TIMES & DIRECTORY MATCH REPORT – And Then There Were Two (And One In The Plate!)
There was a break in the Bournemouth and District Table Tennis programme last week as the week was given over to the Times and Directory Handicap Competition. The New Milton club now have just two teams left in the Cup and one in the “Plate”.
The Cup provides an interesting diversion from the league programme in that it enables teams from across all divisions to be drawn against each other in a handicapped competition, best of three matches up to 31, with no doubles. The “Plate” competition is run for teams who lose their first match.
Last year’s cup runners-up New Milton A (Brian Vibert, Phil Handy and Steve Hemmings) from the Premier took on Div 2’s Bransgore and beat them 5-1 at Mudeford Wood. Hemmings who was playing off +6 got the ball rolling by winning the first match of the evening and then Handy and captain Vibert (both playing off +4) also won their first matches. Handy won the fourth match but then Hemmings lost to Gore’s Mike Anderson which made it 4-1. Order was once again restored by Vibert who won the sixth to secure a place in Round 3.
Also playing at Mudeford Wood the same evening, the B team (Shaun Newcomb, Malcolm Floyd and Julie Smillie, all playing off +13) from Div 1 came a cropper against last year’s cup winners Bournemouth Sports P (Div 4) to exit the cup. Bourne’s handicaps were less generous than last year but remained pretty formidable with improving youngsters Jake Simpson and Andre Coppard playing off +24 and +23 respectively and wily old veteran Roy Burt off +20. Newcomb and Smillie lost their first matches, but captain Floyd won his to make it 1-2. Smillie lost her second but Newcomb won his to make it 2-3. Floyd got his team back in it by beating Burt, but the advantage swung back to Bourne as Smillie lost to Coppard which made it 3-4. And so Floyd needed to beat young Simpson to keep his team in the cup and this looked likely as it was 28-28 in the third and final end. However, Simpson riskily attacked Floyd’s two serves but to good effect and then won it 31-29 to deprive Milton of further progress.
The G team (Matthew & Simon Daish and Lewis Reading) also saw their cup run come to an end as they lost comprehensively to Lynwood B 0-6 away at Winton.
With the D team (Terry Jenvey, Bob Fagan and Roy Hobbs) beating their H team just after Christmas, this leaves just two of Milton’s teams in the cup proper, ie the A and D teams who go through to Round 3.
The J team (Geoff Biggs, Malcolm Douglas and Keith Kensley) are still in the “Plate” competition as they beat their Div 5 fellows Merton J 6-3 away at Southbourne in the Preliminary Round. Recent signing Biggs played masterfully to win a hat-trick, Kensley bagged a brace and and captain Douglas chipped in with the one win.