by Brian Croasdale
When Steve Molyneux’s playing career does eventually end, coaching could easily await.
His shrewd appreciation of the game was never more evident than in this week’s round of matches.
On Wednesday at the Cromford CC, he showed his true potential by taking the very experianced Will Doxey (2) to a deciding game before going down 9-11, 11-7, 9-11,11-5,8-11 and this was after beating Andy Hodgkinson (1) again in five. This local postman then went to the Whitworth Academy on Friday and won both his matches, beating leaders the Pensioners in three straight games.
I never understood those who maintained that the Summer League was for enjoyment during the close season and I know that the Management Committee are looking for ways to promote Steve to a higher standard during the winter.
The May B’s won a surprising victory over Spin 2 Win who played Paul McDonald in place of the absent George Knowles. Both Sally May and Sam May won a game each with only Gabrial Hodgkinson (2) showing any resistance. The deciding doubles went in favour of the May B’s in three straight games.
Hit & Miss won a close match with Power Spin 3-2 but the surprise here was the outstanding form of newcomer Dean West (2) from Ashover. He won both his games in five, beating the experianced Dave Oakley (1) along the way.
Balls of Fury won a comfortable victory over Long & Short 5-0. There was little to trouble the youngsters in this match, although Steven Cooke was taken to five by the ever-improving Adam Lovell.
It was Wednesday evening at the Cromford Community Centre and I was trying to achieve the impossible by being early for the night’s matches. Arriving well before time, I was already beaten to the place by 81-year-old Derek Marples. He was busy coaching his two lads Lucas King (2) and Matthew Crow (1), coaching that paid off because they went on to beat the experienced Belper side 3-2.
With Keith Bradshaw back off holiday, Dalers had a comfortable 4-1 victory over the Bucket Bangers. He won both his matches to remain on 100 per cent while Glen Freeman took a game over Julian Webster.
Detonators found the going rather tough against the father and son combination of Andrew and Jacob Poole. Tough it may have been, with four out of the five fixtures going the distance. That said, the Gregorys won them all and took a decisive 5-0 victory.
Summer is often the source of rich pickings for the Chesterfield star Mick Padley. He soldiers on year after year and seems to only very rarely to dip his standards. This was not going to be that week as he he cleaned up against the Crommies without dropping a set. His side The Mikes won 5-0 to keep them well in the race for the title.
Since he started playing, Steve Molyneux has transformed himself from a tentative third division player into something special. More to come here I am sure.