PROMOTION & RELEGATION ISSUES GO RIGHT TO THE WIRE!
The New Milton Table Tennis Club won five out of their eight matches in the penultimate week of the Bournemouth and District league, one of them at the expense of one of their own teams in a local derby.
The promotion chasing C team (John Millward, Brian Bickell & Shaun Newcomb) did the double over their D team (Andrew Stainton, Gerard Redman & Rob Blackmore) as they beat them 7-3 in their Div 1 derby. The three points enabled them to leapfrog over Bmth Sports E and dislodge Merton C from second place by dint of superior games difference. Bmth Sports E’s match against second-from-bottom Lynwood B was postponed because of the bad weather, but if they get the same result as they did first time around, this will place the Bourne, Milton and Merton all on 41 points, all vying for the second promotion slot.
The derby saw the club’s only wheelchair-player Newcomb pick up his third hat-trick of the campaign, England Veteran Bickell bagged a brace and captain Millward added one more to the tally. There was nothing on the doubles, but Newcomb & Bickell played as if their lives depended on it and saw off Redman & Blackmore in three straight sets to make it 7-3. Octogenerian Bickell (pictured below) deserves a special mention in despatches as he played two matches simultaneously that night, his hat-trick helping the B team to a 10-0 victory in the Premier, along with trebles from youngsters Jack Trafford and Kai Major.
The already promoted G team (Chris Pusey, Dave Cuddon & Terry Jenvey) cemented their place at the top of Div 3 with a repeat 7-3 win over Winton YMCA D, aided and abetted by Cuddon’s sixth hat-trick of the campaign. Second-placed Bmth Sports K’s match against New Milton J was postponed because of the bad weather so the title remains undecided for now.
Not faring so well in Div 3, the H team represented by Lewis Reading, Dave Sutton and Les Smith gave their hopes of survival a bit of a fillip as they did the double over basement boys Ringwood C, courtesy of hat-tricks from Sutton & Reading. This 7-3 win leapfrogged them over Bmth Sports J to third from bottom, but the bad news is that Reading is unavailable for the final match against Merton G, and second from bottom Bmth Sports J play fall-guys Ringwood C.
Two other Milton players recorded hat-tricks last week, both of them playing for the F team in Div 2. In their 8-2 maximum-pointer over Merton E, captain Steve Cheesman came up with his seventh treble of the campaign, and Mike Roberts, who usually plies his trade in Div 3, played out of his skin to get his full house. With Malcolm Floyd just scraping the one win, the doubles were needed for the extra point and Cheesman & Roberts duly obliged. Full results details appear below:-
Bmth Sports A 10 New Milton A 0
(Umit Kaya 0, Plamen Petrov 0)
New Milton B 10 Ringwood A 0
(Jack Trafford 3, Kai Major 3, Brian Bickell 3)
New Milton C 7 New Milton D 3
(C Team: Brian Bickell 2, John Millward 1, Shaun Newcomb 3)
(D Team: Andrew Stainton 0, Gerard Redman 2, Rob Blackmore 1)
Winton YMCA B 10 New Milton E 0
(Simon Golding 0, Andrew Daish 0, Chris Pusey 0)
Merton E 2 New Milton F 8
(Malcolm Floyd 1, Mike Roberts 3, Steve Cheesman 3)
Winton YMCA D 3 New Milton G 7
(Chris Pusey 1, Dave Cuddon 3, Terry Jenvey 2)
New Milton H 7 Ringwood C 3
(Lewis Reading 3, Dave Sutton 3, Les Smith 0)
Merton J 7 New Milton L 3
(Geoff Biggs 2, Paul Owen 1, Mike Melaniphy 0)