British League

British League first weekend 2016/17 at Ormesby

Scarborough were effectively promoted for their efforts last season as a league restructuring left them in division 1A. The new league structure is a pyramid as below.

 

                                                                                  Premier

                                                                                Championship

                                                                          Div 1

           Div 1

                                Div 2

                      Div 2

                 Div 2       

Div 2

Div 3

Div 3

Div 3

Div 3

Div 3

Div 3

Div 3

Div 3

 

The standard has risen considerably since last year and despite having some long established players and some exciting junior players, it was felt that the squad needed to strengthen to compete in this division. For the first weekend James Rule and Amir Hussain were unavailable which compounded the problem. The team were able to secure the services of a very good Taiwanese player for the first day only. Meng Cheng Song played his very first match against England number 35 Simon Noutch. The match produced some scintillating rallies with Song finally winning in five sets. This was to be the only match in which he was even remotely challenged. The quality of his play and his knowledge of the game were apparent for all to see. He remained unbeaten in both singles and doubles during the day. Song’s efforts were not quite enough to secure Scarborough any points in their first match against a very strong Northfield side. Martin Lowe playing at number two lost to Karina LeFevre (England number 3) but came close only losing 11-7 in the 5th set. He went on to beat Billy Forster in straight sets and teamed up with Song to record a doubles win. With Song’s two wins this meant the team lost 6-4. Ashley Hodgson played some good points to take a set from Noutch, but both he and number four, Aidan Ranftler could not record a win in this first match.

Playing Milton Keynes Song easily won his singles and doubles to give Scarborough 3 wins. Lowe and Hodgson both added a win each with Hodgson coming very close to making it two, only losing 13-11 in the 5th set in his second game. The pair teamed up in the double to give Scarborough their first 2 points of the season with a 6-4 win.

The second day of the weekend saw another new Scarborough player making his debut. Addi Duhan is a rapidly improving junior who should become a very good player indeed. Both matches proved to be very tough. First was Barrow and despite going close by losing three 5 set matches the team lost 8-2. Lowe won in five against Andrew Wilkinson (ranked 72) and Ranftler got off the mark for the season with a good win against Peter Morgan (). Duhan lost in five to Wilkinson and Hodgson lost two 4 set matches.

In the afternoon the opponents were one of the title favourites Whitworth Academy. Despite putting up some fine resistance (Duhan losing two matches in five sets, Hodgson losing in five, Ranftler losing in four twice and Lowe losing in four) the team slumped to a 9-1 defeat. Lowe winning the only match against Craig Gascoigne, again in five sets.

All this meant that Scarborough finished the first weekend second from bottom with two points. The team are hopefully going to be strengthened again before their next matches in November in Widnes.

 

Author: via Scarborough Table Tennis League
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