by Brian Croasdale
Mark Briddon can be one of the most exciting table tennis players in the area yet he doesn’t win as many matches as he should.
I watched him play Pat Thorley at Cromford on Wednesday and he won a terrific struggle 16-14 in the final game. Despite this, he had previously gone down in three straight games to Andrew Middleton (one) from Buxton.
Luckily, Derbyshire champion Jake Miekle (two) was on hand as Crommys beat The Pandys by 3-2.
Bucket Bangers came unstuck against Liver Pooles, losing 4-1. There was a good performance by Andrew Poole (two) and, with son Jacob picking up a match against Julian Webster, they deserved the win. Surprisingly to some, The Mikes went down 3-2 to the Detonators although Mick Padley (two) rightly retained his 100 per cent record.
Dalers lost to the Crow Kings 3-2. Nice to see Lucas King win his first match but one had to admire the determination of Derek Marples who still has a lot to offer at the age of 70.
Keith Bradshaw was again unbeaten and it was pleasing to note he had agreed terms to join the National League team for this season.
Jems went down to the Posties 3-2, who had Will Doxey (two) in good form. Emma Coles lost her matches but will get better as she has not played a lot due to work.
Top side the Burtons brought in young Tom Tate for the unavailable Daniel Burton against Rapid Fire. The step up in class was a bit too much for Tom and it was left to Andrew Burton (two) to keep them in the game. A five-set victory in the doubles rescued the fixture as Burtons won 3-2.
The last place you would expect to see Sam May calling the shots is playing with Steve Molyneux (two) but that is exactly what happened. Sam was drafted in to face Power Spin in the Whitworth Summer League and gave a master class that defied his young age.
Pensioners retained their top position by beating J. B. Juniors 5-0. Both Derek Northin and Brian Croasdale remain unbeaten this season.
Team Nitro saw off the Tates in another 5-0 scoreline.
On paper, Rowsley 08 star Warren Slaney would have all the tools required for an unblemished season yet still he managed to lose to Tom Tate in five games. His side went down 3-2 this time to Wacca Wacca.
Balls of Fury defeated Hit & Miss 4-1 and, with Dave Oakley injured, Michael Jordan was brought in to play. Good performance here by young Steven Cooke (two) despite being taken close by Jordan.
For me though, when everything is going right, Mark Briddon is one of table tennis’s great sights. He is beginning to play the right way, more aggresively and decisively.
We have not seen the best of this lad yet!