Division One South

Urban Progress Iead the way by one point from DHS Greenhouse Progress II in what looks to be a two-horse race. Pavilion and BATTS follow next with four points, a lot of ground to be giving away after just one weekend of matches.

Urban Progress (Gergely Urban, Costas Papantoniou, Zoltan Hosszu and Dob Tokov) made a good start by beating TTK Greenhouse 6-2 with Urban and Tokov both remaining undefeated. Tokov looked sharp, managing to beat Jide Owolabi 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 – good going as Jide hit back by beating Costas Papantoniou 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6 in his second singles. Urban Progress in turn marked themselves as the team to beat in the second round by beating last year’s Champions Pavilion I 5-3. Pavilion’s England no. 11 Junior, the hard-hitting Da Shuai “Dash” Zhang was at his very best as he beat Gergely Urban 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 as well as Zoltan Hosszu 11-6, 2-11, 11-5, 11-8 but this failed to earn him the Player of the Match Award. That went to England no. 17 Veteran Costas Papantoniou who beat Ashley Stokes (11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4) as well as Eli Baraty 12-14, 14-12, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6. Dob Tokov secured the Urban progress victory by getting the better of Dov Katz 11-7, 11-4, 3-11, 16-14 in a tense eighth game. Urban Progress raced into a 5-0 lead against Cippenham I before Martin Gray beat Costas Papantoniou in four ends – a fine win in anyone’s book as Urban Progress ended up winning 6-2. Gergely Urban and Zoltan Hosszu both stayed unbeaten. Clearly on a roll Urban Progress completed their fixtures by beating BATTS II 8-0. Zoltan Hosszu’s hard-fought and fluctuating 7-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-3, 11-9 victory over Jimmy Walsh was the pick of the action.

DHS Greenhouse Progress II (Daniel Basterfield, Igor Morais, James Sprackling and Sherwin Remata) gave nothing away as they beat York Gardens I 8-0. Igor Morais excelled by getting the better of Chris Lewis 11-7, 11-9, 11-9. However, they were held to a draw in round two by an inspired Cippenham side who after trailing 2-0 moved into a 3-2 lead. Martin Gray started the fight-back by getting the better of Sherwin Remata over five ends and Owen Clutterbuck levelled the scores by beating James Sprackling 11-8, 12-10, 11-7. Game on! Cedric Brion (who had earlier lost to Igor Morais in five ends) hit top form to get the better of Daniel Basterfield 11-9, 11-9, 11-7. Suddenly a shock looked on the cards. However, Igor Morais (still ridiculously under-ranked at no. 128 on the ETTA Mens Ranking List) did well to beat Martin Gray 3-1 and James Sprackling gave the Southall giants the lead by brushing aside Mark Butler 11-5, 11-6, 11-8. With all to play for on the last game Sherwin Remata fought back bravely after trailing 2-0 to Owen Clutterbuck but he eventually missed out 7-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-4, 8-11.

DHS Greenhouse Progress scored their second win of the weekend in round three, beating Woolwell I by a less than comfortable 5-3 margin. England no. 56 Richard Marshall was the “thorn in their side” beating both Igor Morais and Daniel Basterfield in five ends and it was in the bottom half that Progress excelled in this match. Sherwin Remata and Tony Wilkinson picked up all four singles. Perhaps the biggest shock of the day took place in the sixth game of this match. The much-improved Toby Mattacott (ranked no. 243 in England) and who was playing in Division four South two Seasons ago played an absolute blinder. He beat Igor Morais 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8 to level the scores at 3-3. Sherwin Remata did just enough to restore Progress’s lead by beating Chris Smith 4-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9 and Tony Wilkinson made no mistake as he secured the victory for his side. He gave little away as he beat Mike Griffiths 11-5, 11-4, 11-9.Perhaps taken a little by surprise by the severity of the challenge from Woolwell, DHS Greenhouse

Progress produced a much stronger performance in round four. They ran out all guns blazing 8-0 winners against TTK Greenhouse. Tony Wilkinson impressed again beating Jide Owolabi 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 1-11, 11-8 whilst Igor Morais made his mark with his 11-7, 11-3, 14-12 win over England no. 20 Veteran Jerome Jonah.

BATTS II produced one of the bigger upsets of the weekend when they beat Pavilion 5-3. Few would have seen this coming, especially as the BATTS side included Tony West and Luke Walsh in their line-up, both relatively untried at this level. Luke excelled, scoring a sensational five game win over England no.84 Dov Katz as well as a match-winning victory over Rafi Marom, again in five ends. No shortage of determination here with Luke fighting back after taking a mauling for two games. Luke , (another player who is seemingly miles under-ranked as England no. 22 Cadet) eventually won 3-11, 3-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-2. Ace counter-hitter Tony West, a sensational five-game winner over Abdul Wuraola at the recent Gillingham Grand Prix played his part by beating Rafi Marom 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7.

Division Two South

Westfield II are the early leaders with a maximum eight points after they beat Generation 2 (8-0), Pavillion II (6-2), DHS Greenhouse Progress III (5-3) and Fellows Cranleigh (7-1). The match against the Southall side was the hardest fought with five games decided in the fifth end with Westfield winning three of them. Steve Cowley secured a superb 7-11, 11-8, 11-13, 13-11, 11-9 victory over England no. 60 Darek Zurowski in the second game and he gave his team a priceless 4-3 lead by getting the better of Ryan Maynard 11-9, 5-11, 11-2, 16-18, 11-5 (quite a variety of scores it has to be said!) in the seventh game. Jack Coleman clinched Westfield’s victory by defeating Sullivan Morais in five ends in the last game: 11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-6. Cowley showed up well in Westfield’s win over Fellows Cranleigh beating Zayd Mauthoor (3-2) and Shelley Uzall (3-0) and team-mate Alex Green also won twice. He beat Tony Halling 3-1 and he had to dig deep to get the better of Zayd Mauthoor 11-7, 15-17, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8.

Promoted Godalming Cover Sure are in second place with seven points, after they were held to a draw by Fellows Cranleigh. Godalming held all the aces in the number one and two positions after Michael Chan and Adam Laws both won their two singles but the still-improving Ray Lam made his mark for the Essex side. He beat Andreas Pusch 11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8 and he earned his side a point by getting the better of Keith Falconer 12-14, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 in the last game. Tony Halling will be disappointed not to have taken a game off Michael Chan missing out 9-11, 9-11, 9-11 but he made up for it in his second singles, beating Andreas Pusch decisively 11-4, 11-6, 11-8. Godalming showed their strength as they beat a strong DHS Greenhouse Progress III 6-2. James Sprackling scored an excellent five game win over Michael Chan but doubles for Adam Laws and Alain Choo-Choy gave the Surrey side the ascendency. Choo-Choy made his mark with his fine 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 victory over Sprackling to give his side a 4-2 lead having earlier beaten Sullivan Morais 11-8, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8.

Ashford II, without a Sunday morning victory to their name for two Seasons finally rid themselves of this most unwelcome statistic beating promoted De Vere NETTS 5-3. Neil Charles won his singles for the Essex side, beating both Adam Brewer and Robert Lemon 3-0 whilst Paul Davison also secured a first-class 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 win over Robert Lemon. However, Ashford fared well in the number three and four positions with Nicolas Ravalec and Anthony Johnson both picking up doubles. Defender Ravalec did well to beat Davison 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-5 whilst Anthony Johnson made his mark by getting the better of Nigel Hodder 12-10, 11-6, 11-8. Johnson secured the Ashford victory by defeating Kelly Skeggs 11-8, 11-9, 11-2 in the last game.

The Essex derby between NETTS and Fellows Cranleigh on the Saturday afternoon was a good one, and the East Londoners (one of the original member Clubs in the British League) emerged as 5-3 winners. Cranleigh no. four Ray Lam was outstanding. He beat Nigel Hodder 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 and in the last game he defeated Peter Hayden (Peter’s one defeat of the day) 11-8, 11-7, 11-6. Hayden had fought back from 2-0 down to beat Shelley Uzall 9-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 13-11 in a stirring earlier encounter whilst Alex Facey was also involved in two fiercely fought five-enders. He missed out against Zayd Mauthoor 13-11, 10-12, 5-11, 11-4, 9-11 but he managed to beat Shelley Uzall 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-7.

Division Three South

Bedford Modern made an excellent start to the Season and will be looking to bounce back to Division two at the first attempt. A commanding 7-1 win over Britannia Ipswich in the first round was a clear statement of their intentions with Hamish Yeung, Stuart Seaholme and Ben Gardner all remaining undefeated. Yeung’s hard-fought 13-15, 11-4, 11-7, 13-15, 11-9 win over near name-sake Gary Young in the opening game was the closest of the match. Bedford’s 5-3 victory over promoted Ellenborough wasn’t quite so convincing, after they had surged into a 4-0 lead. John Camilleri gave the Bedford side a first match advantage by fighting back from 2-1 down to get the better of England no. 30 Junior Bradley Tuttle 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 but he was found wanting in his second game, missing out 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 9-11 against Philip Walker. It was that most experienced of performers – Stuart Seaholme who held his side together and he beat David Evans 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 as well as Paul Martindill 7-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5.

Hastings were Bedford’s third-round opponents and they also succumbed narrowly 5-3. Matthew Porter, elevated to number one in the Sussex side’s line-up clearly relished “the extra responsibility” and he scored two fine wins. Porter beat John Camilleri 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 as well as Hamish Yeung 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 12-10. Dave Butler’s four game win over Stuart Seaholme became Stuart’s one defeat over the weekend. A new-look Bognor Regis were despatched 6-2 in the last round after Hamish Yeung and Stuart Seaholme both won twice whilst John Camilleri and Ben Gardner both picked up single wins.

Mossford II follow next on seven points and crucially Bedord still have still to play them. Mossford are strong and England no. seven lady Klaudia Szadkowska proved to be an outstanding no. one. Her eight singles wins included some really hard-fought battles and rather uniquely not one of her eight wins was achieved three-straight. How often has that happened ?. The scores evidence just how well she battled. Klaudia beat Bradley Tuttle 8-11, 6-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-9 as well as Matt Porter 6-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 14-12. It was only marginally easier against Bognor Regis’s Mateusz Sadkowski (11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 13-11) and Michael White (12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 13-11) as well as Pritesh Kakad (11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 3-11, 11-7). Mossford hit the jackpot against Bognor Regis and ran out excellent 8-0 winners (the only 8-0 result in this Division). Klaudia, Barbara Izyk, Robin Ashleigh and Phil Ashleigh all played well. Robin excelled by beating Mateusz Sadlowski 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9.

Luca Mariano was the pick of the York Gardens players and his only defeat was against Urban Progress’s fast-improving no. one Pritesh Kakad in a match which ended as a draw. Luca had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Mateusz Sadlowski 7-11, 14-12, 11-9, 7-11, 14-12 but he showed his undoubted ability as he despatched Matt Porter (6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6) as well as Gary Young (11-5, 11-8, 11-9). However, York Gardens have paid a very heavy price for including Luca in this team because as the Club’s seventh ranked player he is not eligible for this side and as such the team played completely out of order in all four matches and all results have been amended.

The Sunday morning match between Britannia Ipswich and Ellenborough was a hard- fought one and eventually finished tied at 4-4. Bradley Tuttle (unbeaten on the
Sunday) won twice for Ellenborough which included a decisive 4-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 win over Andy Warner whilst Gary Young won his two singles for the Suffolk side. Young fought back with a vengeance from 10-6 down in the fifth end to beat British League scribe Steve Kerns (8-11, 14-12, 8-11, 11-8, 14-12) and he just held off a late-charge from a determined Paul Martindill in the fifth end before triumphing 12-10, 12-10, 9-11, 1-11, 11-9. Young had led 9-2 in the fifth end of this game at one stage. Ipswich’s much-improved Paul Broxton impressed by defeating Philip Walker 3-11, 11-9, 11-4, 10-12, 11-6.

Ellenborough scored their first win of the weekend in round four when they beat Hastings 6-2 – who had finished above them in Division four South last Season. Bradley Tuttle, who will surely be playing in the first division within a year or two showed his class by beating Matt Porter 3-1 and his 3-1 victory over Nick Standen gave his side a winning 5-1 lead. All-action Matt Porter wasn’t to be denied against Steve Kerns and he fought back from 2-1 down (as well as 9-6 down in the fifth end) to win 5-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12.

Division Four South

This Division has yet to sort itself out. Horsham II lead the way with six points having lost 5-3 to newcomers Property Street Rowhedge who are still unbeaten after drawing their other three games. No fewer than five teams – Metropolitan Police, Property Street Rowhedge, Morpeth TTK Greenhouse, Crusaders and Sportingbet Guernsey have accumulated five points.

The match between Property Street Rowhedge and Horsham II contained it’s fair share of surprises. 2010 Colchester Mens Singles Champion Steve Joslin was hard pushed to get the better of Alex Forshaw in five ends but he hit top form in his second singles, hammering Horsham no. one Fredrick Nilsson (to whom he had lost in the Gillingham Grand Prix) 11-4, 11-4, 11-6. The experienced Horsham no.4 Rory Scott played well to beat Michael Andrews 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7 but with his side 4-3 down Scott was on the other end of a shock defeat. Alan Burgess pulled off a magnificent 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9 victory to bag both points for the newcomers from Colchester.

Horsham only beat Morpeth TTK Greenhouse 5-3 although the victory itself was never really in doubt – it was Morpeth who won the three five-setters. Ashley Facey Thompson did well to beat Alex Forshaw 16-14, 9-11, 8-11, 14-12, 12-10 and Sally Hoang rounded things off rather nicely for the TTKers by beating Rory Scott 11-13, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10 – an outstanding win in anyone’s book. Fredrick Nilsson came into his own in this match, beating Simon Hoang 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9 and Rashid Benallal 14-12, 11-7, 11-8.

Metropolitan Police tasted defeat against Crusaders who won 6-2 after the scores had been tied at 2-2. The crucial games here included a 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 win for Michael Ho over Nana Ansah and a 11-8, 11-9 11-7 win for Lewis Bray against Keith Fung. The advantage was with the Surrey side now and they didn’t relinquish it. Darren Pumford beat Winston Wong after losing the first two games easily (5-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7) and Dean Rose scored his second win, beating Steve Coddrington 15-13, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5 to cap an excellent Crusader’s performance (I almost said “Crusade!).

Sportingbet Guernsey II have five points and they slipped up against Horsham II – 5-3. Horsham this time won three of the four fifth-setters as they surged into a 4-1 lead. Sportingbet Guernsey hit back with Liam Robilliard getting the better of Alex Forshaw 10-12, 11-8, 12-14, 11-4, 12-10 whilst Paul Hainsworth pulled another game back by beating Daniel Barna 12-10, 11-5, 11-5. It was up to the experienced Rory Scott to stop the rot, and he made no mistake. He beat Martin Sarre 11-2, 12-10, 11-8 to earn the Sussex team both points.

Pavilion have yet to get off the mark, but they will take heart from their performance against Metropolitan Police where they only succumbed 6-2. Four games were decided in the fifth end and these were shared 2-2. Steve Coddrington will undoubtedly feel he was robbed (does that count as a joke?) after losing out to Steve Steel 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 16-14, 10-12 as well as 11-6, 7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 9-11 to Tony Steel. Coddrington’s reward for his endeavours was the “Player of the Match Award” for his sporting attitude.

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British League 2010-11 Season Round 1
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