A first defeat of the season for leaders MK Spinners at the hands of mid table Greenleys Warriors, who fielded Mifzal Ahmed (Zal Latheef) for the first time. Mifzal won twice to back up skipper Ricky Taiwo, who seems unstoppable these days, with yet another maximum.  Warriors other set came from Darren Ward, with a fine win himself over Gary Jones.  Alan Cherry notched up a brace for Spinners and Jecu Aurelian one with Spinners also taking an unplayed doubles set.  Despite this win, Warriors move down the table as their closest rivals picked up more points this week.

2nd placed Greenleys Monarchs don’t normally ‘do’ draws, but they were held to one this time round as they shared the spoils for the first time in over 2 years, by MK Sasaki.  The tightness of the contest was illustrated by the fact that neither side were more than a single point ahead throughout.  Star of the show was Tomek Nowakowski with a fine hat-trick against Michael Wilkins, William Kit Liang and Nicolas Wong.  Tomek got off to a slow start when losing his opening two games against Michael but once he moved into top gear, the big hitter reeled off 9 of his remaining 10 games of the night.  William had one of his better matches for Sasaki and came to the table for the final set unbeaten, but Tomek was waiting for him and was not to be denied.  Martin Hall picked up the other Monarch sets as team-mate Dave Beddall remained winless.

While the top two, who meet next week, are unlikely to be overtaken at this late stage, the race for 3rd spot remains intruiging with Greenleys Kings’ skipper Nick Howard declaring his side as contenders after their 8-2 win over a 2-man Leighton Buzzard Van Hire team.  Paul Haigh was in great form for the Van men when beating Jordan Moss and Guy Sparrow, but found that toppling Nick was one win too far for him.  This was Kings’ 5th win in 6 and leaves them trailing Sasaki by just 5 points after overtaking Warriors.  Should be a fascinating battle between these three equally strong teams.  Fabrice Spelta was the other Van man here.

Player of the week : Ricky Taiwo

Division 1
Midson magic toples Topspin

Leaders MK Phoenix fielded an unchanged team for the match with club-mates Hit ‘n’ Hope and the result was remarkedly similar to their outing last week,  Terry Lau struggled while Mervyn Phillips and Alan Bolding found the going rather easier. Hat-tricks for Mervyn and Alan and a blank for Terry in Phoenix’ 7-3 win. Paul Tompkins, Mike Ainsworth and Andy Frearson played for the Hopers with Andy doubling his win tally for the season in his 8th match. His only other win was also against Terry.

A bitter blow for chasers MK Topspin, who went down 6-4 to Greenleys Glory. The Glory boys, and particularly Jacob Midson (with 8 wins out of 9) have been a thorn in Topspin’s side all campaign with 2 wins and a draw against the aspiring champions. He showed his class again here in a finely balanced match which turned Glory’s way with consecutive 12-10 in the 5th game wins for Jacob over Tanmay Tijare, and then Scott Dixon over Russell Penn.  Jacob got his usual hat-trick, Scott won two and Jacob/Christine Scaysbrook took the doubles.  Although winless in singles, Christine had her moments when taking both Tanmay and Russell to a deciding game.  Mervyn Kelly was the other Topspinner.

Open University Primes good run of form (unbeaten in 4) came to an end at the Forster Institute when losing 6-4 to lowly Leighton Buzzard Avengers.  Alex Du Noyer (3) and Bernie Raffe (2) won all the sets between them, including the crucial doubles, while Richard Hardy remained winless.  For Primes, Patrick Wong hit a brace and Charity Wong and James Zeng one each.

MK Powers kept on the winning track after last week’s success against Avengers.  This time they had an easier triumph over a 2-man Chackmore Hasbeens.  Powers ran out 8-2 winners after the Hasbeens got off to a flying start when Chris Whitehead beat Sarah Hudson and Andy Whitehead beat Keith Carrington.  But the bottom placed side could not keep it up and Powers snatched the rest.  No problems either for regular super-sub Derick Rodrigues, playing up from Division 2.

Player of the week : Jacob Midson

Division 2

(courtesy of Martin Johnson)

Battle at the Top Continues

Just two matches to report on, this week, as the scheduled match between the bottom two teams, Milton Keynes Shambles and Little Horwood Wooden Tops, does not appear to have been played, as neither team was present at the Kingston Centre on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Milton Keynes Sharks stay top as they gained a 7-3 win, to avenge one of only two defeats this season, as they beat fifth placed Mursley Hawks at the MK Centre.  Hawks drew first blood, in a topsy turvy set, with Martin Johnson finally coming through in five games against Rupert Greyling, only for Derick Rodrigues to even things up for the home team with a four games win over David Bartlett.  Ian Spanswick put the visitors back ahead with a straight games win over Abhay Tijare, and Hawks also went 1-0 up in the doubles, but from that point onwards, the leaders took control, reeling off five wins in a row.  Rupert and Derick steadied the ship in the doubles, to take it in four games, and then Derick avenged one of only two defeats this season, against Martin, coming through in four games on his way to yet another maximum, and taking his winning run to 15 sets.  Rupert returned to winning ways as he beat Ian in straight games, and rounded off the evening with another win against David, in four games, despite David taking the opening leg.  Abhay chipped in with a win in a tight encounter against David is set seven, although he went down in another close one to Martin near the end of the night.  The win leaves Sharks six points ahead of title rivals, Woburn Sands Mosquitoes, but they have played a match more.

The previous night, second placed Mosquitoes, unbeaten in four matches, had been the visitors at third placed Newport Pagnell Lagondas, themselves on a run of eight matches unbeaten, so it seemed that something might have to give!  Tony Ardis continued his form of last week for Lagondas, edging out Rob McPheat by the narrowest of margins, 12-10 in the fifth.  James Molloy evened things up by beating Roy Read, and then Glenn Barcham beat his namesake, Glen Davison, in another five gamer.  The tables were turned in the doubles as Glen D / Tony beat Glenn B / James, to make the score 2-2.  Mosquitoes edged ahead 3-2, as James beat Roy in straight games, but Tony evened it up yet again with a four games win over Glenn.  Mosquitoes finally forged ahead, as James beat Glen and Glenn defeated Roy, both in straight games, to put themselves 5-3 up.  Glen upped his game in set nine, to inflict a second, at the death, loss on Rob, who this time lost out at 11-9 in the decider.  This set up the encounter between Tony and James, both unbeaten so far, but ultimately it was James who maintained his season long 100% record, running out the winner in four games, to give Mosquitoes the win, and stretching his unbeaten run to 24 sets, and the team’s unbeaten run to five matches.

The top two teams are due to meet next week, in what could potentially decide the fate of the Division 2 title, when Sharks visit Mosquitoes on Wednesday night.

Players of the Week : Derek Rodrigues and James Molloy