Premier Division: Nomads ‘A’ 2 Ramsbottom ‘A’ 7
Nomads’ Billy Russell and Keith Dale weren’t to know that teammate Frederic Turban would turn over the league’s numero uno scalp, Michael Moir. They were already in the doldrums – 7-1 down on the night; Russell and his colossal thighs departing early due to coaching commitments and Dale probably stricken by the grief of ‘playing up’, albeit in respectable four-set matches.
Since electronic records began (Bolton League) in 2011/12, Michael Moir (currently 85th in England) has got 100% in three of those four full seasons – his only loss to Louis Rosenthal in March 2014. That does make your recent victory against him special.
Division Two: Harper Brass ‘C’ 6 Ladybridge ‘B’ 3
The real hero tonight was not the winning team, Harper Brass C. Nor was it the players inside it – captain Faizan Bhura, Kirit Chauhan and treble terminator John Nuttall. It was instead Ladybridge’s stand-in player from Division Three, Ellis Longworth.
A perfect 60 teams in the Bolton Table Tennis League was never going to last. Scurryings down the road to Bury, retirements and the odd AWOL during a summer of madness were always going to unhinge things slightly.
‘Truth is going out of fashion,’ Nomad’s Tim Vaughan tells me. I had phoned him to ask if he had any ideas as to why his table tennis matches last longer than anyone else’s, why he has an extraordinary amount of five-setters under his belt and before I knew it he was talking about pianos, community painting and self-education.
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