New Milton D Team are Promoted in Local Derby
It was very very tight at the top of Division 4 going into the final week of the Bournemouth & District Table Tennis League. Merton G and New Milton E were both on 39 points, but Merton were on top, courtesy of a games difference of just two. At third place on 37 points, New Milton D were just 2 points behind their clubmates, so it was all to play for. This made for an intriguing and competitive local derby between the D & E teams down at the Mudeford Wood Community Centre.
In the final week, Merton were gifted 4 points as basement boys Ringwood C had to concede their match as they were unable to put out a side. This put Merton unassailably on top with 43 points, leaving the New Milton teams to scrap for second place and promotion to Div 3. It was honours-even going into this match as the E team scraped their first encounter of the season 5-4, but the Dees got their revenge with a 6-3 win second time around.
On the night, the D team comprised Helen Hosie, Malcolm Floyd & Sylvia Smith versus the E’s James Harper, Geri Robinson and Andy Ingram. The other members of the D squad, Les Smith (Captain) and Eddie Tompkins were there to spur on their teammates. The first four matches proved very tight, going all the way to five ends but the Dees came out on top in all of them.
First up was Ms Hosie against teenager Harper; Hosie took took the first two sets convincingly, but Harper came back to scrape the second two ends 13-11 and 14-12 respectively to make it 2-2. Hosie then upped her game to take the decider 11-7 to give first blood to the Dees.
Next up was Floyd against Robinson, and Floyd lost the first 2 ends to look like the E’s were going to make it one apiece. However, Floyd then dug in with his dogged defence to take the next two ends and nick it 13-11 at the death. In another very close match which went all the way to five ends, Ms Smith beat left-hander Ingram 11-5 in the final end.
In what proved to be the final five-ender of the evening, Floyd overcame Harper in a very topsy-turvy match. Harper just edged the first end 13-11, but Floyd got stuck in again to see off Harper 11-1 in the second. Floyd won the third 11-7 but Harper took the fourth 11-4 to set up a thrilling decider. It was nip and tuck throughout but Floyd just scraped it 11-9 to put the Dees 4-0 up.
Hosie wasn’t mucking about with her match against Ingram, and won the match in three straight ends. At 5-0 up, this brought the win for the Dees, but they needed to win it by at least 6-3 to leapfrog over their clubmates to second place. Smith won her first end against Robinson 11-8, but lost her way in the second to lose it 11-1 with Robinson really on song. However, Smith took the third end 11-7 and just scraped the fourth 14-12 to clinch the victory. The D team are promoted!
It was now a question of damage limitation for the E’s, but Floyd beat Ingram in three straight ends to go 7-0 up. Smith demolished Harper 11-2 in their first end, but the youngster got his game back together to take the next three to give his team a small consolation. In the final match of the evening, Hosie played imperiously as if it was a decider and saw off Robinson in three straight ends. 8-1 to the Dees and Div 3 beckons!
Author: Malcolm Floyd