An inspiring performance

by Brian Croasdale

There were four very happy table tennis players who left Wellingborough on Sunday to make the long trip home to Derbyshire.

What a difference a few short weeks make. After last time’s humiliating defeats in the National League, the team turned it all around and put on an inspiring display. Winning one match and drawing the other just left the side eager to carry on and, with major changes planned for next season, the future looks bright for the Whitworth Academy National side.

Against Redlands Rogues 3rd, Andrew Middleton inspired the side with a good opening victory against Sarah Short, closely followed by a further five-game win for Mike Bradbury over Stephen Fox.

The only reversals came when John Davies lost to Isobel Ashley in four and Martin Dean’s three-game loss to the same player. In fact, it was a good day for Isobel as she was awarded the coveted Player of the Match award. Whitworth won the fixture 6-2 to set up the afternoon tie against Westfield 3rd.

A closer match than the morning one saw the team manage a 4-4 draw and, with John Davies taking the Player of the match award, it was a good day out for the squad.

Matlock table tennis is well known for the weight of expectation it heaps on its players and none more so than Keith Bradshaw. Keith, who has joined Cromford Community Centre, was pitched against long standing favourites Cylinder Cougars A from Chesterfield in a recent Division One match. After losing to Mick Padley 3-1, who would have thought he would have gone on to gain a three-game win over former Matlock champion Geoff Gill, but that is exactly what happened.

In Division Two, Wessington had a good 6-4 win over Crich St Mary’s, who had Steve Howard in outstanding form, winning all his three matches with some ease. In fact it has been a good time for Steve as he repeated the dose against Pommy. Balls of Fury seem to be putting their early season form to rights, this week beating Balls of Fury 7-3. Young David Molyneux (two) seems to get better with every match but it was Stephen Cook who took the eye, winning all his games.

Third Division side The Unreliables have realised that life is going to be very different this season. Winning the league comfortably last time, this year they have the May B’s snapping on their heels. While they were disposing of the Power 5-0, May B’s were busy winning against Cabers 4-1. Be Afraid beat Whitworth 1st 3-2, a game in which Tom Tate looked a classy player.

The best match in Division Three saw a return to form for Hit & Miss, whose 5-0 demolition of Matlock Marauders was just about as convincing as you can get.