Behind the Serve
Loughborough & District Table Tennis League
• Happy end-of-season!
• For full details of the final League Tables, averages and a plethora of other statistics see the 365 website:
• Thanks go to our Divisional Secretaries and Paul Chung for keeping our website up-to-date all season and to David Handley for looking after the Handicap Cup, and the other Committee members in their various roles.
David Green – Chairman
HANDICAP CUP REPORT
Charnwood Choppers 369v 379 Charnwood Blockers
The final was a match worthy of the occasionk as two of the Charnwood teams met to decide this year's winners. Both sides utilised a full squad of three players, as Eric Baker, Tony Cook and Ian Kennedy took on Chris Barlow, Rafe Cherry and Adrian Stevenson, with only 10 point advantage in favour of the Blockers before the first ball was struck.
Blockers edged 6 points further ahead in the first set, as Rafe shared the spoils with Eric, 6-11, 12-10, 6-11, 13-11, before Tony hit back immediaely in beating Chris 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8. Ian combined with Eric and Adrian joined forces with Rafe in the first doubles, in which honours were completely even at 2 games apiece, all of which finished 11-8!
Tonly clawed back another 4 points in securing victory over Rafe, 18-16, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9, but when Chris got the better of Eric, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-3, the match swung back on favour of the Blockers once more. This still only left a difference of 11 points going in to the final doubles however, so the match was still entirely in the balance, and 11 points soon became 6 as Ian and Tony took the first doubles games from Chris and Adrian 11-8, 11-9.
With nerves jangling, it was the Blockers duo who snatched the third game 12-10 on a tie break and although the fourth game had to be cut short due to venue restrictions, Chris and Adrian has already got the seven points on the board which meant they could not be caughts. With both teams scoring a total of 233 points on the night, this was as close as it could get and the match came down to the narrowest of margins.
Congratulations to Charnwood Blockers - Handicap Cup Winners 2017-18!
David Handley – Handicap Cup Secretary
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS COMMITTEE for 2018-19
Chair: Lois Peake
Secretary: Nicolas Iacovou
Men’s Captain: Jacques Vander
Women’s Captain: Annabel Cox
Treasurer: Zhenghong Zhou
Social Secretary: Jordan Tweed
Media Secretary: Joshua Powel
Development Chairs: Matthew Crisp & Aryaman Dasgupta
Welfare Representative: Jordan Tweed
Kit Secretary: Edmund Tong
RESULTS 2017-18 End 0f Season
First Divison Winners: Unicorn Avocets
First Division Runners-up: Draycott Donkeys
Second Division Winners: Charnwood Aggressors
Second Division Runners-up: Draycott Dynamos
Third Division Winners: Hugglescote Hawks
Third Division Runners-Up: Charnwood Choppers
Fourth Division Winners: Sawley Tempted
Fourth Division Runners-up: University Students G
UniSat2 Division Winners: Emerald
UniSun2 Division Winners: Denim
Handicap Cup Winners: Charnwood Blockers
Handicap Cup Runners-up: Charnwood Choppers
In 2017-18 we had 159 players registered with TTE, with 111 in the main weekday League (4 divisions) and 48 in the UniLeague (operating solely for Loughborough University ‘recreational’ students at weekends).
The UniLeague number was an increase on the previous year from 32 to 48.
All UniLeague players were registered with TTE and with the Loughborough & District TTL. The Leicestershire TTA charged a reduced subscription. It is expected that several of these players will advance to playing in the weekday league next season, although opportunities might be less as the Students TTC plan to have one less weekday league team next season (from 7 to 6).
Of the 159 registered players 11 were Juniors of which 10 came from the Draycott & Long Eaton Club.
David Green – Chairman
Thank you to all recreational players who have taken part in UniLeague this year, it has been a wonderful season. I hope for the same next year. Every single member has improved drastically over the course of the season and I hope you all continue to play table tennis and step up your game even further.
I also want to say good luck to Matthew Crisp and Aryaman Dasgupta who will be taking over from me next year and continuing the legacy. I am confident they will do a wonderful job and will make the division even better.
It was a pleasure to be UniLeague Secretary this year.
All the best, Yiannis.
Yiannis Minas– UniLeague Secretary
Congratulations to Unicorn Avocets (Peter Haluska, Dave Roche and John Genovese) who have won 2017/2018 Division 1. It has been an exciting season with fierce competition right from the beginning primarily between the eventual top three teams - Avocets, Draycott Dinosaurs and Students A. Towards the end of the season we saw an apparent shift from the initial three-horse race becoming a two-horse race between Avocets and Donkeys with Students A team dropping out mainly due to being unable to mobilise their elite players for many matches in the second half. Despite Donkeys’ best effort securing a thrilling victory against Avocets in their final fixture, the young guns including Connor, Erin and Jeremy, with occasional senior support from Richard and Malcolm, eventually has to settle as the runners-up as Avocets had bagged enough points to win the division with a small margin of five points.
Separated by a single point, Students A were able to stay at the third place on top of Hugglescote Hares who also had a solid and consistent performance throughout the season.
Draycott Dinosaurs had a good start to the season but they eventually had to settle for the fifth place mainly due to lack of players which led to a few cancellations. Students B showed us some respectable performances against stronger opponents with a few good wins over the season. Unicorn Bitterns had to settle for the last place unfortunately which means they will be due for relegation for next season.
We bid a sad farewell to Peter Haluska (above left) who is returning to his native Slovakia this Summer. He has been one of the League’s top players for eleven years and it is fitting that finally this year his team have finished as Division One champions. Also congratulations to his able teammate Dave Roche (above right) who is retiring from work at the University this Summer … but fortunately not retiring from playing Table Tennis
Bo Zhang– Division One Secretary
Division Two produced a closely fought contest with little to choose between six of the teams in the Division, and there were still four teams in with a chance of winning the Division as we went into the final three weeks of the season.
Charnwood Aggressors were the eventual champions having led the table for most of the season with the most consistent team selection so congratulations to Chris Woodward, Tony Geanta and Ron Forster.
Draycott Dynamos finished in second place just ahead of Draycott Diamonds, whose young team took the “most improved” award as they finished strongly.
Charnwood Blockers were unfortunate to win the “wooden spoon” as they were handicapped by absence through injury of Adrian Stevenson for most of the season.
Returning scorecards proved a problem with many teams appearing unaware that both home and away teams should send in cards. However Draycott Diamonds were exceptional in sending results while Draycott Dynamos and Mrs Eileen Forster were also excellent. Sadly Blockers were abysmal.
Malcolm Allsop– Division Two Secretary
It’s been fascinating in Division 3 this year with 5 of the 8 teams competing for promotion until the final two weeks of the season. Hugglescote Hawks eventually triumphed with their outstanding 2 leading players Aaron Wainwright and Gary Pitts putting in consistently strong performances particularly towards the season end.
The race for 2nd place was incredibly tight only decided 2 weeks after the last match! Goons, Charnwood Choppers, Charnwood Drivers and Unicorn Dippers were all in the hunt. Eventually, Unicorn Dippers were shown on the national 365 website as clinching 2nd spot with an identical sets difference as Charnwood Choppers. However, following a challenge to the table and the League Management Committee hastily reviewing our own League Rules, 2nd spot was awarded to Choppers on a slightly better games average. Phew! Well done Choppers.
Students E were adrift early in the season and the second relegation spot went to Sawley Stars despite including the Divisions outstanding player, John Brindley.
Individually, of the qualifying players, the averages went, as mentioned, to John Brindley closely followed by David Green of Unicorn Dippers.
Thank you to all team captains for prompt and clear card submissions and for completing the season on cue without too much nagging from me!
Phil Jones– Division Three Secretary
There has been one stand out team in the division this year in the form of Sawley Tempted. Winning their first 6 matches comfortably put them way out in front at the top of the division. They stayed there for the remainder of the season building their lead to more than 30 points.
It was looking like a close battle for 2nd between the ever consistent Students G and Unicorn Egrets led by their stand out player George Waldie. However, a couple of big wins for G coupled with Egrets having to forfeit two matches late on resulted in G taking 2nd spot. A great achievement for a team with 3 out of the 4 members in their debut league season.
Dolphins have been the most unpredictable outfit this season with Zubair winning comfortably every time he has played singles. They have an extremely good doubles record and Sasha and Inara have both shown noticeable improvements picking up impressive singles victories towards the end of the season.
Down at the bottom Students F have struggled for most of the year with Aaron Stanton being the only player to perform consistently. Their form appeared to be improving though which is a promising sign moving in to next season.
Charnwood Eagles and Sawley Tested have been fairly consistent for most of the year but were unable to threaten the top 3 teams in the division apart from the occasional upset.
Overall Tempted were always the team to beat and ran out convincing winners. They look more than capable of competing in Division 3 if they move up next season. Students G were the surprise package and in a different season they could have challenged for the Division 4 title with all 4 players averaging 50% or above in Singles.
Jordan Tweed– Division Four Secretary
2018 ANNUAL TOURNAMENT REPORT
The Loughborough & District Table Tennis League’s Annual Tournament, held at Draycott Table Tennis Centre on 11 February 2018, was a success according to those who played. Thirty-eight competitors took part in a total of 15 events played on 9 tables. Numbers were slightly down on the previous year due to a drop in Student entries. It is planned to hold the event a week later in 2019 in the hope that the talented young players from Draycott will be able to participate by avoiding a clash with a national event.
Below is a list of results in the 7 Unhandicapped events.
Full details of the 8 Handicapped events can be found on the 365 website.
A big thanks is due to all those involved with the organization – especially Tony Cook and Ron Forster and the Draycott & Long Eaton TTC team.
David Green – Chairman
NEXT SEASON’S PROSPECTS
There are some challenges ahead for the Loughborough League next season but also some encouraging prospects. Goons are losing their current venue, Hugglescote are struggling for players to keep them viable, Unicorn are losing some players and will inevitably have less teams and the Students intend to drop one of their teams. On the bright side, a new club - Melbourne Swifts - will be joining us with two teams and Sawley expect to enter an extra team. With luck, we shall still be able to have four divisions.
David Green – Chairman