Category Archives: 1. News
General club and site news
Third Time Lucky For Sylvia!
New Milton Table Tennis Club’s annual closed tournaments culminated in their Grand Finals Night at the Mudeford Wood Community Centre on Monday 30th May.
First up were the Handicap Singles semi-finals which had had to be carried over. Simon Daish took on fellow Div. 3 player John Parkhouse, but had to give Parkhouse a +8 start because of a higher league winning average. Daish did very well to win in two straight sets 21-19, 21-17.
The other Handicap Singles semi-final was between Div. 3’s James Cheesman and Div. 4’s Sylvia Smith who had a +3 start. In another two-setter, Smith’s forehand and backhand attack came to the fore and she won 21-16, 21-18.
In the Handicap Singles final, Sylvia Smith received a +8 start from Simon Daish, and Smith scraped the first set 21-20. Daish then recovered his composure to take the next two sets 21-15, 21-18 to claim the title. It seemed a case of “always the bridesmaid” for Sylvia, who had come runner-up in the Ladies Handicap Singles to fellow teammate Helen Hosie.
The Vets Over 40’s Handicap final saw Nick Dayman comfortably beat Sid Daynes in two straight sets 21-9, 21-13.
James Cheesman was in action again, this time against Div. 4’s James Harper in the Under 40’s Handicap final. Although Harper had a +4 start, Cheesman recovered his confidence to win in two straight sets 21-19, 21-17.
The Handicap Doubles saw the omni-present Sylvia Smith partner Andy Ingram against Malcolm Floyd & James Harper. Smith & Ingram benefited from a small +2 start in this all-Div. 4 affair, and they scraped the first set 21-20. Floyd & Harper eventually got their act together and took the second set comfortably 21-16 to set up an intriguing finale. Smith & Ingram galloped into a commanding lead, but Floyd & Harper kept chipping away and looked to be in the ascendant. That was until Floyd fault-served and the match slipped away from them, with their jubilant opponents winning 21-18. Sylvia got her hands on a winning trophy at the third attempt!
The showpiece event of the club’s annual tournament finals is the Open Singles final. Matthew Daish (Simon’s younger brother) played club newcomer Ian Hamilton. Hamilton has really impressed at recent club practice nights, but it was a big ask for him, as Daish – who has a world ranking – recently won the Swansea Open Title without losing a set. However, it was really nip and tuck in the first set but Daish just shaded it 13-11. In some breath-taking rallies, Daish’s powerful forehand loop shots dominated proceedings to win the next two sets 11-5, 11-5 to take the title.
Thanks to Club Secretary & Tournament Organiser Bev Scott-Johns for yet another set of very well organised tournaments. Bev is a Table Tennis England qualified Tournament Organiser and County Umpire; both skills being very much in evidence during the tournaments.
Five players from the New Milton Table Tennis Club made it through to the Finals night of the Bournemouth & District Table Tennis Association annual tournaments. Two of them emerged as champions, one of them by default, the other at the expense of a fellow clubmate.
New Milton’s 17 year old Brett Bentley was awarded the Junior title by default as Bournemouth Sports player Daniel Chen had tested positive for COVID so couldn’t play.
Sylvia Smith faced Rob Hill from the Bournemouth Sports club in the Division 4 final, having already lost to him twice in the league. From the off, Smith had problems with Hill’s tricky serve, so she was largely playing catch-up throughout their match, narrowly losing the first end 9-11. Smith was able to compensate with some very effective back hand shots in open play and scraped the second end by 13-11, to level things off. The next two ends proved very tight, but Smith lost them 10-12 and 9-11.
In the Division 3 Final, Milton’s Andrew Daish faced Broadstone’s Phil Mayall and narrowly lost the first end 11-13. Left-hander Daish powered back to take the second 11-9, but then sadly faded to lose the next two ends 7-11, 4-11.
In the Over 70s final, Milton’s Mike Gent took on Richard Crockley from the Bournemouth Sports club. Gent narrowly lost the first two ends 9-11, 10-12 but did very well to claw back the third 11-8. That proved to be a false hope however as Crockley comfortably took the fourth 11-4 to land the title.
Sylvia Smith had a second crack at a title as she took on fellow Miltonian Andy Ingram in the Bournemouth Handicap final, having already beaten him twice in the league in Div 4. Playing off scratch as they had identical winning averages in Divison 4, Smith scraped the first end 21-20, but left-hander Ingram took the second comfortably 21-9 to level things off. It was nip and tuck throughout the decider as to be expected, but Ingram just shaded it 21-18 to land the Handicap title.
The trophies will be presented to the winners and runners up at the Bournemouth & District Table Tennis Association’s annual presentation evening due to be held on 28th May.
Author: Malcolm Floyd
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
At the recent Annual Presentation Evening of the Bournemouth and District Table Tennis Association, New Milton Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns was pleasantly surprised but delighted to be awarded the association’s prestigious Michael Wettstein Cup for Outstanding Services In Administration.
This accolade recognised Bev’s sterling work on the Bournemouth and District Management Committee, especially for keeping the Pairs League going over the past season, and as a very efficient and proactive league club secretary. Bev has many strings to his bow; he is a County Umpire and Tournament Organiser, both skills being much in evidence on behalf of his club and the local leagues. Bev is pictured below having proudly received his trophy from guest of honour Charlie Childs, a Board Member of Table Tennis England (Bev is on the left!).
This honour comes hot on the heels of Bev being awarded New Milton 2019 Citizen of the Year for his long-term service to the sport of Table Tennis and particularly his long-term commitment as a volunteer at New Milton Table Tennis Club. Bev has been a volunteer for over 30 years supporting its membership, a successful and multi-ability club, with the youngest being 10 years old, and the oldest 80 years young.
It was only just over a year ago that Bev received a Torch Trophy Trust Award for Outstanding Services to Sport, presented by none other than HRH the Duke of Gloucester. In reading out Bev’s citation, England and West Ham legend Sir Trevor Brooking CBE said that if ever Bev were to leave the New Milton Club, they would need at least three people to replace him! It is good to see that Bev is rightfully receiving recognition for his many years of service to the sport.
Back to the Bournemouth & District Presentation Evening, Bev wasn’t the only member of the New Milton Club to receive an award. On behalf of her H team, Taki Hall collected the runners-up trophies for the Times & Directory Handicap Plate competition for the second year running, and Kai Major collected the Under 18’s winners trophy.
Former club chairman Steve Hemmings won the Vets 60+ title, and England Veteran Brian Bickell won the Vets 70+ title for the second year running. Bev collected the Div 2 Individual’s runner-up shield on behalf of Svet Ignatov who was unable to attend.
Steve Hemmings was called up to the front for a second time as he and Merton’s Kevan Smith jointly received the trophy for the Best Match of the Individuals Tournaments. The Club was also delighted that Broadstone Club’s Krzysztof Skwarek, a regular and popular visitor to New Milton club practice nights, received the award for the League’s Most Improved Player of the season.
The New Milton Club is always on the lookout for new members, from experienced players to absolute beginners, but would particularly like to attract more junior and female players. The first visit to the Club is free! Anybody interested in joining our very friendly club, or who would just like a bit more information, should contact Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns on 01425 619552.
17 members and guests of the New Milton Table Tennis club attended their annual Christmas Party at the Carpenters Arms on Friday 14th December. Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns gave a report of the activities of the club which appears in full below:-
First of all I would like to welcome you and say thank you to everyone for coming to our Christmas Party tonight. I would also like to thank Lynn for organising this event on our behalf. The previous Christmas Party was held exactly a year ago on the 15th December. The last twelve months have been a mixture of sadness and some success for our club.
We were saddened to learn of the death of Mrs Sue Daish in August. All seven of Sue’s children had been playing members of the New Milton Table Tennis Club from about 1995 until the present day. Sue regularly transported the children to our various club night activities from their house in Lymington to our club venues at Mudeford Wood, the Grange School and Sway Village Hall. Several current and former club members were among those who attended the funeral at St. Thomas’s Church, Lymington on the 31st August. We were also sorry to learn of the death of Malcolm Elliott in January. Malcolm played league table tennis for New Milton TTC for 55 years up to the end of the 2010/2011 season when he retired from the sport. The first time that Malcolm played for New Milton was during the 1955/56 Season.
Turning to the activities of the New Milton Table Tennis Club. Mudeford Wood Community Centre has been our primary table tennis venue since 2004. We are in our fifth season at the Grange School, Christchurch. Attendances continue to hold up well at the Sunday night club sessions. We frequently have guest visitors from other local clubs who come from as far away as Broadstone.
I am pleased to report that at the conclusion of the 2017/2018 season two teams, New Milton G and L both won promotion to the 2nd and 4th Divisions having secured the “Runners-Up” spot in Divisions 3 and 5 respectively; In the Times & Directory Handicap competition New Milton J won the Final of the T & D Cup event and New Milton M were “Runners-Up” in the Final of the T & D Plate. In the BDTTA Individual Tournaments held during March New Milton players won six titles and were the runners-up in a further singles event. Brian Bickell won all four veteran’s titles for which he received a standing ovation at the BDTTA Presentation Evening in May. Sadly Brian is unable to be with us tonight as he is playing in a Veteran’s Tournament this weekend.
New Milton TTC was only able to enter 10 teams in the Bournemouth League this season because of a continuing problem with injuries although we have 51 registered players. At this point in the season the highest placed team is New Milton H who are in 3rd place in Division 4.
At the start of the current season The Bournemouth & District Table Tennis Association reduced the number of divisions from six to five. Three of the divisions (1, 2 & 4) contain 11 teams each, the Premier contains 10 teams and Division 3 contains 12 teams.
Club Chairman, Steve Hemmings had to stand down from the Committee in January because of health issues. Steve oversaw the migration of the New Milton Table Tennis Club from Sway Village Hall and Arnewood School to the Grange in 2014 achieved with minimal disruption to our club night activities. Steve successfully negotiated the terms of the new lease. I am pleased to report that Steve has recovered and has returned to playing table tennis in the Premier Division.
Club Treasurer Malcolm Floyd stood down from the committee at the 2018 Annual General Meeting after over 12 years’ service in that role. Malcolm afforded me considerable support by recording the minutes of our regular committee meetings. We will miss his weekly report of our club’s activities in the New Milton Advertiser and his postings on the New Milton TTC web site. A few years ago Malcolm was jointly awarded the “Press Officer of the Year” Award by the ETTA. In the spring of 2017 Malcolm undertook a considerable amount of work to enable the club to achieve its present ClubMark rating.
I was honoured and proud to be nominated by Malcolm to receive the prestigious Torch Trophy Trust Award for Outstanding Service to Sport, presented by HRH the Duke of Gloucester. The Awards Ceremony was held on the 7th March and took place at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London SW1. I was accompanied to the ceremony by Malcolm, Shaun and Simon Golding, who kindly arranged the transport.
My citation was read out by Sir Trevor Brooking, CBE, former England and West Ham player and the award presented by the HRH Duke of Gloucester. There were 21 recipients who were successfully nominated for this award in both able bodied and disability sports. Each recipient received a handbook, a certificate signed by Sir Bobby Charlton, CBE and Paul Dimond, CBE together with an engraved glass trophy contained in a blue presentation box. It was a wonderful and memorable day.
We have entered two teams in the Dorset Pairs League. This event is played at the Grange School venue on Wednesday evenings.
It only remains for me to wish everybody a happy and peaceful Christmas and extend my best wishes for the New Year.
New Milton Table Tennis Club’s annual closed tournaments culminated in their Grand Finals Night at the Grange School, Somerford on Thursday 14th June in front of a small but appreciative crowd.
First up was the Ladies Handicap Singles Final, which was the one and only match in this event as there were only two entrants, Sylvia Smith and Lynn Willrich. Willrich was out for revenge as she lost to Smith in last year’s final and was determined to capitalise on her +5 start. She came out with all guns blazing but Smith caught up at 15-15 only for her to fade and lose it 19-21. Willrich really started to believe and carried on with her outright attack to win the second 21-17 to reclaim her trophy from two years ago.
Next up was the Under 40s Handicap Singles between Kai Major and Michael Kominek. Kominek had a +10 start and completely overwhelmed Major to take the first set 21-6. Major recovered some composure to take the second 21-16, but Kominek wasn’t having any more of that and took the decider 8-21.
The Over 40s Handicap Singles was the first of the two finals between Stuart Burton and Plamen Petrov. Burton had a start of +11 but Petrov’s clever combination play proved too much for him and won it 21-19, 21-17.
To give Burton and Petrov a break between their next contest in the Handicap Singles Final, an Exhibition Match was staged between Matt Daish and Jack Trafford. This was a repeat of the Junior Singles Final which was held earlier on 10th May and the same outcome with Daish winning in two straight sets. Club members don’t often get the chance to see 17 year old Daish in action these days as he now plays in the German league. Next season he will playing in the Oberliga having recently signed for TTG Neckarbischofsheim based near Stuttgart. Trafford was voted the club’s joint most improved player last season and achieved an impressive 65% winning average in his first season in the Premier of the Bournemouth & District league.
The Handicap Singles Final had an air of inevitability about it as Petrov once again proved too much for Burton and won it again in two straight sets, 21-15, 21-17.
Petrov (pictured below) was looking for his third title of the evening as he and Sid Daynes took on Krzysztof Skwarek & John Parkhouse in the Doubles Final. Petrov and Daynes seemed to gel better than their opponents, and benefiting from a small +3 start they won it 21-14, 21-18.
Petrov looked like landing his fourth title as he won the first two sets against 15 year old Jack Trafford in the Open Singles Final 11-8, 11-6, mainly by effectively blocking Trafford’s forehand loops. However, the teenager sneaked the third set 12-10 and then the fourth more convincingly at 11-6 to set up the decider. Trafford was determined not to let Petrov back in the game, and with much more varied serves and attacking strokes he won it decisively 11-3.
Thanks to Club Secretary & Tournament Organiser Bev Scott-Johns for yet another set of very well organised tournaments. Bev is a Table Tennis England qualified Tournament Organiser and County Umpire; both skills being very much in evidence during the tournaments.
Members and guests of the New Milton Table Tennis Club attended the recent Annual Presentation Evening of the Bournemouth and District Table Tennis Association, and witnessed a procession of club members going to the front to collect their trophies.
The presentations were made by Guest of Honour Tony Clayton, who is President of the Dorset Table Tennis Association and former England International. One of Tony’s great claims to fame was being in the England team which visited China during the so-called “Ping Pong Diplomacy” episode in 1971.
First up for New Milton, Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns collected the League Division 5 team runners-up trophies on behalf of Mike Melaniphy’s L team, none of whom were able to attend the event.
Next up were Terry Jenvey (captain) and Rob Fagan from the G team to pick up their Division 3 league runners-up trophies. The Gees led the way for most of the season, but were pipped to the post by one point by winners Bournemouth Sports K. It wasn’t long before Jenvey had to return to the front to pick up his Division 3 Individuals runner-up trophy.
Stuart Burton (captain) and Taki Hall were there to represent the M team who came runners-up in the Times and Directory Handicap Plate, and the J team’s Mike Roberts (captain), John Parkhouse, Plamen Petrov and Adam Titcombe were on hand to collect their Times & Directory Handicap Cup winners tophies.
Taki Hall had to return to the front to collect her Division 5 Individuals winners trophy from her first ever appearance in the tournaments, and 15 year old Jack Trafford picked up the Under 15s winners trophy for the second year running.
Club Veteran Brian Bickell (pictured below with Tony Clayton) improved on last year’s haul of the Vets 60+ and Vets 70+ titles by adding the Vets 40+ and Vets 50+ titles to his belt, the first time that all four Vets titles have been won by one individual. To spare our hero’s legs, he was told to stay at the front rather than make three return trips.
People were scratching their heads as to whether or not any player had won the David Woodcock Trophy for Most Improved Player on more than one occasion, but this distinction certainly fell to 17 year old Kai Major, who previously won it in the 2014/2015 season. Kai (pictured below) returned to table tennis after courageously battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, for which he underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Southampton Paediatric Oncology Unit. He was classed as being in remission in January 2017 and has made an enthusiastic and successful return to the sport, gaining a 50% winning average in his first season in the Premier, winning a couple of hat-tricks in the process.
New Milton Club Secretary Bev Scott-Johns continued to receive plaudits after receiving a prestigious Torch Trophy Trust Award for Outstanding Service to Sport back in March. This accolade had pride of place in the Bournemouth Association’s newsletter which was available at the presentation dinner. Bev was very proud to receive the award from HRH the Duke of Gloucester at the 55th Annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards ceremony at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London, his citation having been read out by West Ham and England football legend Sir Trevor Brooking CBE.
With the New Milton J team winning the Annual Times and Directory Handicap Cup Final the previous week, the New Milton Table Tennis Club were hoping for a Times and Directory double as their M team made it through to the Plate final.
The M team represented by Stuart Burton (Captain), Taki Hall and Maggie Brown took on the all female Bournemouth Sports M team of Maggie White (Captain), Marina Scott and Karen Kelly. Both teams coming from Division 5 in the league, the form book was with the Bourne as they had won their first two encounters 7-3 and drew their final clash 5-5 in early April. The Milton team are pictured below l-r Maggie Brown, Stuart Burton (Captain), Taki Hall:-
Milton got off to a promising start however as Captain Burton, benefiting from a +7 start beat fellow captain White in two straight sets. Next up, Ms Hall took on White’s daughter Marina Scott and really struggled with Scott’s +6 start and lost in two straight sets 13-21, 14-21. The third match saw Brown overcome a 7 deficit to win her first set against Kelly, but lost the next two 12-21, 19-21 for the Bourne to take the lead.
Bournemouth were clearly on a roll and won the next two matches, with Milton’s Hall needing to beat Kelly to stay in the Plate. Once again, Hall was on the wrong side of the handcapping, this time giving away a +6 start to Kelly. Kelly used her start intelligently and positively and blew Hall away in the first set 21-9. Hall did incredibly well to gradually eat away at the handicap in the second set, only to narrowly lose it 18-21. That was it, 5-1 to the Bourne to get their hands on the Plate.
In the Annual Times and Directory Handicap Cup Final, New Milton J represented by Plamen Petrov, Mike Roberts (captain) and Adam Titcombe (team pictured below) had a really tough task on their hands against Winton YMCA F (Peter Baggs, Yari Troschey and Michael Kominek). In the Bournemouth & District league, the Milton team ended up comfortably mid-table in Division 3 while Winton were run away leaders of Division 4, so it made for a very tight match. Being new to the league with unknown form it’s fair to say that Troschey’s and Kominek’s handicaps were generous as indeed was Petrov’s for New Milton.
Petrov literally got the ball rolling as he quickly overhauled Baggs’ +4 start to win the first match of the evening comfortably in two straight sets 21-12, 21-15. Next up was 14 year old Titcombe against the very awkward pen-holder Troschey who was second in the winning averages in Division 4. It was virtually a “scratch” match as Troschey had a +1 start and Titcombe did well to keep in touch during the first set albeit narrowly losing 18-21. The second set was a completely different matter as Troschey kept catching the Milton youngster out of position to win 21-9 to make it 1-1.
Captain Roberts had to give away a +2 start to Kominek who is top of the Div 4 winning averages, and this match was the first to go all the way to three sets. Roberts drew first blood against the much more orthodox Kominek by taking the first set 21-16 but then seemed to lose his way to drop the next two 13-21, 11-21 for Winton to lead 2-1. In another three-setter, Petrov gave away a +4 start to Troschey and lost the first set 16-21, but caught up at 8-8 in the second to eventually win it 21-17. During the decider, Petrov’s serve was called out by the opposition but this seemed to disturb Troschey more than Petrov who seamlessly corrected his serve. Troschey led 20-19 with 2 match points but Petrov won the next two points to restore parity at 2-2.
In the fifth match, Roberts took the first set off Baggs 21-16 having conceded a small +1 start. It was in the second set that Roberts truly displayed his captain’s mettle as he recovered from going 12-18 down only to sensationally come back to win 21-20 to give Milton the lead 3-2. In their “scratch” match, teenager Titcombe quickly seized the initiative and comprehensively beat Kominek 21-12 in the first set but went on to lose the next two 16-21, 15-21 to make it 3-3.
Next up in this thrilling nail-biter, captain Roberts (+1) heavily lost 10-21 to Troschev whom he found very awkward with his pen-holder drives down both wings. Roberts recovered well to take the next set 21-19 having worked the Winton man out and with the benefit of a late lucky net cord and an “edge”. It was nip and tuck throughout the decider but Troschev started hitting again and won 21-15 for Winton to take the lead 4-3.
Milton had to win the next match to avoid crashing out of the Cup and up stepped Petrov against Kominek receiving a +3 start. Petrov really didn’t get into his stride in the first set and lost 11-21 with things looking really bleak for Milton. It looked even bleaker as Kominek had three championship points at 21-19 but Petrov won the next two points to save the match. The deciding set was a much more different matter as a slightly deflated Kominek was making more unforced errors, with Petrov winning quite comfortably 21-11 to set up a thrilling decider at 4-4.
They say “cometh the hour, cometh the man” and it was on young man Titcombe’s shoulders to beat Baggs who was playing off +1. Up stepped the teenager who seemed completely unfazed by the pressure, displaying a maturity and resolve far beyond his tender years. As the decider got under way, the outcome was never really in any doubt as the much more agile youngster took the first set 21-14 then did likewise in the second to land the Cup for his team. All in all, a thrilling and entertaining Cup Final played in a very friendly, competitive and sporting manner, a brilliant advert for the sport of Table Tennis. And for young Titcombe, the world is his oyster!
Good news also from the New Milton M team (Captain Stuart Burton, Taki Hall & Maggie Brown) who beat Merton F (Dave Chapman, Steve Martin & Norma Millward) 5-4 in their Plate semi-final. Hall scored a hat-trick and Burton bagged a brace, and Brown almost added one to the tally but just lost 20-21, 20-21 to Steve Martin. It could so easily have gone the other way as Burton lost the first set of the decider against Steve Martin 16-21, only to rally and take the second fairly comfortably by 21-13. It was nip and tuck throughout the deciding set but Burton just edged it 21-19 to take his delighted team into the Plate Cup Final.
The New Milton L team was the only team from the New Milton club in action in the Bournemouth and District league last week, and they ended up in second place in Division 5 for their efforts in their last match of the season.
Last week’s team was Paul Owen, Geoff Biggs, Keith Kensley and Captain Mike Melaniphy (fourth man), and they took maximum points off Bournemouth Sports P by beating them 8-2 in their own back yard. Owen came up with his second hat-trick of the campaign and was joined in his treble by Biggs, his fifth of the season. Kensley only just missed out on his own hat-trick by losing to Luke Crisp in 8-11 in the fifth and final set. There was nothing on the doubles but Meliphany and Kensley certainly played as if there were, albeit losing by 3-1.
Milton’s performance against the Bourne side reflects their marked improvement in the second half of the season where they doubled their tally of wins. They lost to the Bourne 4-6 in their first encounter, beat them in their second 6-4, then improved on that with their final 8-2 victory. They also claimed bragging rights over their club mates in the M team as they won their last two encounters 8-2 having lost their first derby clash 4-6.
Paul Owen (pictured above) deserves a special mention in despatches having only returned to table tennis this season after a 46 year break. All three of his opponents were above him in the winning averages, and Owen ended up with a very creditable 52%. His performance last week was all the more remarkable considering it was his first match with his new bat! Also sharing in the glory were the other two squad members Malcolm Douglas and Chris Courage, both of whom put in some very creditable performances during the season.