Another easy victory for MK Spinners over promoted side MK Phoenix. All 9 singles sets were comfortably negotiated by Alan Cherry, Gary Jones and Neil Massa against Terry Lau, Ioan Constantin and, div 2 reserve, Ivor Howard. However it turned out to be a night to remember for the Phoenix lads thanks to a brilliant doubles win at 11-9 in the 5th. This was no fluke either by Terry & Ioan. I reckon they should frame that win and stick it on their wall.
The other two promotees clashed with MK Powers coming out on top to dump my beleaguered MK Topspin side to the bottom of the heap. Star of the match was Sarah Hudson, who never dropped a game in Powers’ 7-3 success, with a more laboured hat-trick coming from Minesh Pitamber and a single from Clare Styles. Clare beat Russell Penn in what was her first ever set in the MK Premier division. Mervyn Kelly and myself got one each for Topspin and combined for the doubles. We were smartly turned out as usual in our new personalised team shirts with Sarah (tongue in cheek?) complimenting us as “the best dressed team in the League”, but it really was a case of ‘all the gear and no idea’.
One of Sarah’s old Powers team-mates Vlad Varnica, it’s been a while since he last played in MK, turned out for Greenleys Warriors and made an instant impression with wins over Peter Bannister and Mark Purcell in Warriors 7-3 win. His brace was matched by those from skipper Ricky Taiwo and Ollie Horswell. Dave Allison got a couple for Kingpins and Mark one.
Greenleys Kings continue to dominate at the top, although their lead over Spinners was cut to 3 points after beating clubmates Monarchs 8-2. Kings wheeled out their big gun, Matt Haynes, for this derby and he duly obliged with a peerless maximum. Ian Johnston chopped his way to the 2 Monarchs wins with his trusty hard bat, beating Nick Howard and Matt Horrocks. Dave Wells made a very welcome MK debut for Monarchs but couldn’t get on the scoresheet as Martin Hall completed their line-up.
Player of the week : Matt Haynes.
ST.CHRISTOPHER’S POUNCE AS PUMAS SLIP
Well, it looks like there could be a competition for the title after all. As favourites MK Pumas faltered, St Christopher Van Hire grabbed the opportunity to open up a 3 point gap at the top. Their main man, Biao Wang, was in fine form this week in easily despatching the Newport Pagnell Vantage trio of Michael Howard, Tony Ardis and Sue Lewis in an 8-2 scoreline. As usual Super Sue was in the thick of the action for last year’s bottom team, clocking her first singles victory of the season (at the 8th attempt) with a narrow win against David Broome 21-19 in the 5th after bravely saving 11 match points along the way. Fending off match points seems to be a Sue speciality this year as, in her very next game, she triumphed 18-16 over Paul Haigh before losing yet another 5-gamer. Tony Ardis won the other Newport set when beating Paul.
Meanwhile MK Pumas struggled to a 5-5 draw against Woburn Sands Data after coming back from 3-5 down. The match opened with the first heavyweight clash of the season between Andy Smith and James Molloy, comprehensibly won by the ace chopper on his way to a crucial hat-trick. But only 2 more wins from the flailing bat of Julie Snowdon was as good as it got for the Pumas. Julie’s conquerer was Darren Ward, who seems to be improving rapidly week by week, in a 5-game thriller. Dave McGarragh was Data’s other player and Keith Carrington was winless for Pumas, who also dropped the doubles.
A good week for Chackmore Hasbeens’ Bub Burman, who chipped in with a hat-trick in his team’s 6-4 win against the other promoted side in the division, Open University Primes. The Hasbeens will need him in good form all season if they are to avoid relegation again. Andy Whitehead and Sam Willett picked up a singles each and Bub combined with Andy to win the doubles. Charity Wong got a couple for Primes with Patrick Wong and James Zeng one each. Spare a thought for Patrick, though, who lost 11-9 in the 5th twice over.
The Greenleys derby between Glory and Eagles ended in a draw without any sets going the distance, so all emphatic wins each time. Iain Lindsay was the star turn here with a fine maximum and just the one game dropped (to Danny Sedgwick). Although Christine Scaysbrook lost heaviy to him (only 12 points won), she responded brilliantly by defeating her other opponents Dave Plumb and Geoff Callaway. Geoff picked up the other Eagles’ sets leaving Dave winless on the night. Jacob Midson and Danny won a set each for Glory.
Player of the week : Andy Smith.
(courtesy of Martin Johnson)
The second week in Division 2 has seen some closely fought matches, with one draw and four 6-4 scorelines in the five results.
After two weeks, just two teams have two wins from two, Milton Keynes Classics and Woburn Sands Mosquitoes, whilst Newport Pagnell Lagondas have one win and one draw.
Milton Keynes Classics visited Milton Keynes Hit ‘n’ Hope, and for the second week running, Hit ‘n’ Hope lost out 4-6, a result which leaves Classics top of the pile at this early stage. Masoud Nassor collected another maximum, to also head the Averages with six straight wins, and he was backed up by Dylan Cox with two wins, plus one for Barbara Peters. However, early in the match, Hit ‘n’ Hope had looked to have gained the advantage, as Paul Tompkins beat Dylan in three tight games, then Mike Ainsworth beat Barbara. Masoud narrowed the advantage in beating Hit ‘n’ Hope’s substitute, Geoffrey Turner, but Hit ‘n’ Hope took the doubles 11-8 in the decider, with Paul / Mike teaming up to defeat Masoud / Dylan, to put them into a 3-1 lead. Things went wrong for the home team after that, as Classics reeled off the next five sets, before Paul beat Barbara in the final set.
Promoted Woburn Sands Mosquitoes proved they could be a force at the higher level, as they beat last season’s 3rd placed team, Milton Keynes Tornadoes, 6-4. In the opening set, Paul Hamer quickly went two legs up, against Tanmay Tijare, but Tanmay fought back, but Paul edged a tight fourth leg to give his team the early lead. Glenn Barcham won in straight games against Tornadoes new recruit, Matthew Curley, and then Andy Jenkins came back from 2-1 down to Nicolas Wong, to take it in five. Tornadoes took the doubles to open their account with Tanmay / Nicolas combining to beat Glenn / Andy in four, but the singles continued to elude them as Paul beat Matthew and Andy beat Tanmay, both in straight games. Finally, a singles win for Tornadoes, as Nicolas beat Glenn in four, but Andy sealed the win for Mosquitoes against Matthew, to make it 6-2. However, Tornadoes took the final two sets of the night, as Nicolas inflicted the first defeat of the season on Paul Hamer, by the slender margin of 11-9 in the fifth, and Tanmay also got on the scoresheet with a four games win over Glenn.
Newport Pagnell Lagondas join Mosquitoes in joint second place, following their 5-5 draw at Milton Keynes Shambles, to add to their opening week 8-2 win. The scene was set over the opening four sets, with three of them going the distance, as Glen Davison edged out Rupert Grayling in the opener, at 11-9 in leg 5, and then Pedro Anastacio did likewise against Roy Read in set 2, then the doubles was even closer at 14-12 in the decider to Rupert / Jim Robinson against Glen / Chris Horn. Glen finished as the star for Lagondas, winning all his singles, although they were all quite close. Chris also picked up two wins for Lagondas, only being beaten by Rupert, with both Jim and Pedro each beating Roy.
St. Christophers Spitfires were without captain, Andy King, and ended up on the wrong side of a 6-4 result on their visit to Milton Keynes Cavaliers, but are currently in equal fourth in the table, just a point ahead of Cavaliers, who are seventh. This was yet another close match, where many sets required the full five legs to reach a winner, with four of the first five sets going the distance, followed by another in set nine. Chris Welch took the individual honours, with three singles wins, plus the doubles with John Bradley, whilst Chris Paddon collected a further two wins to see Cavaliers over the line. Jock Campbell picked up two wins for Spitfires, with one each for Bernie Raffe and Graham Silversides. Bernie went the full five legs in all three of his singles, plus in the doubles with Jock, though unfortunately only picking up one singles win at 11-9 in leg 5 against John, in the opening set, and over the night he played a grand total of 375 points.
The final result saw Mursley Hawks take on Milton Keynes Blades, with Hawks just taking the honours 6-4 on the night, to go into equal fourth place, and leaves Blades down in bottom spot. Hawks raced into a 5-1 lead, at one stage, as both Graham Butcher and Martin Johnson won twice, as well as the doubles together (although they were taken to five legs by Brian Evans and Tony Coomber), whilst Tony had gained the one home win for Blades, in beating substitute, Andy Palmer. Blades staged a partial comeback, although Graham went on to complete a fine maximum to seal the win for Hawks, as Mark Thomas grabbed wins against both Andy and Martin, whilst Brian Evans also broke his duck in the final set, in a four legs win over Andy, to narrow the final margin.
Players of the Week : Chris Welch and Graham Butcher.