DIVISION 6 – 25.11.18 – DAY 2
BROMLEY COMMON OPEN A GAP AT THE TOP OF THE TABLE
Before the second meeting of Division 6 commenced, Halstead C and Bromley Common D were tied at the top of the table on eight points, with Tandridge and Cleeve Park B in joint third place on six. Darenth I had two and Bromley Common E were yet to open their account for the season. All the usual regulars were present, and it was good to see four of the five juniors on duty making their way through from the Development Division plus one former League player coming back after many years’ absence.
Bromley Common D had their customary pairing of Terry Edwards and Joy Grohmann out against Darenth I (Tommy Cowling/Duncan McKay). Cowling and McKay gave of their best but Bromley Common were in fine fettle and not taking any prisoners. They banked a maximum five to maintain their challenge for promotion.
The all junior clash between Cleeve Park B (Devan Vadukul/Philip Kmiecik) and Tandridge (William Ainsworth/Lucas Blyth) produced some very good play indeed. Both the opening singles went to five games and were quite lengthy battles. Vadukul trailed 1-2 to Ainsworth at one stage but recovered to take the fourth and then cruised away with the fifth. Kmiecik had his work cut out against Blyth who got some amazing shots back in an excellent set. He managed to peg Kmiecik back to two games all but eventually had to give best 9-11 in the fifth. Cleeve Park won the doubles and both the reverse singles in straight games for a full house. It could, though, quite easily have been much closer than that score suggests.
The well-established partnership of Michael Elliott and George Rogai turned out for Bromley Common E against Halstead’s Roy Shergold and Mike Sefton. Elliott led 2-1 but Shergold, although he hasn’t competed for many years, still hasn’t forgotten how to hit a backhand and he turned it around in five. Sefton, despite having had a nasty fall during the week, was able to move well enough to get past Rogai. His movement didn’t seem to hamper him in the doubles and Halstead took that in four. He did not, however, look comfortable against Elliott and went down over four close games. Shergold was unable to complete the match which meant the final result was 3-2 to Halstead.
After three Rounds Bromley Common D had taken the lead on 13 points. Cleeve Park B and Halstead C were in equal second place on eleven and there was then a gap to Tandridge on six. Darenth I and Bromley Common E had two points apiece.
There was only one close match in this Round and that was between Bromley Common E (Rogai/Elliott) and Cleeve Park B (Kmiecik/Vadukul). Cleeve Park won the first three sets but the opening singles were close. Kmiecik struggled with Rogai’s serve but eventually pulled through 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 6-11, 11-5. Vadukul coped with Elliott’s firepower quite well but it wasn’t plain sailing and he had to go to four to get through. Cleeve Park won the doubles in four but then Rogai threw a spanner in the works and defeated Vadukul in four games. Elliott backed him up and won a very good set with Kmiecik, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8 gives a clue to how close it was. It was two valuable points in the bank for Bromley Common E.
Meanwhile Bromley Common D (Edwards/Grohmann) were rolling along nicely and racked up four points fairly quickly. Dennis Moore came in to partner Sefton but it was not until the last set that Sefton managed to take a game from Grohmann. So, it was a full house for Bromley Common D.
Darenth I (Cowling/McKay) had a battle with Tandridge (Ainsworth/Blyth). There were some fast and furious rallies between Cowling and Ainsworth who found it difficult to stop Cowling attacking. Ainsworth played some good shots but they came screaming back, particularly from Cowling’s backhand and he succumbed in straight games. McKay and Blyth fought out a battle with some very long rallies. Blyth led 2-1 but McKay had a considerable reach advantage and kept the ball going to get back on terms. He then ran away with the fifth. Darenth won the doubles in four games to take a winning lead. They added both the reverse singles – Cowling beating Blyth in four games while McKay’s moonball defence proved too much for Ainsworth. It was five very welcome points for Darenth.
Bromley Common D have thus opened up a four point gap at the top, being on 18 with Cleeve Park B on 14. Halstead C are on 11, Darenth I have moved up to fourth on seven with Tandridge on six and Bromley Common E on four. Bromley Common D are certainly on track to go back up to Division 5 but there are still three meetings to go and it would be a brave man who would forecast champions and runners-up at this stage of the season. It was noticeable that several games were lost on a service error during the afternoon. Points are hard enough to come by without giving early Christmas presents!