MATCH REPORTS BY SAM WILDMAN
DIVISION 2 SOUTH-MIDLANDS-WEST
Westfield Table Tennis Club suffered differing fortunes in the opening Senior British League weekend with the 1st team remaining unbeaten while the 2nd’s failed to pick up a point.
Westfield I, including John Fuller, recent Masters champion Miles Chan, Steve Silk, Terry Cardwell, and Alex Ramsden travelled to Eastfield TTC in Peterborough for their Division Two campaign and got off to a great start by defeating local rivals Bedford Modern 6-2.
Westfield I 6 (Miles Chan 2, Steve Silk 2, Terry Cardwell 1, Alex Ramsden 1) Bedford Modern 2
Silk and youngster Chan quickly opened up a 2-0 lead with solid wins against Wayne Mason and Robert Swift, but Alex Ramsden went down 11-7 in the 5th to John Alsop – who coaches at Westfield – despite being 2-1 up. Terry Cardwell put in a confident display to see off Nish Narayanan in four sets before Chan claimed his second game of the match to guarantee a point. It was down to Silk to secure the victory with a win over old friend Alsop, which he did by the tightest of fifth-end margins 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 3-11, 11-9.
Westfield I 8 (Miles Chan 2, Steve Silk 2, Terry Cardwell 2, Alex Ramsden 2) Fusion III 0
After victory over Bedford Modern, Westfield enjoyed a fairly routine whitewash against Fusion. Chan overcame a poor start in the first set, going 0-8 down, to beat Jamal Dennison over four sets before Silk proved far too good for Rodney Farquharson, dropping only nine points. Straight set wins for Cardwell, Ramsden and Chan – whose opponent retired – secured the points, while Cardwell gained his second with a tough defeat of Dennison over four sets.
Westfield I 4 (Miles Chan 2, John Fuller 1, Alex Ramsden 1) Ashford Brunswick 4
Westfield substituted Silk for defender John Fuller for Sunday’s matches, but they quickly fell 3-1 behind to their opponents. Chan put in a great display to beat Philip Tillotson in four sets, but John Fuller lost agonisingly 11-9 in the 5th to junior David Rahbani. Ramsden and Cardwell were then comfortably beaten, but Fuller dug deep to reverse the fortunes and keep his side in the match with a win over Tillotson. Chan soon levelled the score lines with his 6th straight win, but Cardwell’s loss left Ramsden needing to win to salvage a point. He soon opened up a 2-0 lead over Alex Gillen but was quickly pegged back, before holding his nerve to win 11-8 and make the score line 4-4.
Westfield I 5 (Miles Chan 2, Alex Ramsden 2, John Fuller 1) Mossford II 3
Westfield moved to the top of the pile thanks to braces from Chan and Ramsden, who were never really extended. John Fuller added the all important single to make the difference early on with a win over Bartlomiej Kazmierczak, but Terry Cardwell was unlucky to lose 11-9 in the 5th to Barbara Izyk. With the score tied at 3-3 it was down to the youngsters to seal the win, Chan disposing of Robin Ashleigh before Ramsden overcame a wobble to see off Izyk in four.
DIVISION 4 SOUTH-MIDLANDS-WEST
Westfield II were up against it in a strong Division Four, and never really looked likely to pick up a win in a tough first weekend.
Kevin Bird, Sam Wildman, Brian Wooding, Dan Smalley and Scott Dixon made up the squad, but their first match could have been so different had chances been taken.
Westfield II 2 (Kevin Bird 2) Woodfield V 6
Bird got the home side off to a good start with a four-set win over Tom Savary, but Wildman and Dixon’s failure to take an end left them in real trouble. Dan Smalley, making his comeback, looked good for a maiden win but twice let leads slip to lose in five sets. Bird, however, produced an excellent display to pick up his second win defeating Woodfield number one, Nick Gilmour, to give the score line a sense of credibility.
Westfield II 0 Whitworth Academy 8
Westfield then fell to a thoroughly undeserved 8-0 loss to Whitworth, bolstered by the inclusion of the highly-ranked Sam Perry. Perry didn’t have it all his own way, as Wildman extended him to four sets before succumbing to final defeat. Bird fought back from 2-0 down against Mike Bradbury only to lose out in the decider, before Dixon and Smalley suffered narrow losses. Wildman then failed to convert six match points against John Davies as Whitworth romped home with three easy wins.
Westfield II 2 (Sam Wildman 1, Dan Smalley 1) Generation II 6
Sam Wildman put the home side in front with a fighting display to defeat Daniel Lucking, before debutant Brian Wooding was beaten by Jimmy Yeung in straight sets. Smalley and Dixon couldn’t come up with the answers in their openers but Smalley was rewarded for his efforts with a five-set win against Lucking, but Wooding and Dixon were unable to add to the scoreline as Westfield were beaten.
Westfield II 0 Wood Green 8
Westfield’s final game saw them come up against title contenders Wood Green, and they never looked like producing a shock. Dan Smalley came closest to a win but lost 11-9 in the 5th to George Falcus, while Wildman lost both matches in four tight ends. Brian Wooding showed better form despite losing to Ryan Fellows in four, but Dixon failed to register as Westfield finished the weekend at the bottom of the table.