With MK Spinners’ Alan Cherry and Greenleys Kings’ Guy Sparrow on long unbeaten runs, most eyes were focused beforehand on the prospect of a mouth-watering mid match clash between these titans to see who would emerge victorious. But the other guys in this intriguing encounter, won 7-3 by Spinners, didn’t read the script properly, and by the opening round of sets both records had been shattered! No sooner had Kings’ Nick Howard put paid to Alan’s 17 set winning streak, than Spinners’ Jecu Aurelian stepped up to end Guy’s own run of successes. Nick won 13-11 in the 5th but Jecu just needed 4 games to ‘bamboozle’ Guy, as the Kings’ skipper so aptly put it. What a start to an evening which continued in gloriously unpredictable fashion. After losing to Alan 11-6 in the 5th, Guy arrived for his last set to face Gary Jones, who had yet to concede a single game let alone a set, and turned the tables on the big hitting Spinner to end his hopes of a maximum. Likewise Jecu, with a brace under his belt after beating Jordan Wood, looked to be well on course for a brilliant hat-trick himself, and a bus full of accolades, when forging a 4-1 lead in his decider with Nick, only for the Kingman to hit a purple patch of form ‘at the death’ and finally find a consistent way through that famously prickly defence by taking the next 10 points in a row. Great match.
It’s been tough going all year for the promoted teams in their inaugural Premier season and this week was no exception. Bottom side MK Pumas haven’t won in 10 now and went down 8-2 to MK Sasaki, while Leighton Buzzard Van Hire were whitewashed by Greenleys Monarchs. That said, their star men, Hakan Karaagac and Biao Wang respectively, have been massive for them all season and coincidentally have identical records of 20 wins from 33 sets each. Very creditable.
Notwithstanding Pumas predicament, Hakan put in his usual strong performance when taking both their wins, firstly against William Kit Liang and then Michael Wilkins. But the hat-trick proved elusive as he went down in straight games to Nicolas Wong at the final hurdle. Andy Smith and Julie Snowdon completed the Pumas line-up.
Meanwhile Van Hire had started pretty well against Monarchs in as much as the first 3 sets all went to a deciding game, the pick of these being a 14-12 in the 5th defeat for Biao against Madga Kozubek. However, the 7 remaining sets were more one-sided, leaving Tomek Nowakowski and Martin Hall to join Magda on maximums. Fabrice Spelta and Paul Haigh were the other Van men. The privilege of holding the highest current run of wins now rests with Magda with 12.
Player of the week : Nick Howard
GOOD DRAW FOR CHACKMORE DESPITE DOUBLE TROUBLE
Leaders MK Phoenix fielded both their big guns against Leighton Buzzard Avengers this week and it was plain sailing for the dynamic duo. Although Avengers’ Alex Du Noyer did take Mervyn to a decider, Alan conceded a mere 53 points over his 9 games. With Gerald Ridgway chipping in with a useful brace, Phoenix ran out 8-2 winners. Alex beat Gerald and the aforementioned ‘duo’ were not quite so dynamic in the doubles when going down to the Alex/Bernie Raffe combo. Christinel Hulpan was the other Avenger, who now slip to 7th.
After a bright couple of weeks, chasers MK Topspin lost ground as they could only manage a 7-3 win over stable-mates Powers, who turned out a 2-man side. Topspin’s Tanmay Tijare was taken to 5 games by both Keith Carrington and Peter Tilllotson with Powers’ sets coming at the expense of Tanmay’s dad Abhay, playing up from Division 2, plus a Tillotson opening set victory against Russell Penn. Topspin remain 2nd and Powers down to 5th.
Best looking match this week was a draw between MK Hit ‘n’ Hope and Greenleys Glory with the MK side winning all 4 of the sets needing a decider. The match featured two of the three highest set winners in the Division this season and although Hope’s Ivor Howard won his individual battle with Jacob Midson, who had to settle with just a brace here, appropriately at 11-9 in their decider, the Glory boy still heads the chart with 26 with Ivor closing in on 23 after this latest maximum. Paul Tompkins won the other Hope sets, closing out the match against Scott Dixon with the strange looking scoreline of 11-5, 20-18, 11-1. What happened there? Andy Frearson completed the Hope line-up and John Stamp (1 win) was the other Glory player. Both teams move up the charts, Glory to 4th and Hope to 6th.
Another exciting draw was played out between Chackmore Hasbeens and Open University Primes. Hasbeens’ sets came courtesy of a Bub Burman hat-trick and a pair from Andy Whitehead. But they seemed to have lost their doubles magic touch together that had lasted for so long, as they suffered another surprise defeat here, this time round to Patrick Wong/James Zeng. Patrick won 2 his singles with James and Charity Wong one a-piece. Chris Whitehead was the other Hasbeen, who remain bottom while Primes hold on to 3rd spot.
Player of the week : Ivor Howard