The Premier seems jinxed so far this season with another postponement. Following a mix up regarding Greenleys Kings home night, stablemates Warriors were unable to fulfil their ‘away’ fixture and the match has now been re-arranged for 22nd October at the neutral venue of Milton Keynes Table Tennis club.
As it was, both MK Kingpins and Spinners made their belated starts to the campaign, Kingpins parading their brand new signing Craig Brown. He had taken last season off after all his all his trophy laden years with Likely Lads and Spinners but is now back in the fold. Always good against choppers, Craig has lost none of his touch in this department when easily beating Cambridge ace Dave Tiplady. on debut for Greenleys Monarchs, and who was a comfortable winner himself over Kingpin mainstays Dave Allison and Mark Purcell he won’t be losing many in this Division. Monarchs took a commanding early lead and ran out 6-4 winners for their first victory in 5 matches. A rejuvenated Martin Hall, after a poor last season, joined ‘chopper’ Dave on a brace with good wins over Craig and Mark, Tomek Nowakowski chipped in with one and the doubles went to Monarchs. A rare blank here for Kingpins leftie Mark.
But it was the Spinners/MK Sasaki match that most caught the eye with Michael Wilkins once again the centre of attention, this time for a sensational hat-trick against the champions. Michael saw off Alan Cherry, Tim Cheek and Neil Massa in Sasaki’s 8-2 victory, though of course it’s the win over Alan which stands out. So within the space of 7 days the sexagenarian has posted his worst and best results since the 2014 comeback. Proof, if any were needed, that form is a fickle mistress. How will he perform next week? New signing Matt Haynes also took a maximum leaving Spinners to pick up wins from Alan & Neil over Jamie Hendy for their 2 points.
Player of the week is Michael Wilkins.
Geoff Callaway was the star of the show in Greenleys Eagles match with MK Phoenix but still ended up on the losing side. Always capable of the spectacular, Geoff was never in trouble and for good measure took the doubles with lifelong pal Barry Bishop in their 6-4 defeat. Blanks for Barry and Dave Plumb while the Phoenix trio of Alan Bolding, Gerald Ridgway and Terry Lau walked away with 2 wins each.
The experience and guile of ex Premier players Ian Brown and Scott Dixon showed when winning all the sets between them in Greenleys Glory’s 6-4 win over St.Christopher Van Hire. Only David Brome stood in their way, beating Scott and taking Ian to 7 in the 5th in the final set of the night. But Ian/Scott took the crucial doubles set with St.Christopher now having lost twice as many doubles already than in the whole of last season. Fabrice Spelta and Jez Wilcox took a win a-piece for St.Christpher while John Stamp remained winless for Glory.
Promoted Newport Pagnell Vantage found the going tough at MK Topspin, where it was mostly one way traffic in an 8-2 victory for the League leaders with hat-tricks from Mervyn Kelly and myself supported by a brace from Russell Penn. Only a win by Div 2 reserve Greg Norden prevented the singles whitewash although the Sue Lewis/ Tony Ardis partnership did secure a good doubles victory for the visitors, saving 2 match points along the way.
No player remained unbeaten in the MK Pumas/MK Powers match won by Powers 6-4. Sarah Hudson was in the thick of the action again, beating Andy Smith 13-11 in the 5th before losing to Julie Snowdon 14-12 in their decider. Jiten Pitamber joined Sarah on a brace, they took the doubles set between them and Powers debutant Iain Willcocks came good with the vital win over Julie after providing Keith Carrington with his only success.
Player of the week is Geoff Callaway.