Category Archives: 2. League Reports
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.
Last week, all three of the New Milton teams improved on their previous performances in the Bournemouth & District Table Tennis League this season.
In Division 4, the K team represented by Mike Gent, Sid Daynes & James Harper (pictured below), forced Bournemouth Sports L to a 5-5 draw at the Grange, having lost 4-6 in their two previous encounters. 15 year old Harper and Gent bagged a brace apiece and Daynes added one more to the tally. Milton needed the doubles for a complete turn-around and Harper and Gent very nearly went and did it! The Milton pairing took the fourth set 11-8 to level things off at 2-2, but sadly lost their way a bit in the decider to lose 4-11.
The M team (Stuart Burton, Taki Hall & Maggie Brown) virtually performed the same feat in Div 5. They held Bournemouth Sports M to a 5-5 draw at the Grange, having lost their two previous encounters by 3-7. Captain Burton and Ms Hall won two matches each and combined well in the doubles to secure the draw.
Also in Div 5, the L team represented by Geoff Biggs, Malcolm Douglas, Paul Owen & Fourth Man Mike Melaniphy (captain) did very well to beat second-from-top Merton K 7-3 in their own back yard. Milton went 0-3 down as Merton’s star player Sam Taylor played his matches straight off as he had an early start in the morning. However, the trio won their remaining singles matches, and then Meliphany joined with Douglas to take the doubles.
Bad news for the H team in Div 3 who were sweating on the result of the delayed match between Bournemouth Sports J and Ringwood C. The Bourne won as expected which means that they stay up at the expense of the Milton team.
Bad news also from the G team’s match against Bournemouth Sports M in the quarter-final of the Times & Directory Handicap Plate. Milton (Terry Jenvey (captain), Rob Fagan & Chris Pusey), who normally play in Division 3, faced some tough handicaps from the Division 5 outfit and went down 1-5, Milton’s only reply coming from Fagan.
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.
It was the final week of the Bournemouth & District Table Tennis league last week for the top four divisions, but there are still three weeks of matches remaining for Divisions 4 and 5. Even at this late stage, there are still some league placings and even a relegation issue affecting the New Milton club yet to be decided due to matches still to be played.
The already promoted G team represented by Dave Cuddon, Chris Pusey and captain Terry Jenvey (pictured below) just missed out on the Div 3 title to Bmth Sports K who beat New Milton J 7-3 at Mudeford Wood. The Gees just needed to repeat their first round 7-3 win over Merton F to clinch the title, but a stronger Merton side failed to oblige and reversed the score-line.
Although the Div 3 title has been decided, the third-from-bottom New Milton H team are sweating on the result of the delayed battle of the basement between Ringwood C and Bmth Sports J. If the Bourne repeat their first round draw over Ringwood, then it’s curtains for Milton!
In the Premier, the B team (Jack Trafford, Kai Major and Brian Bickell) were gifted four points as Bmth Sports C only fielded one player, which propelled the Bees to second spot. However, the team that they ousted, Bmth Sports B, have yet to play Broadstone A whom they hammered 10-0 in the first round of matches. The Bourne only need to pick up a point against Broadstone to reclaim second place from Milton, as looks most likely.
The C team’s hopes of a quick return to the Premier after last year’s demotion were extinguished as the other results unfortunately went against them. Milton are yet to play Broadstone B against whom they drew first time around, but they can’t possibly catch Merton C who are second.
Division 5 saw the L team (Paul Owen, Geoff Biggs & Chris Courage) claim bragging rights over their M team (Dominic Stainton, David Brown & Maggie Brown [no relation]) as they beat them 8-2 for the second time running. Owen came up with his first ever hat-trick in the league and was joined in his treble by Biggs. Full results details appear below:-
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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:-
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New Milton Table Tennis Club had a very disappointing pre-penultimate week of the Bournemouth & District League as they only managed to win three out of their ten matches.
The G team were relegated from Div 2 last season but are set to return at the first time of asking despite going down 4-6 to second placed Bmth Sports K last week, having beaten them first time around. The Gees, represented last week by Terry Jenvey (captain), Chris Pusey & Dave Cuddon, could still go up as Div 3 champions, but they are now only one point ahead of the Bourne. Milton, currently on 49 points, cannot be overhauled by third-placed Winton YMCA D who are on 41 points.
The C team (John Millward, Shaun Newcomb & Brian Bickell) from Div 1 were the other Milton side to be relegated last season, in their case from the Premier, and they are also pressing for a quick return. The table-topping Bmth Sports F did Milton a great favour by turning up a player short, which enabled the C’s to convert a 4-6 first round defeat to a 5-5 draw this time around. Milton, on 38 points are only separated from third-placed Bmth Sports E on games difference, and second-placed Merton C are on 39 points, so it’s all to play for!
The K team have been doomed to exit Div 4 for some weeks now, but they fought really hard to hold Winton YMCA E to a 5-5 draw down at the YMCA. If the H team don’t watch out in Div 3, they could possibly replace their club-mates in Div 4 following their 3-7 defeat by fellow strugglers Winton YMCA C. Milton are third from bottom on 24 points and Bmth Sports J are on 23 points with only two more weeks to go. The bad news is that the Bourne have a game in hand!
The D team have had a really good second-half of the season in Div 1 so far, having only lost one of their seven matches. Captain Frank Handy’s first hat-trick of the campaign helped his team do the double over Lynwood A. Handy (pictured below) was joined in his treble by Rob Blackmore, his fourth of the season, and Paul Iliffe bagged a worthy brace.
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The New Milton Table Tennis Club won six out of their twelve matches in the Bournemouth & District league last week, one of the wins coming from a Milton interclub derby match. All of the wins came in the top two echelons of the league, apart from the Div 3 derby.
The A team had a very good week in the Premier as they did the double over both teams that they faced. First up, the team represented by Steve Hemmings (captain), Umit Kaya & Gerard Redman (playing up from Div 1) took maximum points off Broadstone A in their 8-2 win chez Broadstone. Kaya came up with his third hat-trick of the campaign, and Hemmings and Redman bagged a brace apiece. The doubles were required for the maximum four points and Hemmings & Kaya combined clinically to see off the Broadstone pairing in three straight sets.
Their second match of the week was a rearranged fixture against Bmth Sports C, with Rob Blackmore, another Div 1 player replacing Gerard Redman on this occasion. This time it was Captain Hemmings’ turn for the hat-trick, with Kaya and Blackmore adding one each to the tally. The doubles again proved decisive, this time for the win, and once again Hemmings & Kaya came up trumps over three straight sets which made it 6-4.
The Div 3 derby saw the table-topping G team avenge and reverse their first round 6-4 defeat at the hands of their club mates in the J team who are mid-table. Unfortunate to end up on the losing side, 14 year old Adam Titcombe (pictured below) played exceptionally well to win two of his matches, only losing out to G’s very experienced Terry Jenvey (captain).
Full results details appear below:-
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The New Milton Table Tennis Club had an excellent week in the Bournemouth & District league by winning seven out of their nine matches, one of those wins coming at the expense of one of their own teams in a local derby. The club is absolutely delighted that 16 year old Kai Major (pictured below) has won a Premier hat-trick in only his second league match since returning from a serious illness. Kai had treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, at Southampton Paediatric Oncology Unit throughout 2016 and was classed as being in remission in January 2017. Kai, who was voted the club’s most improved player in 2014, says that he is thoroughly enjoying getting back to playing competitive table tennis, and it shows. On top of his Premier treble, he medalled during a Junior 2-Star event last month, and he will be representing Dorset in the Finals of the Under 19s National Schools Championships in Wolverhamption in April.
It was a good night all round in the Premier for Milton’s youngsters in the B team as they improved on a first round away draw against Broadstone A by beating them 8-2 at Mudeford Wood. Just turned 15 Jack Trafford matched Major’s hat-trick, Trafford’s second of the campaign, and 19 year old Andy Tipsana chipped in with the one win. The doubles were needed for maximum points and Major and Trafford had a real fight on their hands against the more experienced Broadstone pairing. It went all the way to five ends but the two lads displayed a collective wit and maturity beyond their years to win out 11-9 to earn their plaudits.
Div 3 saw the J team (Plamen Petrov, Sid Daynes & Mike Roberts) avenge their first round defeat at the hands of their H ream by walloping them 8-2 in their return match, courtesy of hat tricks from captain Roberts and the red hot Petrov.
The F team starring Steve Cheesman, Ben Greene and super-sub Plamen Petrov completely reversed their 3-7 away defeat at Breamore by doing the same to them at the Grange. Captain Cheesman led from the front with his fifth hat trick of the campaign and Greene and Petrov bagged a brace apiece, all of them getting the better of the very tricky former Miltonian, Geoff Ware. Full results details are below:-
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