Ready to start season

by Brian Croasdale

The Matlock & District Table Tennis Association’s hard working secretary and the Whitworth resident coach Warren Slaney both had reasons to celebrate this week.

Pat found time to travel to Wolverhampton to play in the Wolverhampton Midlands Masters event and came away with the Over 60s Ladies doubles title.

This was very pleasing for Pat and justified all the hard work she has put into the game over many years.

In person, Warren Slaney is a charming bundle of contrasts.

On the one hand, when on the table he is a ruthless competitor, yet on the other, he is a delightful character always willing to spend time teaching youngsters (and the not so young) the rudiments of the game.

Typical of Warren was that when approached this season by the Whitworth TTC to turn out in the Chesterfield League, he responded by agreeing to help them out, despite a busy schedule of work.

Warren is a creative and talented genius, which was all too evident in his latest match against Staveley MW on Friday.

With the match standing at 4-4, he was left to play Stephanie Ruthenbeck, the Staveley No 1, together with the only other game, the doubles.

Warren’s approach to the match was a clear thinking game, giving him the advantage and leading him to a 11-7,11-6,9-11,11-4 victory.

He was always going to play the doubles from which, inexplicably, Stephanie excluded herself.

This meant an easier passage than would have been the case and, combining with Mick Bunting, they won 11-5,11-4, 7-11,11-8, taking an overall victory 6-4.

So Whitworth continue a very good start to the season in Chesterfield. Let’s hope in continues next week when the Matlock season gets underway.

From what I hear, the Whitworth Academy and Rowsley Club have agreed to pool resources, which will mean that any of the Whitworth players coming through their system can ultimately progress to the Rowsley Club, who will take them further into their table tennis career.

Rowsley want to add to the silk of their already current crop of players and be a major club in Matlock for the next few years at least.

Well, it all begins this week. Impressive and incredible table tennis is only a few days away and a real buzz about this season is growing and I for one can’t wait.