The Joola Plymouth first team which won the Premier Division

Double delight for Joola Plymouth at WBL

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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There was a double celebration for Joola Plymouth as they won the Premier Division and Division Two of the Women’s British League at the competition’s second weekend in Wolverhampton.

Player of the Weekend was Felicity Pickard of Halton IV, while Team of the Weekend went to Brighton.

Jim Kenny was awarded the Solihull Cup, for a coach, official or player who has most enhanced the WBL this season, after receiving the most nominations from clubs.

All pictures by Melvyn Lovegrove – see more on our Flickr page.

Joola Plymouth took top honours in the Premier Division, despite losing their unbeaten record in the final match.

Having led the top flight by a point from Fusion going into the second weekend of the competition in Wolverhampton, they extended their advantage in the first round when Fusion were defeated 4-2 by Colebridge and Plymouth won by the same score against Draycott.

Mari Baldwin’s double for Colebridge tipped the balance as they defeated Fusion – she overcame Danielle Kelly in three and Elena Todirca in four.

Colebridge could not repeat the feat in Round 7 as they lost 4-2 to the leaders, who now had breathing space thanks to another dropped point by Fusion in a 3-3 draw with Glenburn Irish Ladies. In that match, Kelly’s win over Lucy Craig earned Fusion a point after they had seen a 2-0 lead turned into a 3-2 deficit.

With both teams winning in Round 8 – Fusion 5-1 against Draycott and Plymouth 6-0 against Knighton Park – it meant a point for the leaders in their penultimate match would be enough.

And that is exactly what they got as the Irish Ladies once again held their own coming from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 before Rachel Trevorrow got the crucial win in four against Craig. Rebecca Finn won the final tie to ensure both sides got a point.

With the title already won, there was no big finish, but Fusion did at least have the satisfaction of ending Plymouth’s unbeaten record, Tiana Dennison’s double leading them to a 4-2 win which secured second place for the London side.

Plymouth’s Evie Collier topped the averages, winning 17 out of 20 across the two weekends for a percentage of 85%.

Division One winners Drumchapel

In Division One, Byng Hall led by two points from Drumchapel going into the weekend, and it was as you were after day one with both teams barely putting a foot wrong in their three victories each.

So it was a surprise when Thorntons ended Byng Hall’s hitherto unbeaten record on Sunday morning with a 4-2 win, especially as they recovered from 2-0 down to do so, led by Lois Perryman’s double and clinched when Lindsey Reynolds beat Jurate Brazaityte.

With Drumchapel racking up another emphatic win, it meant it was all square at the top going into the decider, but it was the Scottish side who took the title as they opened up a 5-0 lead – two of the first three matches going to five – before Byng Hall got a consolation at the end.

Alicja Czarnomska won both her matches in that final fixture and topped the averages with a 100% record over 16 matches, with club-mate Rebecca Plaistow second, also taking a double in the final round and losing only one out of 16 for a 93% rating.

Joola Plymouth II with Table Tennis England Board member Tom Purcell

Marketa Myskova had a magnificent 100% record across 20 matches to lead Joola Plymouth II to a double celebration, matching their first-team’s feat by winning Division Two.

And it was something of a romp as they finished the season seven points clear of Halton II thanks to five wins out of five across the second weekend. The only point they dropped was against Halton in a 3-3 draw on Weekend 1.

Division Three winners Cardiff City with Table Tennis England Board Deputy Chairman Susie Hughes

In Division 3, the margin of victory was four points, Cardiff City losing only once and drawing twice to finish on 16pts. Second were Brighton, a point ahead of neighbours Sussex Blades, who lost only one match but were hampered in their title bid by winning only twice – no fewer than seven of their matches ending in draws.

With 13 matches in the division finishing 3-3, it was no surprise that the best individual average was 80%. It belonged to Brighton’s Teresa Bennett, who won 16 out of 20.

In Division Four, halfway leaders Dun Laoire duly completed a 100% season to finish four points ahead of NETTS, with Sabina Devereux, Claire Heller and Mia O’Rahilly Egan all continuing their form of Weekend 1.

Division Five winners Wensum

In Division Five, Wensum went in unbeaten and remained that way, winning all five matches and ending with a 4-2 win over closest rivals Cippenham, who themselves would have taken the title had they won, in the final round.

Cippenham actually closed from 2-0 down to 2-2 to ensure a grandstand finish, though a draw was not enough for them having earlier dropped a point against Sutton at Hone. In the event, Wensum won the final two matches of the tie, Isobel McGerty defeating Susan Hayes in three and Isabelle Lacorte overcoming Mary Heffernan 3-2 (3-11, 12-10, 12-14, 11-6, 11-5).

McGerty it was who topped the averages with 93%, comprising 15 wins out of 16.

Player of the Weekend Fliss Pickard with Susie Hughes
Team of Weekend Brighton with Tom Purcell
Jim Kenny receives the Solihull Trophy from Tom Purcell

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