Mike is still unbeaten

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BY Brian Croasdale

Readers of a certain vintage may wince at the thought of the Rowsley Table Tennis club being unbeaten so far this year.

Mike Bradbury leads the way with an unbeaten start to the season and there is a reason he is the leading player in that club.

Mike has rightly been lauded as one of the best table tennis players to come out of the Matlock Association; bright, modest and knowledgeable he brings a certain maturity as he goes about his game with an air of great authority.

Take his start for the season. He picked up all three matches against Colin Deaton TTC last week and followed up that with a further three this week against Bridge Street Methodists.

He had straightforward wins against National League player Martin Dean, then Martin Jones and Michelle Gough were added to his haul.

He was ably backed up by Andy Burton (3), who stepped up his form from the previous week, as both contributed to a 7-3 win.

I was privileged to watch the Division Two match between Rowsley B and Holmewood A from the Division Two. It turned out to be an exciting tussle.

Holmewood’s Ian Turner (2) showed just what an awkward opponent he can be as he completed wins over Louis Gay and Phillip Fisher. Andrew Middleton, though, was unbeaten as he beat Ian in four as he led his side to an 8-2 victory and four points in their effort to get back in the top flight.

All the action will begin on October 15 in Matlock with the Division One matches for that week being Hopes Fulfilled v Cromford Community Centre, Whitworth 1st v Rowsley Scorpions, Rowsley 08 v Cromford Spireites and Cromford New Boys v Detonators. On week commencing 22nd October Division 2 will feature Cavaliers v Crich St.

Marys, Still Hoping v Pommy A, Balls of Fury v Destination Unknown, LiverPooles v Turnditch Tigers, and Wessington v Rapid Fire. The Division 3 fixtures are yet to be finalised.

I love table tennis. To see over 35 people down at the Whitworth Academy last week, hard at it, is a wonderful sight.

To see them develop is enjoyable but to see the likes of Mike Bradbury and his contemporaries prepared to spend time with the younger players is surely what it is all about.