Andrew Baggaley lifts the trophy at Alexandra Palace (picture by Michael Loveder)

MK League : Baggaley on top of the world again

Author:
David Wackrill

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PREMIER DIVISION

Congratulations to Andrew Baggaley on retaining his World Championship of Ping Pong title at the weekend, his 4th in total.  I’m sure that Greenleys School will be erecting a blue plaque in honour of Milton Keynes’ greatest ever athlete at some stage in the future.

Andrew’s old team Monarchs trounced MK Kingpins 8-2 with maximums from Tomek Nowakowski and, another hard bat specialist, Dave Tiplady.  Martin Hall had to settle for a single win over Pete Bannister as Dave Allison and Mark Purcell got the better of him.  Current Monarchs skipper Ian Johnston sat out this match but had a sensational ‘Worlds’ himself at Alexandra Palace, qualifying in his group for the last 32.

Top of table Greenleys Kings took on bottom side MK Topspin, but didn’t have matters all their own way despite the 10-0 scoreline.  Topspin could have drawn first blood in the opening set with Russell Penn leading 5-0 and 10-8 in the 5th before capitulating to opposing skipper Nick Howard.  Then Andy Smith, enjoying a Topspin debut, took Guy Sparrow all the way to 13-11 in their decider.  But Kings ‘ace in the pack’ Matt Haynes was in no mood for such largess and set a new ‘best of season’ for least points conceded in a match, a meagre 38 on the night.  He is a class apart and the main reason why Kings are walking away with the title.  Mervyn Kelly was the other Topspin player.

MK Phoenix decisively beat MK Powers 8-2 to increase the lead over their relegation rivals to 7 points.  Powers turned out a full compliment of players this time round with Keith Carrington making a guest appearance alongside Pete Tillotson and Minesh Pitamber, both of whom logged a win over Mervyn Phillips.  Co-incidentally Keith’s last match in the Premier, for Sasaki in March 2017, was against Powers themselves.  Hat-trick here for Ioan Constantin and Alan Bolding.

Very unusual to see a Greenleys team play a man short, customarily the preserve of club MK, but that was the case for Warriors this week as only Ricky Taiwo and stand-in Danny Sedgwick made it on to the team-sheet against MK Spinners.  Spinners had a rusty Gary Jones back in the side after his prolonged paternity leave and he was outplayed by the Warriors’ duo who took a 3rd win on the night when Ricky beat Neil Massa.  Usual maximum for Alan Cherry.

Player of the week is Andrew Baggaley

 

DIVISION 1

EAGLES IN FREEFALL

St. Christopher Van Hire extended the lead over their rivals after an emphatic 9-1 victory over mid table Greenleys Glory.  Half the sets went to a decider but the only one lost was by David Broome against Ian Brown, who saved the whitewash in the last set.  Hat-tricks for Biao Wang and Paul Haigh whilst Christine Scaysbrook and Jacob Midson completed the Glory line-up.

MK Pumas made hard work of beating second from bottom Open University Primes 6-4 but stay in the other promotion spot for now.  The match started badly for them with the usually dependable Andy Smith crashing to a 5 game defeat against Patrick Wong and they were 2-0 down 20 minutes later after a straight games win for Martin Lok against Keith Carrington.  But, as is often the case, Julie Snowdon came to hr side’s rescue by starting the fightback with a victory over Andy Tan and continuing with straight game wins over Patrick and Martin.  And a vital contribution from Keith, who came up with only his second win of the season against a div 1 player when he got the better of Andy.

Greenleys Eagles looked to be walking away with the title when on an 11 match unbeaten run earlier in the season, but could slip to 4th in the next in the next round, behind this week’s opponents Woburn Sands Data.  Data’s one time ‘wonder boy’ Darren Ward was man of the match after a stunning hat-trick in his team’s 7-3 success.  The highlight was a win over Iain Lindsay, but either side of this mega win Darren dealt comfortably with both Dave Plumb and Barry Bishop.  Rob McPheat beat Dave & Barry with James Molloy chipping in with a win over Dave and sharing the doubles with Rob in a match where no sets went to a decider.

Chackmore Hasbeens enjoyed an 8-2 scoreline, their biggest win of the season when beating a 2-player Newport Pagnell Vantage side, tailed off by 16 points at the foot of the table.  In the clash between the Division’s only ever present competitors, Hasbeens’ Bub Burman got revenge over Sue Lewis for his defeat to her last time out with a straight games win, one of only 2 sets not to go to a decider.  Tony Ardis got Vantage’s only singles win when beating Andy Whitehead, and took the doubles with Sue Lewis against Bub/Andy in a set that showcased this division’s two most prolific doubles partnerships, 24 appearances between them.

Player of the week is Darren Ward

DIVISION 2

(courtesy of Martin Johnson)

No changes of position, this week, with the top three teams all winning 8-2, whilst the bottom two teams have fallen further adrift of safety from relegation.

Leaders, Milton Keynes Tornadoes, collected their seventh straight win, beating fifth placed Newport Pagnell Lagondas, 8-2.  Once again it was the dynamic duo of Tanmay Tijare and Nicolas Wong who did the main damage, each winning their three singles and combining to also win the doubles versus Roy Read and Chris Horn, backed up by a single win for Matthew Curley.  For Lagondas, both Roy and Chris took away one win, but Glen Davison came away empty handed.  Tanmay took his individual run of wins up to 13 in a row.

Second placed Milton Keynes Hit ‘n’ Hope returned to winning ways, also 8-2 victors in their match against bottom team, Milton Keynes Blades.  Paul Tompkins collected a maximum, with three singles wins, plus the doubles with Andy Frearson versus Tony Coomber / Andy Phillips, whilst Andy F and Ivor Howard each picked up two singles wins for Hit ‘n’ Hope, but each losing out in five games to Tony Coomber.  Both Tony and Andy P had also taken Paul to five games, but each time Paul stepped up his game in the final leg, to comfortably seal the win.

Third placed Milton Keynes Classics took on fourth placed Mursley Hawks and notched up a big 8-2 win, to open up the gap below third.  The Classics pair of Dylan Cox and Masoud Nassor each won three singles, and paired up in the doubles to just beat Martin Johnson / Peter Sear in five games, whilst Barbara Peters added a singles win against Hawks’ John Paul, to complete the scoreline.

Sixth played seventh, and unsurprisingly it was close, as epitomised by three of the opening four sets going the distance, and the match ending as a 5-5 draw, as Woburn Sands Mosquitoes took on St. Christopher Spitfires.  Set 1 saw Paul Hamer beat Andy King in the decider, whilst Bernie Raffe returned the favour with a narrow five games win over Glenn Barcham in set 2, with Bernie going on to make it six wins from his last six for Spitfires, as he won all his singles.  Spitfires other wins came from Andy King with two, although no luck for Jock Wallace.   For Mosquitoes, Paul picked up two wins, whilst Glenn and Andy Jenkins won one each, plus Paul / Andy took a close doubles against Bernie / Jock.

Eighth placed Milton Keynes Shambles have widened the gap above the two relegation places, and closed a little on the teams above, as they won 7-3 versus ninth placed Milton Keynes Cavaliers. Shambles players Steve Jordan and reserve Pedro Anastacio each won their three singles, Steve’s triple being his second in a row, whilst Simon Green completed their scoring with a win against John Bradley.  Chris Welch and Chris Paddon each had one singles win, plus they teamed up to take the doubles versus Steve /Pedro.

Players of the Week: Paul Tompkins and Dylan Cox

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