IT WAS ALRIGHT ON THE NIGHT FOR NEW MILTON PLAYERS!
Members of the New Milton Club once again picked up a multiplicity of awards at the Bournemouth and District Table Tennis Association’s annual presentation evening at the Ocean View Hotel, Bournemouth.
The awards were presented by John Hilton, former England International and European Champion, who still plays table tennis in the Bolton league, which his team famously won in 2012/2013. John has won many Veteran’s titles and to date he is the only British player to have won the gold medal in the Men’s Singles event at the Table Tennis European Championships.
First up for New Milton was Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns who collected a Cadet Town Badge on behalf of 15 year old Kai Major who was unable to attend due to illness.
The New Milton F team, proudly represented by Mike Roberts, Ian Linney and Sylvia Smith made their way to the front to pick up their Division 4 league winners trophies, having won their division by a country mile.
Following fairly quickly in their wake, the A team’s Steve Hemmings (captain), Matthew Daish and Doug Gerrish picked up their Premier runners-up trophies after an excellent season.
The league trophies out of the way, the G team’s captain Les Smith proudly led his team of Graham Underwood and Eddie Tompkins (pictured below) up to the front to collect their Times & Directory Plate winners trophies, the second year in a row that the Plate was won by a New Milton team. They were closely followed by the F team’s Sylvia Smith, Ian Linney and Mike Roberts who received their Times & Directory Cup runners-up trophies to go along with their Div 4 winners trophies.
Once again, New Milton players were in receipt of a number of Individuals Tournament Trophies. First up for Milton and making his third trip up to the front was the F team’s Ian Linney who collected his Division 4 runners-up trophy and also picked up the winner’s trophy for team-mate Steve Cheesman who was unable to attend.
The C team’s Gerard Redman collected his Division 1 runners-up trophy having lost out to former club mate Martin Jerome who now plays for Ringwood.
The Premier’s Doug Gerrish (pictured below on the right with John Hilton) crowned his maiden season for New Milton by winning the Vets 50+ trophy to go with his Premier league runners-up trophy. His team-mate and captain Steve Hemmings made four trips up to the front in all to collect his runners-up up trophies for the Vets 40+, Vets 50+ and Bournemouth Handicap events to go with his Premier league runners-up trophy. Comments like always the bridesmaid never the bride started to wear a bit thin for club chairman Steve by the end of the evening.
15 year old Matthew Daish (pictured below) paid his second visit to the front and collected his Bournemouth Handicap Singles trophy and he also came under the spotlight in the BDTTA’s annual newsletter which was issued on the night. Amongst Matthew’s many other exploits last season, he averaged 86% for New Milton A who came runners-up in the Bournemouth Premier, and averaged 88% for Waterside A in the Southampton Premier league. He played for Pompey in the Junior British League and helped his team win Division 2, and played for the Waterside club in the Senior British League and helped his team win Division 4. He also helped Hampshire come 2nd in the Junior County Championships in the Premier league, their best result for many, many years. He won the Hampshire U18 Singles Championship title and came runner-up in the Senior Singles event. Matthew’s England ranking has improved enormously since this time last year, rising from 93 to 31 in the Under 18s.
Also mentioned in despatches on the night were Shaun Newcomb, the club’s only wheelchair player who won the Spinal Injuries Association’s Sports and Recreation Achievement Award, and James Lewis who had recently scooped the prestigious Table Tennis England’s Coach of the Year award. Altogether, a really good night for New Milton Table Tennis Club!