DIVISION 3 – 09.09.18 – DAY 1
CLEEVE PARK A TAKE THE LEAD ON DAY 1
It fell to Division 3 to open the new season and disappointingly one team failed to turn up. It is unlike South Croydon not to honour their commitment to the League so one has to assume there was a breakdown in communication somewhere. It does, however, mean that they are already adrift at the foot of the table giving both Darenth D and Otford A a bonus of five points.
Of the matches which could be played, there were some very close sets although the scorelines didn’t necessarily reflect this. Two of the sets in the Cleeve Park A (Tony Annand/Vladimir Shadrunov) and Darenth D (Mike Tyler/Luigi Vanzan) match went to a fourth game. Vanzan was making his League debut but it was Tyler who had a straight games win over Annand to his credit in the opening set. He also took a game from Shadrunov and the doubles was close as 11-9, 4-11, 12-10, 13-11 shows but it went to Cleeve Park. Annand was put under pressure by Vanzan in a couple of games but survived so the overall result was a 4-1 victory for Cleeve Park. It was a splendid start for them following their promotion.
The Halstead derby produced some good play. Ted Tydeman and Andy Larner competed for the A while Dennis Moore’s debut in the League was something of a baptism of fire as he was subbing from Division 6 to partner Alan Johnson. There was a five game set between Larner and Johnson which went to Larner only at 11-8 in the fifth. Johnson registered a fine win in four games over Tydeman to score a point for the B. Moore did his best and hopefully at least enjoyed his first outing for the club.
One can never attach too much significance to the table after Round 1 but suffice to say that Otford A led on five with Cleeve Park A and Halstead A on four apiece. Darenth D and Halstead B had a point each.
There was another debutant, Jules Truss, playing for Otford alongside Sarah Maris against Halstead B where Richard Nash came in for Moore to partner Johnson. Halstead collected a maximum but there were a couple of five game sets here, Johnson had to go the distance to beat Maris and a very up and down doubles went to Halstead 11-3, 2-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8.
The Cleeve Park A (Annand/Shadrunov) and Halstead A (Tydeman/Larner) produced some interesting matches with very contrasting styles. There were a number of very close games and a couple of sets requiring a deciding game. Shadrunov led Larner 2-0 but a determined effort from Larner saw him back on level terms. Shadrunov, however, held him off 11-7 in the fifth. Cleeve Park surged into a 4-0 lead. Tydeman then made a good start against Shadrunov in the final set of the day leading 2-0. Shadrunov adapted and pulled back the deficit. However, Tydeman found a way past in the fifth to secure a point for Halstead A.
The situation is therefore Cleeve Park A in the lead on eight points, Darenth D and Halstead B in equal second on six with Halstead A and Otford A level on five in joint fourth place. South Croydon B will have turn on the after burners to catch up.