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.


A fortnight of table tennis tournaments concluded with the Grand Finals Night of the Bournemouth and District Annual Individual Championships at the Grange School, Somerford, last Friday night. Four players from the New Milton Club took part in the Finals, with three of them going home with titles.

Octogenarian Brian Bickell broke a Bournemouth & District record by being the first player ever to win all four of the Vets titles. In the Vets 40+ final he avenged his defeat by Bournemouth Sports’ player Louie La in the Division 1 semi-finals by depriving him of a second title. The Vets 50+ saw him narrowly defeat fellow Div 1 player Ian Brown from Broadstone in a gruelling match that went all the way to five sets. However, he had easier victories against fellow Div 1 player Ian Robertson (Merton) in the Vets 60+ and Vets 70+ finals, seeing him off in three straight sets in both matches. This tops last year’s performance in which he “only” won the Vets 60+ and Vets 70+ titles.

The Junior Under 15 final was a repeat of last year’s match between Milton’s Jack Trafford (Premier) and Matt Stanfield (Div 1) from Bournemouth Sports, with Trafford coming out on top again. Whereas Trafford disposed of Stanfield in three straight sets in last year’s final, the Bourne youngster took him right down to the wire this year, Trafford just edging it 13-11 in the fifth and final set.

For the second year running, the Div 5 title was won by a New Milton player, this year it being Taki Hall, playing in her first Bournemouth tournament. Her opponent, Marina Scott (Bournemouth Sports) gave Hall a really good run for her money, coming back to win the second set 11-9 after losing the first 5-11. Hall then narrowly won the next two sets 14-12, 11-9 to secure the title.

New Milton’s Terry Jenvey did well to make it through to the Div 3 final, but he faced a very tough opponent in the shape of southpaw Howard Lewis from Bournemouth Sports. The result went the way of the form book (Lewis was second to top in the winning averages), with Jenvey losing in three straight sets, having put up a good fight.


New Milton Table Tennis Club’s General Secretary Bev Scott-Johns was honoured with a prestigious Torch Trophy Trust Award for Outstanding Service to Sport, presented by HRH the Duke of Gloucester.

In presenting the awards, the Duke of Gloucester said “Volunteering is the lifeblood of the United Kingdom and it’s an honour to reward people who give up so much of their time and their energy for others. I hope that they act as an inspiration to those people around them”.

The awards were presented at the 55th Annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards ceremony at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London, and Bev was accompanied by Club Treasurer & Press Officer Malcolm Floyd who had nominated him, Club Development Officer Shaun Newcomb and fellow team member Simon Golding who kindly arranged the transport.

The Torch Trophy Trust is a charity that rewards and supports volunteers in sport and recreation, and recognises the achievements of some of the UK’s most outstanding volunteers in the annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards, presented by a member of the Royal Family. This year, the Trust recognised 21 outstanding volunteers across sport, so Bev was amongst a very select few.

England “great” Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, President of the Trust was also on hand at the ceremony and had much praise for the prize-winners. Bev’s citation was read out by West Ham and England legend Sir Trevor Brooking CBE who had chatted aimiably to the various groups before the ceremony. Shaun and Malcolm ventured to ask the man himself how he thought the Hammers would do against Saints at the end of the month. Bev’s abridged citation read:-

In all, Bev has served New Milton Table Tennis Club and the sport faithfully for over 30 years. During his tenure as General Secretary, Bev has seen the club nearly double its membership from 35 to 65 members. Bev is also Volunteer Co-ordinator, Fixtures Secretary, Tournament Organiser, Team Captain, Team Player and General Factotum. Bev has also put in stints as Minutes Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. Bev has also been instrumental in nurturing youngsters and it is no exaggeration to say that he has dedicated a goodly part of his life to the sport.

Bev continued to work tirelessly for the club, even after losing devoted wife Valerie to a long and debilitating illness. In fact, he made it clear that continuing to involve himself was a welcome distraction.

Bev is a qualified First-Aider, Table Tennis England Tournament Organiser and County Umpire. In addition to captaining and playing in the local Bournemouth and District League, Bev plays in the Poole Pairs, Merton Summer Pairs, Ringwood Summer League, Annual Individual Tournaments and plays socially at the Wednesday Morning Club at Merton.

Bev is the face of New Milton Table Tennis Club, and it has often been said that they would need at least three different people to replace him, if he were ever to give up”. Sir Trevor chuckled as he read out that bit, which was echoed warmly by those present.

After the ceremony, Bev said “I felt quite honoured and proud and it was a wonderful evening which went very well”. Then it was quickly back to the grindstone the following day to organise the Club’s Annual Tournaments.


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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Following the nomination by Malcolm Floyd, Bev Scott-Johns is to receive a Torch Trophy Trust Award for his outstanding voluntary work on behalf of the New Milton Table Tennis Club and the Sport in general. This award which was supported by Table Tennis England, will be presented at the 55th Annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards ceremony at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London on 7th March by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

The Torch Trophy Trust is a charity that rewards, recognises and supports volunteers in sport and recreation, and recognises the achievements of some of the UK’s most outstanding volunteers in the annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards, presented by a member of the Royal Family. This year, the Trust intended to recognise 20 outstanding volunteers across sport, so Bev will be amongst a very select few.

It is anticipated that Sara Sutcliffe, Table Tennis England’s CEO, will be present at the ceremony, along with other luminaries, to watch Bev receive his award, which he richly deserves.


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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