DIVISION 4 – 28.01.18 – DAY 4
SOUTH CROYDON B EDGE AHEAD AFTER DAY 4 AS HALSTEAD B MOUNT A CHARGE UP THE TABLE
This is a relatively close Division; a few big results could turn the entire table on its head. South Croydon B and Cleeve Park are leading on 19 points apiece with Darenth F in third place on 17. Darenth G had 13, Halstead B 12 and Otford B 10.
Leaders South Croydon B (Andrew Sutherland/Amro Sinjab) were subjected to severe scrutiny by Darenth F (Karol Wolosiewicz/Joe Gillhouley) and it resulted in an excellent and very keenly contested match. South Croydon B were first on the board with a win for the leftie Sutherland over Wolosiewicz in four games. Gillhouley pulled off a narrow win 11-9, 14-12-12, 11-9 over Sinjab to level and somehow Darenth managed to regroup in the doubles and turn a 1-2 deficit into a five game win. This gave them a 2-1 lead. Both the reverse singles went to South Croydon B, Sutherland kept Gillhouley at bay, so it was down to Sinjab and Wolosiewicz to decide the outcome. It was a very up and down set with Sinjab managing to fend off his opponent in five games for a 3-2 victory.
Darenth G (Steve Fuller/Paul Lipscombe) had a tough assignment in taking on a very strong Cleeve Park team of Bryan Taylor and Tony Annand. Cleeve Park weren’t feeling over generous and recorded a 5-0 although they were made to work hard for their maximum haul.
There was another good tussle between Otford B (Sarah Maris/Jon Corser) and Halstead B (Andy Larner/Alex Clarke) where the 5-0 scoreline in Halstead’s favour did not truly reflect how close this one was. The doubles went to five games and all the singles needed a fourth. A lot of games were decided by just two points and Otford might well feel a little discouraged after putting in so much effort with no recompense at all.
After seven Rounds Cleeve Park had therefore taken the lead on 24 with South Croydon B on 22. Darenth F and Halstead B were level on 17 points each with Darenth G on 13 and Otford B on 10.
All these matches finished as 4-1 and there were many fine sets played.
The main focus was on the Halstead B (Larner/Clarke) and Cleeve Park (Taylor/Annand) match. It was lengthy and very hard fought with 9 games decided by just two points either way. One set went to five games and all the others to four. The opening set between Clarke and Taylor was typical 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10 to Clarke gives an indication. It was followed by a win for Larner over Annand, again very tight in two of the games and eventually 11-9 in the fifth to Larner. Halstead added the doubles and things were looking good for them but ominous for Cleeve Park’s promotion hopes. The reverse singles were shared with Annand stopping the rot by beating Clarke and Larner making it a 4-1 with a win over Taylor who almost stretched him to a fifth game.
Darenth G (Lipscombe/Fuller) were in need of some points against South Croydon B (Sutherland/Sinjab) but found them hard to come by. They could have had the doubles in four as 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, 13-15 shows but faded away in the fifth. South Croydon had four in the bag before Lipscombe pulled off a splendid victory over Sinjab 12-10 in the fifth for a much needed point.
Otford B (Corser/Maris) were likewise in need of points against Darenth F Wolosiewicz/Gillhouley). Otford got both the opening singles and won a very close doubles in five. Gillhouley got one on the board for Darenth with a win over Corser but Maris made sure Wolosiewicz didn’t add to their tally.
At the close of play South Croydon B had re-established their lead but it’s a slender one with Cleeve Park just a point behind. Halstead B have moved up to third on 21 with Darenth F on 18. Darenth G and Otford B are equal on 14.
Plenty here to play for then on the final day and it would be a bold person to predict the top two to go up.