DIVISION 3 –02.12.18 – DAY 3
CLEEVE PARK KEEP THEIR NOSES IN FRONT AFTER A HARD DAY
At the start of Day 3, Cleeve Park A were leading the Division on 15 points. Darenth D and Halstead B were in joint second place on 12 with Halstead A just two points behind. Otford A had seven and South Croydon B four.
The only close match in this Round was that between Cleeve Park A (Bryan Taylor/Vladimir Shadrunov) and South Croydon B (Andrew Sutherland/Sam Porter), a top versus bottom clash. It was to turn into a tremendous battle. The opening sets were shared, Sutherland getting the better of Taylor in four while although Porter lost to Shadrunov in straight games, two were exceptionally close. The doubles went to five games with Cleeve Park recouping a 1-2 deficit to take it 11-7 in the fifth. The reverse singles were also shared, Porter beating Taylor over four games which levelled the match. It was thus down to Shadrunov and Sutherland to decide the outcome. It was close but Shadrunov managed to keep Sutherland at bay 11-8, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 for a 3-2 victory.
Darenth D (Ben Jakes/Luigi Vanzan) tackled Halstead B where Mike Sefton came in to partner Alan Johnson. Jakes was, without doubt, ring rusty but he still had to enough patience to get past Sefton, just, 12-10, 11-9, 13-11. Johnson was playing well and levelled things up with a win over Vanzen and with Sefton in the doubles picked off the loose ones to give Halstead a 2-1 lead. They won both the reverse singles for a 4-1 victory.
Halstead A (Alex Clarke/Ted Tydeman) weren’t planning on taking any prisoners from Otford A (Jules Truss/Sarah Maris) and took the first two sets. The doubles went their way too but Clarke was given a few headaches by Maris before finally coming up with the goods 11-4 in the fifth for a clean sheet.
After five Rounds Cleeve Park A were on 18 but the pack had reshuffled behind them. Halstead B had moved into second place on 16 with Halstead A one behind on fifteen. Darenth D had slipped to fourth place on 13. Otford still had seven points and South Croydon B six.
The tightest match in this Round was the bottom of the table clash between South Croydon B (Sutherland/Porter) and Otford A (Truss/Maris). It was a lengthy match with three sets requiring a deciding game. The opening singles were tremendous battles, both going the distance. Sutherland was 1-2 down to Truss but managed to level by taking the fourth 11-6 and then secured it 11-7 in the decider. Porter was 0-2 down to Maris but got his attack going and eventually turned it around in five. The doubles required a fourth game and went to Otford who then drew level with a straight games win for Maris over Sutherland. Porter was going well and despite dropping the second game to Truss15-17 and then the fourth 4-11, fought back to win a fine fifth game 12-10 and secure the match 3-2 for South Croydon.
Darenth D (Vanzan/Jakes) were up against the leaders, Cleeve Park A (Taylor/Shadrunov) and found it hard going. Vanzan ran Taylor close and the doubles was won narrowly by Cleeve Park. Vanzan set Shadrunov quite a lot of problems but wasn’t quite able to nail it – 9-11, 10-12, 9-11 tells its own story. Jakes finally got going against Taylor and was 2-0 up at one stage. Taylor never gives in and makes many returns. Jakes found it hard to break him down and went under in five which made it a maximum haul for Cleeve Park A.
The Halstead derby between the B (Sefton/Johnson) and A (Tydeman/Clarke) brought some very good play with three sets requiring a fourth game but the A had the edge in these and kept going to get a full house.
At the end of a long hard day Cleeve Park A remain three points clear at the top of the table but there has been a dramatic change in the fortunes of some of the other teams. Halstead A have moved up to second spot on 20, Halstead B are now in third place on 16. Darenth D have slipped to fourth on 13 with Otford A and South Croydon B on nine points apiece.