the solid defender. Railway C, bottom of Div 1, picked up 3 points from visitors Astor A, Colin Mitchell winning 2 singles plus the doubles with Steve Foster. Astor's Steve Cookson took his first maximum this season.
In Div 2 Colin Poyntz came back from injury with a hat-trick for Woodland Fort A against Joola D. The Joola boys did well in the other sets to earn a draw. Brian Luscombe only picked up 1 point, his lowest score so far, indicating how good these boys are. Woodland Fort C lost 3-7 to Astor C. Maximums went to Astor's Trevor Mole and Martin Fowler (his first this season) and the two combined to win the doubles. Clive Davies maximum for Railway D stopped a defeat and his team drew against Woodland Fort B. Lee Mill had Mark Chapman on a maximum but without the resilient Richard Smaridge who was absent for their match against Crafthole B, Lee Mill suffered a 4-6 defeat.
The top team in Div 3, Joola F, met the bottom team, Joola I, and the result was no surprise, the F team, Bailey Page, Ben Cresswell and Nick Page, winning 0-10. Three games in the match were, literally, pointless for the I team, the two F team youngsters correctly showing no mercy. I won't reveal their victims. Michael Townsend collected another maximum for Joola G when they visited Astor Molyneux, his team winning 7-3. Good to see another “hard bat” man creating havoc in the league in the form of Joola H's new player, Tim Diss. Other players might like to consider hard bat as it is much more forgiving against heavy spin and is particularly useful for those who do not impart much spin themselves. Incidentally, Torpoint's Paralympian, Dave Wetherill, plays short pimple hard bat on one side to great effect, so it can also be used at top level. Diss took his second maximum in 2 weeks against Woodland Fort E, only Fort's Nigel Aston able to take an end from him. Aston and Keith Phillips won the doubles against Harry Chan and Charlie Sprawson to end a good night, Joola winning 4-6. Chaddlewood D won 1-9 to Crafthole C, Mike Chapple and Chris Hemmings with 3 each and the doubles together. Jason Knell saved Crafthole's blushes, winning a point from James Marsh. Chaddlewood E picked up their highest score, 9-1, when they beat visitors Railway F, the newest team in the league. Chaddy's Adam Forshaw took his first maximum, Rob Brunton his second, and Stuart Young took his first 2 points of the season.
Joola A head Div 1 though they have played more matches than their main rivals. They played their B team, winning 3-7. A's Ian Roper remains unbeaten and Kevin Giles also took his 3 singles. Chaddlewood A (Glyn Price, Tony Sweet and Denis Cajon) won 0-10 against 2-player Joola C, making up some of the ground lost when they were short of players earlier in the season. They have not lost a single point whilst fielding a full team. “A great night, well-fought” was the verdict when Railway B met their C team in a local derby, winning 7-3 (Gary West 3). This was illustrated when 12 of the 36 games ended in tie-breaks, the B team converting 9. Crafthole A could only provide one player, Iain Oxenham, against Chaddlewood C, a reserve arriving too late. Chaddlewood had Jordan Bone due to play his first match of the season but the match was adjudicated 5-0 to Chaddlewood. Astor A (Steve Garlick with a battling performance for his first maximum) took on Chaddlewood B winning 7-3. Chaddlewood's Mike Chapple played up from Div 3 in place of Chris Dunn, performed well, but could not add to the score.
Joint leaders in Div 2, Crafthole B and Woodland Fort A both had convincing wins. Crafthole played the boys of Joola D while what appeared to be a tropical storm raged outside. Both teams went for it with a lot of attacking play throughout the evening, Crafthole coming out on top, 8-2, (Martin Hynes 3 and the doubles with Paul Ager). Fort A had John Goodfield playing up from the B team against Joola E and he secured his maximum as did Brian Luscombe. Andy Strike took the only point for Joola, beating James Lock in the 5th, but young Ptolemy Beman also won praise from Fort for his strong performance and potential. Astor B are not far behind the leaders but lost ground losing 4-6 to Lee Mill (Richard Smaridge 3). Woodland Fort B won 7-3 at home to Railway E. Fort's John Goodfield celebrated his second hat-trick of the week and Norman Hall his first of the season. Woodland Fort D lost 2-8 to their C team-mates thanks to maximums from Richard Searle and Barry Oliver. Oliver secured his first maximum by beating Rob Batten 12-14 in the 5th.
A top of the table clash in Div 3 saw Joola F draw with Astor E. Bailey Page lost his unbeaten record to Bob Steele in the first set, his team-mate, Ben Cresswell later taking revenge against Steele so there were no maximums. Joola H met Astor D winning 7-3 with Joola's Tim Diss making his first appearance in the league this season by taking 3 singles. Joola G won 8-2 over visitors Chaddlewood E with Mike Townsend getting 3 and Chaddy's Adam Forshaw taking the two points for his team. Chaddlewood D were home to Woodland Fort E losing 3-7 to the visitors for whom Nigel Aston took 3, putting Chaddy's Mike Chapple back in his place after his exploits in Div 1! Chapple came back from that loss to beat Dave Backholer 16-14 in the 5th. The match of the week was the bottom of the table clash between Railway F and Joola I. Jason Butler won his first ever maximum for Railway and Danielle Tweedie won her first point while John Bone, Julie Lang and Jewel Vittle all scored their first points this season for Joola. Ben Osborn paired with Butler to win the doubles so all six competitors won their first points this season! Congratulations all round! The match ended appropriately in a draw.
Top team Railway A of Division One were without 100% man Mark Weymouth but still won 4-6 against their C team. Jacob Kodicek and Martin Parnell for the A team took 3 each but, surprisingly, lost the doubles to Colin Mitchell and Steve Foster in the 5th. Second placed Joola A also played their C team with the same winning score. Ian Roper kept his unbeaten record though Angharad Beman took him to 5 ends. It was a late night for Crafthole A to get home when they were away to Chaddlewood B, winning 3-7. One reason was that Bob Thompson, playing his first match for Crafthole, made the most of it with all three of his singles going to the 5th, winning two. Another reason was Shirley Luckhurst's set with Chaddy's Steve Hugh in which the two defended the last point in the first end with a rally close to 200 strokes, before Shirley found the net, lost the end and, eventually, the set. After scoring only 2 points in their last 2 matches, Railway B came away with a 4-6 win against Astor A. Railway's Gary West showed a return to form after two ducks by taking his hat-trick though Steve Cookson and Garlick took him to the 5th end.
Division Two leaders Railway D (Clive Davies, Chris Ford and Andy Watmore with his first maximum) claimed the first whitewash of the season in this division, beating Woodland Fort D 10-0, no set reaching 5 ends. With Colin Poyntz injured, Woodland Fort called up Ian Lindsey against visitors Crafthole B but he could not contribute to the 5-5 score, Crafthole's Paul Ager scoring an excellent first maximum. When Joola D entertained Astor B, youth met experience and, this time, experience won, 2-8 (Peter Kratochivila with his first maximum, Les Cole with his second). Ethan Nankivell lost to Les Cole in 3 ends but the scores 10-12, 13-15 and 11-13 indicate that, with a bit more practice, the youngster will soon be able to reverse that result. Railway E beat Astor C 7-3, Dave Turnbull taking his first hat-trick. Joola E won 6-4 against visitors Woodland Fort C, Fort's Mike Willis returning to form without losing an end as he took his maximum.
Astor E (Rob Jenkins, Dave Harding and Nick May) from Division Three are just ahead of Joola F, thanks to a 10-0 win against Joola I, every set finishing in 3 ends. Joola F (Bailey Page still unbeaten) won 6-4 away to Crafthole C. Crafthole's Grant Pomeroy won the tightest set against Ben Cresswell 11-4, 13-11, 13-15, 11-13, 13-11! Woodland Fort F (Peter Andrews, Ken Chambers and John Dean) won 0-10 against Chaddlewood E. Chaddy's Adam Forshaw put up the strongest resistance, only losing to John Dean by 11-13 in the 5th. Steve Harvey picked up another maximum for Astor D against visitors Chaddlewood D, his team winning 7-3. Mike Townsend was ill on the day so his team Joola G gifted another 3 points to Railway F but nothing else was given, Joola (Simon Dixon and Peter Debnam) winning 3-7 without needing a 4th end.
In Division 1, Chaddlewood A met their C team and with Denis Cajon re-joining Tony Sweet and Glyn Price after a knee injury, the A team are back to full strength, demonstrated by their 0-10 win. It was almost the same score for Joola B, Christian Nankivell, Tom Doidge and Dylan Jones, the boys winning all their singles against Railway C before Steve Foster and Colin Mitchell combined to win the doubles for Railway. In the Cornwall derby, Crafthole A were home to Siblyback. A tight match ensued with Crafthole (Shirley Luckhurst 3) finishing on top, 6-4. Chaddlewood B visited an out of sorts Railway B. Only John Palmer put up resistance with a singles and the doubles with Gary West as Chaddy (Steve Hugh and Jon Payn getting their first maximums) rode their luck to an unexpected 2-8 win.
In Division 2, Crafthole B’s Anthony Shapland took his first maximum plus the doubles with Martin Hynes to take his team to an 8-2 win over Joola E. Woodland Fort B (Jon Goodfield with his first maximum) beat visitors Lee Mill 7-3, inflicting a first defeat on last week’s leaders. Woodland Fort’s Abel Hernandez put up a strong resistance with a hat-trick but could not prevent Railway E from winning the doubles and the match 4-6. Astor B had top player Les Cole absent, so called on Steve Harvey to play up from Div 3 when they entertained Woodland Fort A, who were also without their top player, Brian Luscombe, Richard Burley playing up. Steve’s attacking style gave him his 3 singles without losing an end, plus the doubles with Tony Powlesland, and helped Astor to a 7-3 win. Congratulations, Steve! Richard Searle’s first maximum plus the doubles with Barrie Oliver gave his team, Woodland Fort C, a 6-4 win over Railway D.
Woodland Fort’s Nigel Aston was undefeated when his team visited Joola F but the youngsters, Bailey Page and Ben Cresswell, with 3 singles each and the doubles, took that away from him as Joola won 7-3. Nigel did take Bailey to 5 ends, but could not dent Bailey’s 100% record this season. Astor E (Bob Steele, Dave Harding and Rob Jenkins) had a 10-0 win over Crafthole C but it was not all plain-sailing as Crafthole’s Holly Davis and Jason Knell both took Bob Steele to the 5th. Bob was 2 ends to 1 down to Jason before winning the 4th end 21-19 and going on to take the 5th. It must have been a quick match when Joola H were home to Chaddlewood E, both teams with only 2 players. Brothers Ivan and Harry Chan took all their points to produce the odd-looking score of 5-0 to Joola. Woodland Fort F (Pete Andrews, Ken Chambers and Dave Brown) beat Railway F 10-0 without going beyond 3 ends. Fort said that Railway’s lack of expertise is balanced by their cheerfulness and enthusiasm and that they are a pleasure to play against. Joola G also enjoyed a 10-0 win against lowly Joola I, though John Bone’s game against G’s Peter Debnam saw John playing his very best in the 3rd end with a succession of tightly-angled shots down both lines, winning that end 11-2 and leading by 2 ends to 1. Peter then came back to win the last 2 ends and the game. Chaddlewood D had John’s daughter, Laura, making her first appearance this year but, like her dad, coming away pointless in Chaddy’s 4-6 loss to Astor Molyneux (John Dodd 3).
Railway A (Mark Weymouth, Martin Parnell and Jacob Kodicek) are comfortable at the top of Div 1 with a five point lead and a game in hand on their closest rivals. This week they met their B team in a local derby and they finished 10-0 although there were some good games played. Joola A (Ian Roper 3,) were at home to Chaddlewood C in a tight match ending in a draw, Shaun Gilbert and Steve Hill both beating Kevin Giles 11-9 in the 5th. Joola B (Christian Nankivell, Jaydon Weston and Dylan Jones) took all the singles in their match away to Astor A, though Astor took 4 games to 5 ends. Experience showed in the doubles, however, Steves Garlick and Cookson winning in straight sets. Chaddlewood A (Tony Sweet and Glyn Price 3 each) had Russ Keith playing up to help them to an 8-2 win against Crafthole A who were a player short. Railway C entertained Joola C in a tight match ending in a draw. Joola had 12 year-old Bailey Page playing up from Div 3. He took a point from Steve Foster and only lost to Bryn Ford in the 5th. Quite a week for him as he was also interviewed on television with David Wetherill and Paul Whiting. 2 man Chaddlewood B played visitors Sibleyback (Miles Noel-Johnson 3), losing 4-6. As there was no third player, Chaddy's Jon Payn had to play doubles and move from his customary, stationary position 2 inches from the table. Leaping about with the agility of a two-legged donkey, he succeeded in tripping up his partner Steve Hugh a number of times on their way to a 4 set defeat.
It's tight at the top of Div 2 with only four points separating 4 teams. Leaders by one point, Joola D (Archie Trott 3) beat Woodland Fort B 7-3. Fort's Jon Goodfield played hard for no singles points, losing twice in the 5th, 13-11 to Trott and 15-13 to Ethan Nankivell. He got some revenge in the doubles, beating them with Norman Hall. Second placed Lee Mill (Richard Smaridge 3, unbeaten in 15 singles) beat Astor C 6-4. Joola E lost 2-8 to Railway D (Clive Davis 3). Wayne Tucker's first maximum this season helped Railway E to a 6-4 win over Woodland Fort C. It was the same score for Crafthole B against visitors Astor C, Martin Wilcox also taking his first maximum.
Joola F top Div 3, beating 2 player Astor D 2-8. Bailey Page and Ben Cresswell took 3 each plus the doubles. Bailey is unbeaten in 15 singles though Astor's Steve Harvey came close to spoiling that, only losing 9-11 in the 5th. Joola G (Michael Townsend 3) won 7-3 to Woodland Fort F. Woodland Fort E were home to Astor E, losing 3-7, Astor's Bob Steele with a maximum though Keith Phillips pushed him to the 5th. There is a battle developing at the bottom of Div 3 between the experienced Joola I and newcomers Railway F, neither team winning a point in their first 3 matches. First blood went to Railway F this week when they were at home to 2 player Joola H, automatically scoring 3 points. Brothers Ivan and Harry Chan took 3 each plus the doubles to make it 3-7. Joola I lost 0-10 to Crafthole C (Trevor Luckhurst, Holly Davis and P&DTTC chairman Pete Nicholson). The League needs more teams like Joola I and Railway F, playing for fun, exercise and camaraderie. Their much-anticipated, first, head-on clash will be at the end of October.
The 2018/19 table tennis season is well under way in the League of the Plymouth and District Table Tennis Club, sponsored by Plymouth Trophyman with over 150 players in 38 teams in 3 divisions and 33 players in a Pairs League run by Joola TTC.
After week 4, Railway A (Jacob Kodichek, Mark Weymouth, Martin Parnell and Phill Nile) are the early leaders in Div 1 having beaten the bottom team, Chaddlewood B 10-0. No match went past 3 ends though Mike Chapple, playing up from Div 3, played exceptionally well and was praised by all. Joola A were away to Crafthole A and took a 7-3 win with Ian Roper and Kevin Giles taking 3 each plus the doubles together though Mike Cookson only lost 10-12 in the 5th to Kevin. Two-man Chaddlewood A were away to Sibleyback winning 7-3, all in 3 ends. It will be difficult for them to make up the points lost through injury and unavailability. Railway B entertained the juniors of Joola B and were leading comfortably until the youngsters won the last 3 matches to tie. Joola C were at home to Astor A, winning 6-4 with Angharad Beman winning 3 singles, though Steve Garlick only lost to her 9-11 in the 5th.
In Div 2, Graham Pearson, for Joola E, showed a return to form with a hat-trick against Astor B, but his team lost 3-7. Railway D took on club mates Railway E who were a player short. Wayne Tucker won the only point for the E team when he beat Andy Watmore in the 5th of a very close match. Chris Ford and Clive Davies scored 3 singles each plus the doubles together. Astor C were at home to Joola D, winning 6-4 against the youngsters. Trevor Mole took a hat-trick while Tony Bray won his first point of the season, 14-12 in the 5th against Ethan Nankivell. Woodland Fort D lost 2-8 to visitors Lee Mill (Mark Chapman and Richard Smaridge 3 each plus the doubles together). In the closest match, Fort's Rob Batten beat Wendy Roberts 12-10 in the 5th.
In Div 3, Crafthole C took on Woodland Fort E and won 8-2. Trevor Luckhurst beat Dave Backholer in the 5th end of a close match that included a second end of 16-14. Woodland Fort E won with 2 hat-tricks obtained by Nigel Aston and Keith Phillips. Chaddlewood D (Mike Chapple, back in his comfort zone, James Marsh and Chris Hemmings) were at home to Railway F (aka the Railway Children - don't ask me). Chaddy romped away to a 9-0 lead without losing an end, then the “Children” dug their collective heels in and battled bravely before finally losing in the 5thend of the doubles. Joola F pla