NEW MILTON “M” WINS TABLE TENNIS PLATE DERBY!
Three of the New Milton Table Tennis Club’s teams had made it through to Round 3 of the Annual Times and Directory Handicap Plate competition. One of the teams was assured progression into the semis as the H and M teams faced each other in a local derby.
The H team represented by Les Smith (captain), Sylvia Smith (no relation) and Ian Linney, who usually play in Division 3, were up against their M team; Stuart Burton (captain), Taki Hall and Maggie Brown from Division 5.
First blood went to Captain Smith as he saw off Ms Brown in two straight sets, but Ms Smith was comfortably beaten by Ms Hall playing off a start of +5 to level things off. Burton used his +8 start cannily, surprising Linney with some fast serving to put his side ahead, but Ms Smith restored parity by beating Ms Brown. That was the H’s high-water mark however as Burton and Hall won their remaining games to secure a 6-2 victory for their M team. Hat-trick hero Burton (pictured below) is looking forward to taking his team to the semi-finals, but their opponents are not yet known.
The G team also made it through to Round 3, but their match against Bournemouth Sports M is yet to be arranged, as is the J team’s Cup semi-final against Ringwood B.
There was also some league action last week. The A team (Umit Kaya, Paul Iliffe & John Millward) lost their re-arranged final match against Merton B 4-6, but this point was enough to leap-frog them over Bournemouth Sports C to finish fourth in the Premier, one position lower than the New Milton B team.
Although the league programme has now finished for the Premier to Div 3 inclusive, there are still four weeks of matches to go for Divs 4 & 5. The already doomed K team (Sid Daynes, Mike Gent & James Harper) lost their Div 4 encounter with Shamrock A by 3-7, but 15 year old Harper distinguished himself with his second hat-trick of the season to spare his team’s blushes.
Div 5 saw the L team (Malcolm Douglas, Geoff Biggs & Keith Kensley) do well to hold third-placed Merton J to a 5-5 draw, having lost 3-7 in their two previous encounters this season. Douglas and Biggs bagged a brace apiece and Kensley chipped in with the one win, making it 5-4 up going into the doubles, with Milton sniffing victory. Douglas & Biggs won the first set 11-7, narrowly lost the second 10-12 having established a good lead, but went on to lose the next two 7-11 & 9-11 to say goodbye to the win.
Div 5 also saw the M team playing their second match in a week following their successful Plate exploits. Fielding exactly the same team (Stuart Burton, Taki Hall & Maggie Brown) against table-toppers Bournemouth Sports N, bottom-placed Milton lost for third time against the Bourne, this time by 3-7. Pleasingly, all three Milton players recorded a win – it could even have been a brace for captain Burton but he tantalisingly lost to Bournemouth star Will Sherlock 13-15 in the fifth and final set. That would have been a real “scalp” for the ever improving Burton as Sherlock has only lost 2 games all season.