Quality is out there

by Brian Croasdale

Have you previously read about someone in this paper called Daniel Burton (aged 16) and wondered how he turned out?

This ranked player has performed in the Matlock League before, but not for a couple of seasons, and this was to be his comeback year.

Unfortunately for Daniel, his first match was against last year’s Division One winners Rowsley 08 and at the best of times that is not an easy ask. He lost his three games of course but impressed with his ability, taking England ranked Sam Perry (three) to four games eventually going down 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11. Lost but by no means disgraced.

His team, Clive Coles and Will Doxey, were all beaten but I am sure there is a lot more to come from this side.

In Chesterfield, Rowsley Scorpions made the trip to Hasland to face Cylinders Cougars A and came away with a well-deserved share of the spoils 5-5. Featuring Andy Middleton (two), John Davies (two) and Andrew Burton (one) as well as having Matlock champion Mike Bradbury on their books, this looks a formidable squad. No one could beat Geoff Gill who took all his matches in his imperious style but both Andy White (one) and Mick Padley knew they had been in a match of some quality.

You probably thought you knew all about Matlock table tennis. While there’s no denying the Matlock League has had its problems recently, at last we are beginning to see quality in depth appearing. Take the second division outfit Ever Hopefuls for instance. For a long time they have been on the edges of the league, sometimes producing good performances only to follow it up with a mediocre one.

This year, they have taken a major step forward by signing Phillip Fisher and Louis Gay. Added to newcomers Ian Dunmore and Derek Northin they now have a tremendous side.

This week, they faced Wessington at the Whitworth Academy and came out winning 9-1.

Division Three saw new side Matlock Marauders beat Whitworth One 4-1. Nigel Duggins (one) had a good win over Luke Harris while Gerard Dalton remained unbeaten. The win by Nigel was an outstanding victory as Luke has previous experience with Bonsall.

A captivating match was in prospect at the Whitworth Academy where new sides May B’s and Be Afraid squared up to each other. Supported by a useful number of spectators, Be Afraid found the going tough but one cannot fault the enthusiasm of Sally May and her son Sam who put on a performance that can only be described as brilliant.

There is a special thrill watching youngsters begin their career. They already have our attention and I believe some are going to go on to be outstanding players.