Last year’s champions Rolo continued where they left off, posting a convincing 9-1 win over Mavericks. Mavericks’ number one, Ross Dransfield, held off Moke Warburton in five games to register their only point. Martin Lowe was relatively untroubled for his three wins. Sam Lowe was taken to five ends by Mavericks’ new signing, Jon Mancrief, yet ended the night unbeaten.
Last year’s runners-up have undergone a change of name from Corinthians to Specsavers and a reshuffle of personnel. They made a solid start to the season with a 7-3 win over Hackness. Glenn Hodgson spent the match unbeaten. Hodgson’s doubles partner Mark Marshall won two of his singles, suffering a rare reverse to Peter Lee, Hackness’ top performer on the night. Specsavers’ new signing Piotr Ozon had to be content with a single victory over James Hodgson in a promising debut.
It promises to be a long season of learning for promoted team Whitby Endeavour. They fell to a 10-0 defeat to a Hobnobs A side that showcased two new squad members in Pat Swindell and Dave Oxley. Mike Wheatley made up Hobnobs’ winning side. It will be a small crumb of comfort for Whitby that Barry Davies and Jonathan Parkinson were both able to take Oxley to five ends.
James Builders were another side parading a new signing, picking up Gary Connolly from the now defunct Nomads. Connolly made a terrific start to the season, rattling off three wins in a 7-3 defeat of Scalby Old Boys. Simon James won three singles for the Builders and combined with Connolly to win the doubles. Scalby’s Alistair Hutchinson, Matthew Whilde and Matthew Rutt all took four end wins over third player Julian James.
Promoted Liberators Southside added a couple of old Hobnobs to their lineup as they made a winning start to the season, 8-2 against fellow promoted side Rogues and Joshers. New signings, Derek Harris (three wins) and Allan Thurling (two wins) complemented John Farrell’s two victories. Luke Howland, after sitting out last season looks like a key addition to the Rogues’ ranks, grabbing tight wins over Farrell and Thurling.
In what looks to be a very open division Hobnobs B and Hackness TTC both made winning starts against sluggish Picadore opposition.
Noel Seery, one of the division’s most formidable players, hit a treble in Hackness’ 8-2 win over Picadore B. Stephen Atkinson earned Picadore’s only two points with wins over Christopher Found and Trevor Teasdale. Picadore’s Nigel Chandley suffered a heartbreaking five end defeat against Teasdale, despite being two up against a player who’s rapidly becoming Chandley’s nemesis.
Picadore A fared better against Hobnobs B, eventually suffering a close 6-4 defeat. Jack Louth was the player of the match, the junior starting to live up to his immense promise with an untroubled treble. Lester Smith won two matches for Hobnobs including a tight five end contest with Richard Lloyd. Lloyd featured in another match that went all the way - this time getting the better of Nigel Escreet. Martin Zammit was Picadore’s most effective performer with two wins.
With a host of new teams and players, the Division Three season promises to be exciting and unpredictable. The Eraser Blades and The Bat-Alions are two of several teams that feature a mix of youth and experience. Brian Goodliffe’s Blades secured a winning start; 7-3 with trebles from both Goodliffe and Tony Craven. Katie Robinson edged the battle between two juniors making their league debuts, winning in four ends against Daniel Escreet. Naomi and Kath Edwards both took wins and Escreet got on the the scoreboard teaming up with Goodliffe in the doubles.
Eastfield Fusion continue to make good progress, and are another team to feature a father and son combination, with Richard joining junior Callum Seastron for this season. Both took trebles against an inexperienced Newbats outfit, with Jaik Herrington adding two more. Louis Fell made a great start league competition, beating Herrington in singles and teaming up with Zack Wood for a point in the doubles.
Eastfield’s third team, the Tigers, fielded three juniors: Suzanne Zegstroo, and two players making their league debut: Emilie Silcock and Alicia Millinder. The experienced Phoenix had too much knowhow though, with Steven Davies, Denton Guest and Richard Mirfin cantering to a 10-0 win.