DIVISION 4 – 11.11.18 – DAY 2
DARENTH E AND OTFORD C OUST DARENTH F AT THE TOP OF THE TABLE
Before play commenced there were just two points covering the entire table. It is certainly the most even of all the Divisions and competitive in the extreme. Darenth F and Otford C were joint top on six, Darenth E and Otford B were equal third on five with Plumstead Radical and Bromley Common C level on four points in sixth place. There were to be some very close matches in a very lively meeting.
Having been minus a player at the last meeting, Joy Grohmann came in as sub to partner Piers de Caestecker for Bromley Common C against Otford B (Richard Cowling/Charlie Massey). It was a very keenly contested match. De Caestecker got Bromley Common off to a good start, defeating Cowling in straight games. Massey replied in kind so it was one apiece. The doubles, so often pivotal in this format, went to Otford and the reverse singles were hard fought sets and shared, de Caestecker beating Massey and Grohmann stretching Cowling to five games. The end result was a 3-2 to Otford B.
Darenth F (Dave Field/Paul Lipscombe) and Plumstead Radical (Keith Young/Peter Duke) had a battle, particularly in the opening singles and doubles First blood went to Darenth with a win for Field over Young in four games. Lipscombe got the first two games from Duke but then struggled with the heavy topspins Duke can produce. Darenth won the doubles and the reverse singles were shared meaning a 3-2 win for Darenth.
Darenth E (Karol Wolosiewicz/Richard Holmes) took on Otford C, the well-established partnership of Tony York and Mike Palmer, and hit the ground running. Some controlled play from Wolosiewicz and Holmes brought them four points in a row. However, having not been able to get his attack going against Wolosiewicz, York suddenly hit top gear against Holmes to score a point for Otford.
After three rounds, Darenth E and F were equal top on nine points each. Otford B were in third on eight, Otford C had seven with Plumstead Radical and Bromley Common C on six apiece. So now, just three points covered the entire Division.
This round brought the derby between Darenth E (Wolosiewicz/Holmes) and Darenth F (Field/Lipscombe). A lengthy set between Wolosiewicz and Lipscombe resulted in Lipscombe managing to contain Wolosiewicz and turn a 1-2 deficit into a five-game victory. Holmes was seeing the ball well, despite being somewhat out of practice, and defeated Field to level the match. The F took the doubles, 12-10 in the fifth and the lead. The E, however, took both the reverse singles for a 3-2 win.
The Bromley Common C (de Caestecker/Grohmann) and Otford C (Palmer/York) match was played at a very brisk pace. Bromley Common won both the opening singles and then added the doubles for a winning lead. The reverse singles were shared which meant a 4-1 victory for Bromley Common.
Otford B had a change in line up with Ben Edmed joining Cowling against Plumstead Radical (Duke/Young) who began well with Duke defeating Edmed. Cowling had a duel with Young which he eventually won in four. A lengthy doubles went to Otford in five where they recovered from a 1-2 deficit. Otford then won both the reverse singles with Edmed defeating Young in straight games. Cowling had a 2-0 lead over Duke but got pegged back to two all before getting home 11-6 in the fifth. It was thus 4-1 to Otford.
There are still only a handful points covering all the teams. Darenth E and Otford B share the lead on 12 with Darenth F a point behind on 11, Bromley Common C have 10, Otford C are on eight in fifth place and Plumstead Radical have seven. It is certainly a tight Division. No one can afford mistakes and securing the doubles could be crucial with 10 points on offer during the season.