Youngsters to the fore in opening week
Three junior players sent out the message that they can compete in the senior ranks as the new Ashford & District Table Tennis League season got underway. In the pick of the matches, last season’s winners Posting A won 7-2 against Little Chart A, the runners-up. Little Chart faced an uphill struggle after turning up with only two players but junior Arthur Bracken pushed Malcolm Skates to four legs before losing. However, Bracken then took on Roy Coles – a player six times his age – and won in five legs, before losing to Nick Owen in straight sets. Little Chart’s other player, Mike Holiday, lost 3-1 to both Coles and Owen but edged past Skates 3-2. Another junior, Shem Legarde, was in action against for Iron Room B against Challock A. Legarde’s attack could not unlock the defence of Steve Smith but not many can, losing out 3-1. However, that was last defeat tasted by the youngster, who overcame the attacking Cliff Ball in five (albeit just with an 13-11 final leg) and Roy Baker 3-1. Iron Room’s Vince Corbin went unbeaten and Paul Waumsley narrowly lost out in a fifth leg 11-7 to Steve Smith in a 7-2 success for Iron Room B. The third and oldest junior on show was Tom Down, playing for Little Chart B in their 6-3 defeat against Ruckinge A. Down was made to work for his two wins, 3-2 successes over Jamie Horton and Charlie Richards but lost 3-2 to Hrvoje Crnko 11-9 in the fifth leg. Little Chart’s David Riordan won their third game with a 3-0 over Richards, but then lost out to both Crnko and Horton. In the final fixture of this round, Iron Room A edged division newbies Ruckinge B 5-4. Johnny Bispham stole the show with his spin and attack proving too much for Mike Galvan and Trevor Heales before Shaun Small almost upset the formbook by taking the match into a fifth leg before going down 12-10. Ruckinge’s Mike Galvan came away with a double for his side, taking wins over the defensive Steve Bispham and attacking Keith Harris. In an open finish for the evening, no player came away empty handed with Shaun Small taking the win over Keith Harris but losing out to Steve Bispham. Then Heales beat Steve Bispham but lost out to Harris.