There are four unbeaten teams but none with a 100% record after an exciting first weekend of the Senior British League Championship Division.
BATTS II lead the way just ahead of London Academy, both teams having won three and drawn one but BATTS ahead by virtue of sets difference – in fact, the Harlow team only lost seven individual matches all weekend, while London Academy lost 10.
Three teams are just a point behind the leading two, Urban and Brighton II having won two and drawn two, while hosts Nottingham are also on six points, courtesy of three wins and one defeat.
The Table 1 action from Nottingham TTC was broadcast live on TTE.TV and the matches are available to watch on catch-up. Our rewind show packed with highlights from the weekend will be out on TTE.TV later this week.
BATTS and London Academy both dropped their point in the first round of matches. It was Brighton who held BATTS in a real see-saw encounter in which five of the eight matches go to a deciding game.
Brighton took the lead as Krish Chotai defeated Joe Ferguson in four, but BATTS hit back to lead 2-1 as Ralph Pattison beat Joseph Langham-Ferreira 12-10 in the fifth and Luc Miller beat para world doubles champion Billy Shilton in four.
Paralympic medallist Aaron McKibbin restored parity with a 3-1 defeat of Jack Bennett, and Brighton were back in front when Langham-Ferreira overcame Ferguson in a decider.
The match continued to swing from side to side as Miller beat Chotai in the fifth and Pattison then put BATTS 4-3 ahead with a 3-2 win over McKibbin. When Bennett lead Shilton 2-0, it look as if BATTS would seal it, but Shilton came storming back to win 3-2 (5-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9) and secure a point for Brighton.
London Academy’s draw with Ormesby II followed a very different pattern as the London team were never behind. They led 3-0 after Gabriel Achampong (pictured above) beat Adam Dennison in five, followed by 3-0 wins for Edward Wesshagen and Fredrik Nordahl over Graeme Barella and Adam Webster respectively.
Ormesby hit back to level as Tom Rayner put them on the board as he came from 2-1 down to defeat Ching Jay Law, and Barella and Dennison completed the comeback by beating Achampong and Nordahl respectively.
Wesshagen put the Londoners back in front with a victory over Rayner and the result all hinged on a fantastic match between Law and Webster, with the latter edging it 3-2 (6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 13-11).
Elsewhere in the first round, there were 5-3 wins for Perry Dale over Fusion II and Nottingham over Wymondham, while Urban took the early lead with a 6-2 victory over PPong Team.
Round two saw the first and only whitewash of the weekend as BATTS proved too strong for Fusion – although three matches went the distance, including two won by Ferguson.
London Academy beat Wymondham 7-1, and it was 6-2 for both Nottingham (against PPong) and Ormesby (against Perry Dale).
The thriller against involved Brighton and Shilton, as they again battled to a 4-4 draw, this time against Urban.
The London side led 2-0 after wins for James Hamblett and Joseph Hunter against Langham-Ferreira and Chotai, but McKibbin and Shilton hit back for Brighton, against Barney Mindlin and Mateusz Mikosz – the latter by a 3-2 (11-8, 6-11, 13-15, 11-8, 11-8) margin.
Hunter beat Langham-Ferreira, but Brighton were level again when McKibbin overcame Hamblett.
Mikosz’s 3-2 win over Chotai put Urban in front yet again. Once again, Shilton was the saviour with a four-game victory over Mindlin securing the draw.
Wymondham put their first point on the board in the third round, drawing 4-4 with Perry Dale. They may feel they should have won it, as they led 4-0 thanks to wins for Adam Fuzes, Rhys Davies, Connor Whitehead and Ashwin Raman – the latter two in five games.
But Perry Dale came storming back as Kevin Dolder, Sam Perry, Kim Daybell and Joe Killoran all took a victory apiece. Daybell’s was in the fifth match.
Brighton got their first victory, 6-2 over PPong, and it was the same scoreline as BATTS defeated Ormeby and Urban saw off Fusion.
London Academy were pushed by Nottingham, who three times levelled the score before finally losing 5-3. Achampong took two victories for the Academy, and they were both in deciding games – 11-3 against Olly Cornish and 11-5 against Maxim Stevens.
The were six deciding games in that match, none tighter than Stevens’ 12-10 in-the-fifth win over Wesshagen which made it 1-1. Cornish and Owen Brown won one apiece for Nottingham, but Wesshagen’s defeat of Brown in match seven and Law’s victory (11-7 in the decider) against Joe Sawyer tipped the balance to LA.
BATTS and London Academy made sure of topping the table at the end of the weekend as they beat Wymondham 7-1 and PPong 6-2 respectively in round four, while Urban could not join them as they dropped a point in a 4-4 draw against Ormesby. Nottingham beat Perry Dale 5-3 and Brighton defeated Fusion 6-2.
Urban led 4-1 thanks to a Hunter double and individual successes by Hamblet and Mikosz, but they could not convert the winning position into both points as Ormesby mounted a super comeback.
Rayner, their only winner in the first five matches, completed his double in match six, and Dennison then saw of Mikosz. Djen Bakx completed the comeback in four against Mindlin to rescue the point for Ormesby.
Nottingham led 3-0 against Perry Dale but were pegged back to 3-3 before winning the last two. Stevens had a tight 3-1 (16-18, 11-3, 13-11, 15-13) win over Daybell and there were five matches which went to 3-2, including those last two Nottingham wins, for Cornish over Perry and Aleeko Hazarika over Killoran. Cornish earlier beat Dolder in five to secure a personal double.
Top of the averages are teenagers Hunter of Urban and Pattison (BATTS II), who both won all eight of their matches for a 100% record.
McKibbin (Brighton II), Wesshagen (London Academy), Miller (BATTS II) and Rayner (Ormesby II) all won seven from eight.
The next weekend of action is on November 25-26, with live coverage of Table 1 once again on TTE.TV.