by Brian Croasdale
Melissa Slaney, Matlock Table Tennis Association’s former World Transplant Games champion, will fly out from London this week en route to Zagreb to take part in the 7th European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Croatia.
These herald the start of a busy time for Melissa, because immediately she gets back from those she will go straight to Medway in Kent to take part in the British Transplant Games.
She was present training at the Whitworth Academy last Friday and we all wish her well, of course, and will endeavour to keep you in touch with her progress.
The Cromford Summer League had a rather truncated look about it on Wednesday as both holidays and unavailability had their effect on the programme. Nevertheless, Young Guns took the opportunity to enhance their standing.
There is no questioning the standout performer this week though as Tim Denby (2) helped his side to a 4-1 win over Detonators. Tim has grown in stature this summer as he has honed his game tremendously and now ranks as one of the best youngsters to be playing the game.
His 3-1 win over Anthony Gregory was later eclipsed when he took an 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 decision over rapidly improving Eddie Gregory.
Together with his partner Jake Meikle (two), they move into third position, three points behind leaders Bucket Bangers with Tim currently on a personal average of 79 per cent.
Dean Clayton (two) is one of those lucky table tennis players who is in the niche of class performers who just seems to get better and better.
Clearly thrilled with his game recently, he again took no prisoners, winning both his matches with only Eddy Parks of the Balls of Fury able to compete. After disposing of Stephen Cook in four, he overcame Eddy 2-11,11-9,11-6,11-13,11-6 to complete a uplifting night for him.
Tony Gregory went down in a close five-game match with Eddy to give the away team some reward.
A perfect night? Mike Douglas will not know where to start now that he is back playing and feeling confident and relaxed about his game.
Surely after last week’s heroics he could not do it again?
There is no denying his ability but he was able to produce the goods when it mattered most.
Partnered by his son and representing Whitey’s, he was able to win both matches against Crow Kings to set up a well-deserved but narrow 3-2 win.
Son Tom Douglas also had a 3 - 1 win over Matthew Crow to open his Summer League account.
Meanwhile, May B’s lost a close tussle with LiverPooles 3-2.
There are some areas where the Cromford Summer League is unbeatable and this was one of those areas.
Sam May (1) was involved in two marathon matches losing out to Jacob Poole (1) only to lose to Jacob’s father Andrew again in five.
His mother Sally (1) did it the opposite way round, beating Jacob in five only to go down to Andrew in three staight games. A strange match this, only decided by the doubles which went the way of LiverPooles to give them the victory.
Among the many players involved in the Cromford Summer League, Tim Denby was on fine form yet again.
Joyously entertaining to watch to watch and I for one look forward to his performances in the major winter league which approaches in a few short weeks.