Urban TTC came from 2-0 down to defeat Ormesby and lay down an early marker for Senior British League, Premier Division supremacy.

A meeting between the two previous title-winners made for a mouthwatering start to the new season and it was the defending champions from the north east who made the stronger start.

New No 1 Sinnig Zhang, who already looks like he will be difficult to beat, kept in front of a determined Daniel Schaffer with a powerful display, winning in three.

It was also three straight for Darius Knight against Urban’s new recruit from Croatia, Matej Mamut – though his time would come later.

It was vital that the hosts got a foothold in the doubles and Schaffer & Szilard Gyorgy duly delivered. Again it was three straight, but that masks a crucial opening game which went 14-12 in the hosts’ favour against Zhang & Knight.

With the momentum shifting, Gyorgy levelled up for Urban with a 3-0 victory over youngster Josh Weatherby, deputising for Helshan Weerasinghe.

At 2-2 going into the reverse opening fixtures, there was still all to play for, but the Schaffer versus Knight match had the look of a must-win for Urban.

It looked good as Schaffer opened a 2-0 lead, with Knight yellow-carded for swearing audibly. However, Knight galvanised himself and levelled by taking the next two games. The decider was close all the way, with Knight seeming to hold the edge – but it was Schaffer who won the crucial last few points from 8-6 down to take it 11-8.

Zhang’s emphatic victory over Gyorgy meant it was 3-3 and so it came down to Mamut versus Weatherby for the victory.

Mamut struck first, but Weatherby levelled. But it was Mamut who upped his game to secure the victory and three points for Urban in a match in which both teams scored 12 sets.

With Weerasinghe and some additional talented youngsters to come into the Ormesby team – and Urban still to field their top pair in Satoshi Aida and Daniel Kosiba – there is more to come from both teams, but it is Urban who have struck the first blow.

However, they will sit out the next round of fixtures on October 26-27. Ormesby host Fusion, while North Ayrshire are at home to BATTS. There is a double-header at Ormeau, with the Irish side hosting Archway Peterborough on the Saturday and BATTS then travelling across from Scotland to complete their own double weekend.


Urban 4 Ormesby 3
Sining Zhang bt Daniel Schaffer 3-0 (11-4, 12-10, 11-8)
Darius Knight bt Matej Mamut 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-5)
Schaffer/Szilard Gyorgy bt Knight/Zhang 3-0 (14-12, 11-4, 11-6)
Gyorgy bt Josh Weatherby 3-0 (11-9, 11-1, 11-4)
Schaffer bt Knight 3-2 (11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 8-11, 11-8)
Zhang bt Gyorgy 3-1 (5-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4)
Mamut bt Josh Weatherby 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4)