by Brian Croasdale
Like most people who grew up in the sixties, I soon became a sports fan and more particularly in my case a table tennis fan.
It is not difficult therefore to imagine how a good match and contest would hold a special fascination for me, as well as the rest of our association. This season reminded me of just that.
With keenly-fought contests in all divisions, it has been a memorable first third and I cannot wait for the new year when all will be sorted.
Division One finds the two Rowsley teams, champions Rowsley 08 and Rowsley Scorpions going at it hammer and tongs and this week was no exception. Rowsley Scorpions were top until Rowsley 08 powered their way back with two back to back 10-0 wins.
They beat Fiesteros Reborn and Cromford Community Centre in the same night and, looking the class side they are, only young Daniel Burton was able to offer any sort of resistance, his five-game defeat by Warren Slaney being the highlight.
Mind you, that is not to say Fiesteros Reborn did not have their moments against the top side. Warren Slaney was struggling against young Daniel Burton before Sam Perry stepped in to give Warren some timely advice.
While Rowsley 08 were busy taking top position, Rowsley Scorpions struggled to get the better of Cylinder Cougars A. In a match moved to the Whitworth Academy, this intriguing tussle saw Matlock champion Mike Bradbury (two) beaten by Geoff Gill (three) and he also got the better of John Davies (two) in five.
Surprise package Andy White only just lost out to John in five to emphasise his current run of form.
The match was sadly called to its conclusion when time ran out and with the Scorpions leading 5-4. The doubles was not played and therefore conceded by the Scorpions leaving the match all square at 5-5.
In Division Two, the two top sides Detonators and Cromford Cavaliers now only have one point separating them.
Cavaliers are on top after their 9-1 win over LiverPooles, although to be fair, LiverPooles could only field two players following a late illness. Andrew Hodgkinson and Peter Hamshaw were both unbeaten but Mark Briddon (one) surprisingly went down to Jacob Poole (one).
In a hushed Whitworth Academy on Friday, several important Division Three games were completed.
Top sides May B’s and Unreliables are still fighting for supremacy and this contest looks like it is going to go down to the wire.
May B’s beat Be Afraid 4-1 with Sally May (2) again unbeaten. The UnReliables had a 5-0 win over Hit & Miss and in doing so gained on set difference which may be crucial as the final weeks come up next year. Jonathan Goodwin won all his sets in straight games while Ewan Fisher dropped a game to Bradley Vallance.
Surprise package Whitworth Cabers seem to have put their early troubles behind them after a very shaky start. This week they accounted for the Power 4-1 with Chris Long (two) unbeaten and his victory over Tom Hobday 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6 was as good a performance as you will see.
Whitworth 1sts had a good 4-1 win over Matlock Marauders with both Luke Harris and Connor Davies both unbeaten. The Marauders team only success came from a four-game win in the doubles.
The Matlock Association has come up trumps this season with some superb matches and I for one look forward to the new year with eager anticipation.