TIMES & DIRECTORY MATCH REPORT – Promising Cup Start for New Milton Table Tennis Players
There were no league matches last week as the week was given over to the Preliminary Round of the Annual Times and Directory Handicap Cup competition. The New Milton Table Tennis Club has entered seven of its ten teams into this year’s competition and five of them were drawn into the preliminary round. Four out of the five won through to the first round proper with one of the teams losing by the skin of their teeth.
The Cup provides an interesting diversion from the league programme in that it enables teams across all divisions to be drawn against each other in a handicapped competition, best of three matches up to 31, with no doubles.
The Premier’s A team literally got the ball rolling with a 8-1 victory over Bournemouth Sports N from Div 4. Milton were gifted three games as the Bourne turned up at Mudeford Wood a player short on Monday night. Captain Brian Vibert playing with a handicap of +4 beat both players present as did Steve Hemmings (+6), and Phil Handy (+4) won one of his two. Milton will probably have harder evenings as they try to improve on their last year’s cup runners-up position.
The F team (Div 3) played at Mudeford Wood the same night and also played host to another under-strength Bournemouth Sports team, in their case the Premier’s C team whom they beat 7-2. Captain Sylvia Smith playing off +20 beat both players who turned up to add to the three game advantage and Ian Linney (+19) and Frank Handy (+17) both won one out of two.
The following night saw the D team (Div 2) host Div 1’s Ringwood A at the Arnewood School and beat them 6-2. Bob Fagan (+16) scored an impressive hat-trick, Roy Hobbs (+16) won two out of three and captain Terry Jenvey (+13) won one of his two matches.
Div 1’s B team (Malcolm Floyd, Shaun Newcomb and Julie Smillie, all playing off +13) travelled away to take on Broadstone B and came away with a 5-2 victory for their pains. Newcomb played a blinder to claim his hat-trick, Smillie won both her games, but captain Floyd had an off night to lose both his.
For the J team who normally play in Div 5, it was a case of so near yet so far as they narrowly lost 4-5 away against Div 3’s Bournemouth Sports L. It looked all over as Geoff Briggs (+25), Sam Watkins (+23) and captain Malcolm Douglas (+21) coasted into a 4-0 lead, so they needed just one more win to go through to the next round of the cup. However, that proved to be Milton’s high-water mark as they went on to lose the next five matches and exit the cup. The Jays live to fight another day however as first-round losers go through to the “Plate” competition.