BDTTA League Match Report – Week 13: Stand-Ins Stand Up To Be Counted
Three players from the New Milton Table Tennis Club; James Lewis, Simon Golding and Bev Scott-Johns distinguished themselves in the Bournemouth and District league as they not only played for their own teams but stood in for teams at higher levels, acquitting themselves extremely well in the process.
In the Premier, the A team (Steve Hemmings, Brian Vibert and stand-in James Lewis) improved on their first round away draw against Bournemouth Sports D by beating them 7-3 at home. The Milton trio all lost to Bourne’s Tom Andrews to settle for a brace apiece, including Lewis who was playing up from Div 1.
James Lewis didn’t fare so well in Div 1 as his C team were whitewashed 0-10 at home by table-toppers Bournemouth Sports H. Gerard Redman and Max De Kment had already lost all their singles when captain Lewis came the closest to sparing the blushes in the last singles of the evening. Unfortunately, he just lost out to Bourne’s Eric Buckley by 10-12 in the fifth and final set.
Also in Div 1, the B team (Julie Smillie, Zoltan Karib-Barath and stand-in Simon Golding) lost for the second time to Bournemouth Sports F, but this time with the improved scoreline of 4-6. Golding, playing up from Div 3, played his socks off all night and beat Bourne’s J-D Marshall as did his Milton team mates. The point had already been secured when Smillie and Karib-Barath took the doubles in four sets.
Div 2 saw the D team (Terry Jenvey, Roy Hobbs and stand-in Bev Scott-Johns) come a cropper as they lost 1-9 away to Bournemouth Sports J having beaten them at home in the first round. Captain Jenvey avoided the dreaded whitewash as he beat Bourne’s Hannah McErlane. Scott-Johns, playing up from Div 3 came so very close to adding a win to the card but lost to McErlane 13-15 in the fifth and final set.
In Div 3, the E team featuring Bev Scott-Johns, Simon Golding and Bill Page beat lowly Merton E 6-4 at Southbourne having lost to an identical Merton at home in the first round. Captain Scott-Johns returned to form with a couple of very good wins and was joined in a double by Golding playing a blinder for the second night in a row. Page chipped in with the one win and saw Scott-Johns and Golding secure victory in the doubles.
Div 3 also saw the second local derby between the F and G teams. The G team (Matthew Daish, Lewis Reading and Malcolm Nash) were out for revenge after their 3-7 first round defeat, and they gained some satisfaction by holding their club mates to a 5-5 draw. Daish got the better of Ian Linney, Svet Ignatov and Frank Handy, and Lewis also beat Linney. After the singles it was poised 5-4 in favour of the F team, then the Gee’s Daish & Reading beat Ignatov & Handy to level things off.
In Div 4, the H team were looking to improve on their first round away draw with Merton H but lost 3-7 at Arnewood School. It was looking promising after the fourth game as Milton went 3-1 up thanks to a couple from Bobo Jiang and one win from John Parkhouse. That proved to be Milton’s high water mark however as they went on to lose the next six matches including the doubles.
The other of Milton’s local derbies took place in Div 5 as the J team (Geoff Biggs, Sam Watkins and Keith Kensley) took on the K team (Richard Ursell, Lucy Craddock and new signing Richard Brockbank). The Jays were confident following their first round 9-1 mauling of their struggling club mates, but reckoned without an impressive league debut from Brockbank. He deprived Biggs and Watkins of joining Kensley in a treble, his first of the campaign. The Kays needed the doubles to salvage a point and it looked good as Brockbank and Ursell took the first two ends off Watkins and Kensley. However, the next two ends were won by the Jays to set up a thrilling and closely fought finale which Brockbank and Ursell just shaded 13-11 to nick the point at 3-7.