Alan and Derek edge out Nigel & Jake
to claim premier Wolds doubles title
Group A Doubles competition
Monday, February 1
TEN of Lincolnshire Wolds Table Tennis Club’s finest were split into five pairs for a mouth-watering doubles contest.
A case could have been made for the relative title aspirations of all the combos, such was the clash of styles, strengths and weaknesses, and competitive spirit on display.
And so it proved with the title having to be decided in a mass of paperwork, countbacks and on ‘goal difference (between sets won and lost).
A case in point… Tony ‘The Angler’ Lascelles and Frank ‘My Way’ Hanson only won one of their games, but could so easily have won three.
They started off their campaign against Nigel ‘Dr Evil’ Devereux and Jake ‘Tigger’ Tomlinson with the first four sets being shared. The decider ebbed one way and then the other, with Nigel and Jake just edging it 12-10.
Meanwhile, eventual winners Alan ‘The Viking’ Spencer and Derek ‘The Technician’ Elmhirst had a very tough baptism against the pre-event favourites Mick ‘Napoleon’ Cox and Steve ‘Big Chopper’ Mason. And so it proved with the latter pairing – both suffering from long-term injuries, which was to handicap them later through fatigue – taking the match 3-1; with the rules stating that all five sets had to be played (who knows how crucial ‘set difference’ would be?) Alan and Derek made the score more respectable, taking the fifth.
So, the die was cast. Alan and Derek had to get their show on the road and they did so in fine style against Nigel and Jake, winning 4-1. The latter pairing perhaps paid the price for being too cautious, while their opponents were growing into the tournament nicely; Alan’s aggressive style complementing Derek’s more studied approach perfectly.
Rick ‘Statto’ Kirby and Neil ‘Carpet Bomber’ Lancaster entered the fray against Tony and Frank and were despatched 3-0, although pride dictated they fought back and took the final two sets. The Kirby/Lancaster axis was suffering from the former’s health issues and a drop in form, and the latter’s rustiness, although touches of class were well in evidence; they wouldn’t be a roll over!
This was proven, when they took on the emerging favourites for the title, Alan and Derek. The tie was nicely poised at one set all, with all to play for. But whether it was a case of one pairing falling away or the other turning on the turbos (or a combination of both), Alan and Derek then took the third and fourth sets, only dropping five points.
In the meantime, Nigel and Jake were having a humdinger against Mick and Steve; Mr Cox is not quite the force he was (due to a general lack of mobility with the old knees) but any victory over him in any form of TT is worthy of a medal! A cracking game this one, which saw both pairings seemingly in control and then handing over the advantage. At 2-2 the decisive fifth was delicately positioned at 9-9, with Nigel and Jake just keeping a slightly cooler head to run out winners.
By this point the competition was turning into a three horse race, with Rick and Neil and Tony and Frank on the margins; still all to play for though.
Nigel and Jake kept up their title hopes with a convincing 4-1 win over Rick and Neil, although three of the first four sets were 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, proving how close things can be.
On the other table Mick and Steve got back on the rails, beating Tony and Frank 3-2. However, the latter pairing were 2-1 up and only lost the fourth 11-8. The decider was another close set and the luckless Tony and Frank had run their race.
So to the final round of matches and Mick and Steve and Nigel and Jake needed a Tony and Frank win over Alan and Derek… if you see what I mean.
However, ‘Napoleon’ and ‘Big Chopper’ first had to beat Rick and Neil…which they duly didn’t! The latter partnership were playing for pride and by goodness did they show true mettle, storming to a 2-0 lead against a physically flagging Cox and Mason. The latter pair rallied to take the third but Rick and Neil were not to be denied and took the final two sets 11-8, 12-10 for a famous 4-1 victory.
On the other table, ‘The Viking’ and ‘The Technician’ were rubber stamping their title credentials with a 5-0 drubbing of Tony and Frank…but that only tells half the story as ‘The Angler’ and ‘My Way’ recorded at least seven points in each set and only lost the first 14-12 – it’s a tough life at WTTC. As Derek generously admitted “it did not remotely feel like a 5-0 game”.
A great evening’s entertainment with all the pairings winning and losing at least one match, such was the standard. But in the final analysis the best pairing on the night and (perhaps) the most balanced (attack and defence) thoroughly deservedthe accolade of Group A doubles champions.
1 Alan Spencer & Derek Elmhirst: Won 3; Lost 1; Sets For 14; Sets Against 6; Points 6
2 Nigel Devereux & Jake Tomlinson: W 3; L 1; F 11; A 9; Pts 6
3 Mick Cox & Steve Mason: W 2; L 2; F 9; A 11; Pts 4
4 Rick Kirby & Neil Lancaster: W 1; L 3; F 11; A 11; Pts 2
5 Tony Lascelles & Frank Hanson: W 1; L 3; F 7; A 13; Pts 2
RESULTS IN FULL
Nigel & Jake bt Tony & Frank 3-2
11-2, 6-11, 11-4, 8-11, 12-10
Mick & Steve bt Alan & Derek 3-2
13-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 7-11
Alan & Derek bt Nigel & Jake 4-1
8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 12-10, 11-9
Tony & Frank bt Rick & Neil 3-2
11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 5-11, 4-11
Alan & Derek bt Rick & Neil 3-2
11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-1, 5-11
Nigel & Jake bt Mick & Steve 3-2
8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9
Nigel & Jake bt Rick & Neil 4-1
11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8
Mick & Steve bt Tony & Frank 3-2
12-10, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7
Rick & Neil bt Mick & Steve 4-1
11-8, 13-11, 5-11, 11-8, 12-10
Alan & Derek by Tony & Frank 5-0
14-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7
Bob and Ricky breeze to
victory as Brian and Philip
lose their golden touch
Group B Pairs Competition
Thursday, January 28
IN A fast-paced, rollercoaster of action and emotions the Group B Pairs competition produced enough drama to fill a prime time BBC TV slot.
The facts and figures show that gunslinger Bob ‘Bronson’ Parish together with ‘pardner’ Ricky ‘The Breeze’ Nichols took top spot with something to spare.
But dig deeper and there is a sub plot of extraordinary depth; runners-up Brian ‘Carry On’ Loveley and Philip ‘The Hitman’ Sharpe were denied by the metaphorical width of a goalpost, twice losing the final leg of a match – the all-so crucial doubles – on a golden point; had they took those two we could have been crowning new champions.
If ever a situation proved how tight sport is at any level, then this was surely it.
As to the other partnerships, Doug ‘The Wall’ Rodwell and Mary ‘The Edge’ Silverton started in commanding fashion and were looking to be justifying the bookies’ favourites tag, but they came unstuck and the wheels rather fell off; a disappointing effort all in all from what looked like a very solid combo.
Dave ‘The Cavalier’ Middlehurst and Simon ‘The Rotovator’ Shotton likewise looked to be heading for glory after making a dream start; in particular a 4-1 overall win against Doug and Mary, which saw Simon live up to his soubriquet (‘The Rotovator – careful or he’ll turn you over’) and beat Doug 15-11 in one of the all-time Wolds Table Tennis Club shocks. However, Dave and Simon rather ran out of gas and faded a little towards the end – a top effort though from these two.
As to Karen ‘Rocky’ Ward and Lesley ‘Sting’ Devereux’…girl power it was not. Despite a few excellent wins and performances in individual matches the consistency, confidence and all-round play was missing for them to make any real impact.
The stars of the tournament though were the winners and runners up – and for different reasons.
Bob Parish has never truly performed to his capabilities in competitions but he really put that to bed with an unblemished 100% singles and doubles record – you can’t argue with that. Just reward for one the club’s most popular and loyal players.
Ricky Nichols was perhaps the revelation of the evening – a player who has some great shots but all too often lets himself down with rushes of blood; having made a typically frenzied start to the night, the calming influence and guiding hand of ‘uncle Bob’ started to pay dividends and he just blossomed and finished the evening looking like a top 10 player; in particular his backhand drive is a thing of beauty…top play Ricky and one hopes he finally sees the value of patience, crafting a rally and consistent shot selection.
Brian Lovely and Philip Sharpe had a combined age of 437 but this did not stop them playing like young bucks – cavorting, galloping and bounding along in a merry old way… Brian’s pithy one liners (we’ve heard them hundreds of times but who cares) and a chuckle from his partner; perhaps awinning formula (other players take note!)
Brian won 6 of his 8 singles, not a surprise as he is a fine player and has taken a few top end scalps at the club. However, Philip’s 50% success ratio was not predicted by too many people and is credit to a player who loves the game, loves a competition and gives it everything… well played sir!
Many of the individual games and overall matches were extremely close in a format – reverse singles and one doubles - which has proved to be an excellent addition to the WTTC competition portfolio.
But the final word must go to Bob and Ricky – literally the ‘perfect’ combination
RESULTS IN FULL
Doug Rodwell & Mary Silverton bt Karen Ward & Lesley Devereux 4-1
Mary Silverton 15-7 Karen Ward
Doug Rodwell 15-6 Lesley Devereux
Doug Rodwell 15-13 Karen Ward
Mary Silverton 14-15 Lesley Devereux
Doug & Mary 15-7 Karen & Lesley
Bob Parish & Ricky Nichols bt Brian Loveley & Philip Sharpe 3-2
Ricky Nichols 7-15 Brian Loveley
Bob Parish 15-9 Philip Sharpe
Bob Parish 15-9 Brian Loveley
Ricky Nichols 14-15 Philip Sharpe
Bob & Ricky 15-14 Brian & Philip
Bob Parish & Ricky Nichols bt Doug Rodwell & Mary Silverton 4-1
Ricky Nichols 13-15 Doug Rodwell
Bob Parish 15-6 Mary Silverton
Bob Parish 15-11 Doug Rodwell
Ricky Nichols 15-7 Mary Silverton
Bob & Ricky 15-10 Doug & Mary
Dave Middlehurst & Simon Shotton bt Karen Ward & Lesley Devereux 3-2
Simon Shotton 15-11 Karen Ward
Dave Middlehurst 15-4 Lesley Devereux
Dave Middlehurst 15-6 Karen Ward
Simon Shotton 14-15 Lesley Devereux
Dave & Simon 14-15 Karen & Lesley
Doug Rodwell & Mary Silverton bt Brian Loveley & Philip Sharpe 3-2
Doug Rodwell 15-6 Philip Sharpe
Mary Silverton 14-15 Brian Loveley
Doug Rodwell 15-8 Brian Loveley
Mary Silverton 12-15 Philip Sharpe
Doug & Mary 15-14 Brian & Philip
Bob Parish & Ricky Nichols bt Karen Ward & Lesley Devereux 5-0
Ricky Nichols 15-13 Karen Ward
Bob Parish 15-12 Lesley Devereux
Bob Parish 15-13 Karen Ward
Ricky Nichols 15-2 Lesley Devereux
Bob & Ricky 15-9 Karen & Lesley
Dave Middlehurst & Simon Shotton bt Doug Rodwell & Mary Silverton 4-1
Simon Shotton 15-10 Doug Rodwell
Dave Middlehurst 1511 Mary Silverton
Dave Middlehurst 15-11 Doug Rodwell
Simon Shotton 12-15 Mary Silverton
Dave & Simon 15-11 Doug & Mary
Brian Loveley & Philip Sharpe bt Karen Ward & Lesley Devereux 4-1
Philip Sharpe 8-15 Karen Ward
Brian Loveley 15-7 Lesley Devereux
Brian Loveley 15-10 Karen Ward
Philip Sharpe 15-6 Lesley Devereux
Brian & Philip 15-13 Karen & Lesley
Bob Parish & Ricky Nichols bt Dave Middlehurst & Simon Shotton 5-0
Bob Parish 15-8 Simon Shotton
Ricky Nichols 15-13 Dave MIddlehurst
Bob Parish 15-12 Dave MIddlehurst
Ricky Nichols 15-10 Simon Shotton
Bob & Ricky 15-10 Dave & Simon
Brian Loveley & Philip Sharpe bt Dave Middlehurst & Simon Shotton 4-1
Brian Loveley 15-8 Simon Shotton
Philip Sharpe 5-15 Dave MIddlehurst
Brian Loveley 15-11 Dave MIddlehurst
Philip Sharpe 15-7 Simon Shotton
Brian & Philip 15-14 Dave & Simon
SINGLES WINS (from eight matches)
Bob Parish: 8
Brian Lovely 6
Dave Middlehurst 5
Doug Rodwell 5
Ricky Nichols 5
Philip Sharpe 4
Mary Silverton 2
Lesley Devereux 2
Simon Shotton 2
Karen Ward 1
Well worth the wait for
Devereux Jnr and Mason
Nigel Devereux and Steve Mason are the 2015 Group A Pairs champions – winning the title seven days after making it through to the final!
The previous Monday their opponents – Mick Cox and Rick Kirby – had to withdraw due to (shall we say) a slight case of… being knackered!
Rather than face the possibility of mouth-to-mouth on their opponents, Steve and Nigel agreed to postpone the final until a week later – and then finally delivered the coup de grace.
Twelve players turned out for this inaugural competition: the format saw 6 pairs divided into two groups of three teams,with four singles matches (playing each other) and a doubles(if needed) to decide the fixture. All group matches were played up to 15 and would be decided on a ‘golden point’ should the scores be 14-14…. thus adding to the tension (and also necessary due to time constraints).
The draw threw up some intriguing combinations and, at first glance, looked very even.
Top seed Alan Spencer - top notch singles player - paired up with ‘dark horse’ Neil Lancaster, always a little rusty but a stylish player; Mick Cox – handicapped by knee problems and rustiness, but still a very tough nut to crack and the best doubles player at the club – was drawn with Rick Kirby, a class player but a shadow of his former self due to health issues; Nigel Devereux – in good form but a perennial bridesmaid – was joined by Steve Mason, perhaps the top choice from Group B players, a fierce competitor, and coming back to something like his best; Tony Lascelles – in good nick, tough competitor and proving very hard to beat, paired up with Mike Wade – not quite the force he was but still a handful in singles; Derek Elmhirst – uncompromising and a good all rounder – drew Frank Hanson, the lowest ranked of the ‘elite’ players but full of enthusiasm and looking for another couple of scalps; and finally Jake Tomlinson – bang in form, getting better all the time and complete with mystery bat – tagged along with Steve Devereux, again, like Mike, not the force he once was but with a very good tournament record and always very hard to beat.
Although many of the individual matches were often exciting, ding dong, and close, the semi-final spots were decided with one match to play in both groups. It meant that, sadly, Jake and Steve and Derek and Frank were eliminated; tough on both pairings, especially Derek and Frank who lost both their games 3-2.
Shock, surprises and notable wins in the group stages were provided by:
Rick Kirby beating Steve Devereux 15-14 (a crucial golden point win)
Neil Lancaster beating Mike Wade 15-11 (good win for the occasional player)
Frank Hanson beating Mike Wade 15-14 (golden point thriller)
All of the group games were won 3-2, but few of the final doubles matches were ‘live’, which reveals a bit more of the tale.
The only thing left to decide was the semi-final line up and for that the final group matches were all to play for.
As it turned out, Mick and Rick beat Nigel and Steve 3-2 to top their group, while Alan and Neil overcame Tony and Mike to claim top spot.
With time on the organiser’s side, the semi-final matches were played up to 21.
Mick and Rick against Tony and Mike was too close to call…and so it proved in what was the match of the night. It had everything: bad language, great rallies, golden points and much humour (and more bad language).
Mick Cox took on Mike Wade in what is always a great spectacle; both players attacking, attacking…and then attacking. This plays into Mike’s hands and at 20-20 it was anyone’s. But if he has an Achilles heel it is basic push from a chopped ball and this proved to be his downfall, a relieved Mick just getting over the line.
Rick then took on Tony, with the former totally turning his recent form on its head by producing some great play, almost through strength of will alone. However, Tony just managed to hold out and sneak a 21-19 victory. So, game on.
Tony then carried his great form into his match with Mick, providing the latter with a totally different problem to Mike; Tony’s defensive mastery calling on all Mick’s skill and patience. And it was one mistake too many which cost Mick, Tony running out a deserved 21-18 winner.
If Mike had enjoyed a ‘thrash’ against Mick he was found wanting in his tussle with Rick, whose more measured approach of chop, spin and slice proved too much and he ran out an easy 21-11 winner.
So, 2-2 and an intriguing doubles to come. Nip and tuck was the ideal phrase for this match as Mike’s winners, Tony’s consistency, Rick’s never say die spirit, and Mick’s all round pedigree made for a thriller. And, unbelievably, a place in the final was to be decided by a golden point. Sadly for Mike Wade, his familiar failing proved deadly as a push into the net from a chopped return meant he and Tony were eliminated.
A fantastic match which totally vindicated the format put in place by event organiser Devereux Junior.
Now, watching all of this, were the pairing of Nigel and Steve who had very surprisingly won their match some 20-30 minutes earlier in relative comfort.
Surprising as Alan Spencer was to that point unbeaten on the night and had a virtual 100% record against both his opponents.
In fact, skipper Devereux had whispered to his partner before the match began something along the lines of “let’s try andboth beat Neil (never easy as it is) and take it into the doubles”!
However, Steve made a brisk start against Alan and it looked to be good fun while it lasted; normally Alan’s skill and league experience comes shining through to see off any potential threat…but not this time. Despite him drawing level, Steve found a second wind and rallied (literally) to a famous 21-18 win.
Nigel then took on Neil and was cruising to victory at 20-12 up. He then faced a mini ‘perfect storm’ as a mixture of rattling winners from Neil and his own errors saw the score reduced to 20-17; in truth Nigel didn’t know where his next point was coming from. However, Neil hit a backhand too long and that was that…thank God!
So, should Nigel beat Alan then it was all over. At 4-1 down it looked like a long set ahead for the former, but he stuck in there and refused to yield. During the middle and later stages of the match he pulled away until Alan forced his way back to only 18-17 down. However, this was Nigel’s time and he pulled out all the stops to win a bruising battle and book his team a place in the final.
Although academic, the other two matches were played with Steve beating Neil and then the doubles were claimed easily by Alan and Neil.
Even though the author says it himself…a cracking victory for the Devereux/Mason combo.
The final being put on hold then, and it would mean Steve and Nigel would have to turn the tables on Mick and Rick from the group encounter.
The final was played over 3 sets (up to 11) as was the plan all along; thus, the three separate stages of the event gave a goodvariety in terms of formatting to produce worthy winners.
Mick started proceedings playing Steve and was always in control eventually winning 11-7, 11-7. Playing on the other table, Nigel and Rick had a strange old first set – Nigel racing to a 7-1 lead and then finding himself only 8-7 up! He then buckled down again, reduced the errors (and dowsed the attacking fire of Rick) to win 11-8; that seemed to knock the stuffing out of Rick who lost the next set 11-3.
Then the turning point.
Steve and Rick were going at it hammer and tongues in their first set and a golden point had to decide it – Steve winning it; again, Rick then fell away, losing the second set 11-4.
While all that was going on, Devereux and Cox were up to their necks in it; a match full of great rallies, top winners and those annoying unforced errors which, ultimately, nearly always decide the outcome. Nigel had played a crash, bang, wallop game against Mick in the group stages and had been found wanting…a lesson learned? Yes.
He took the first set 11-7, using a mixture of trading, patience and hitting (when he had the chance), but such is the spirit of the boy Cox he took the next 11-5 to take things into a deciding set.
Nigel got off to a good start and when he heard the score line from the opposite table – surely a certain Mason win at 10-4 – he knew he had to grab his chance…and he did, taking the set 11-7 and with it the title for him and his partner Steve.
The doubles was played out with Rick and and Mick having the consolation of winning it 2-1.
Handshakes all round and it was typical of both Mick and Rick’s sportsmanship that they both admitted they were beaten by the better team on the night.
For Nigel that represents a first major title at the club – he did win a runaround once and the wrong-handed championship - while Steve continues to amass the silverware; he was winning Wryder Cup captain in 2013, and skippered the Triples winning team in 2013/14.
It is hoped that the Group B players at Lincolnshire Wolds Table Tennis Club will also take part in a Pairs competition in January – if it’s half as good as this one, it should be a belter!
RESULTS IN FULL
Mick Cox 15-7 Steve Devereux
Rick Kirby 12-15 Jake Tomlinson
Mick Cox 15-9 Jake Tomlinson
Rick Kirby 15-14 Steve Devereux
Mick/Rick 12-15 Jake/Steve
Mick Cox & Rick Kirby bt Jake Tomlinson & Steve Devereux 3-2
Steve Mason 9-15 Jake Tomlinson
Nigel Devereux 15-11 Steve Devereux
Nigel Devereux 15-11 Jake Tomlinson
Steve Mason 15-9 Steve Devereux
Nige/Steve 15-11 Jake/Steve
Nigel Devereux & Steve Mason bt Jake Tomlinson & Steve Devereux 4-1
Mick Cox 15-10 Steve Mason
Rick Kirby 9-15 Nigel Devereux
Mick Cox 15-7 Nigel Devereux
Rick Kirby 15-12 Steve Mason
Mick/Rick 8-15 Nigel/Steve
Mick Cox & Rick Kirby bt Nigel Devereux & Steve Mason 3-2
Mike Wade 13-15 Derek Elmhirst
Tony Lascelles 15-6 Frank Hanson
Tony Lascelles 15-10 Derek Elmhirst
Mike Wade 14-15 Frank Hanson
Tony/Mike 15-5 Derek/Frank
Tony Lascelles & Mike Wade bt Derek Elmhirst & Frank Hanson 3-2
Neil Lancaster 8-15 Derek Elmhirst
Alan Spencer 15-11 Frank Hanson
Alan Spencer 15-9 Derek Elmhirst
Neil Lancaster 12-15 Frank Hanson
Alan/Neil 15-6 Derek/Frank
Alan Spencer & Neil Lancaster bt Derek Elmhirst & Frank Hanson 3-2
Neil Lancaster 9-15 Tony Lascelles
Alan Spencer 15-10 Mike Wade
Alan Spencer 15-11 Tony Lascelles
Neil Lancaster 15-9 Mike Wade
Alan/Neil 14-15 Tony/Mike
Alan Spencer & Neil Lancaster bt Tony Lascelles & Mike Wade 3-2
Mick Cox 21-20 Mike Wade
Rick Kirby 19-21 Tony Lascelles
Mick Cox 18-21 Tony Lascelles
Rick Kirby 21-11 Mike Wade
Mick/Rick 21-20 Tony/Mike
Mick Cox & Rick Kirby bt Tony Lascelles & Mike Wade 3-2
Steve Mason 21-18 Alan Spencer
Nigel Devereux 21-17 Neil Lancaster
Nigel Devereux 21-18 Alan Spencer
Steve Mason 21-13 Neil Lancaster
Nigel/Steve 10-21 Alan/Neil
Nigel Devereux & Steve Mason bt Alan Spencer & Neil Lancaster 4-1
Steve Mason 0-2 (7-11, 7-11) Mick Cox
Nigel Devereux 2-0 (11-8, 11-3) Rick Kirby
Steve Mason 2-0 (11-10, 11-4) Rick Kirby
Nigel Devereux 2-1 (11-7, 5-11, 11-7) Mick Cox
Nige/Steve 1-2 (7-11, 11-7, 6-11) Mick Cox
Nigel Devereux & Steve Mason bt Mick Cox and Rick Kirby 3-2
Jake grindzzz Tony into the duzzzt to win
A man has to do what a man has to do.
That was Jake ‘Tigger’ Tomlinson’s mantra when winning Lincolnshire Wolds Table Tennis Club’s first Handicap Singles competition… in a style more reminiscent of Eey-ore!
Having battled to good victories over Derek Elmhirst, Bob Parish and Mike Wade he wasn’t about to let a ‘handicapped’ (literally) Tony Lascelles off the hook.
Although the final was about as interesting as watching a bearded, monochrome professor explain a complicated maths equation on Open University – Tony being unable to attack due to a shoulder injury and Jake refusing come hell or high water to take any risk – Mr Tomlinson was in no mood to be an early Father Christmas, but played the part of a miserly Ebenezer Scrooge to perfection.
It was no surprise then that as the final went to 1-1 several people called it a day and either went home, sought out another best of three on a spare table, found a few cups to wash up, or simply went down to the Co-op to do a ‘shop’knowing the final had a long way to go and they could catch up at around 11.20.
However, in what can only be described as drama-filled hari-kiri (without the nastiness) Tony himself caught the bug and offered a hand (still attached to his arm…don’t worry) to Jake in what amounted to a warrior-like surrender; in fairness Jake was all but home and dry so it hardly mattered.
Those are the facts whichever way you dress them up (apart from the Co-op…and well, a few other bits) – however, Jake was committed to winning and there is nothing wrong with that.
Good luck to him – a deserved winner of what had previously been a very entertaining evening, organised and conceived by Tony himself.
Nineteen Lincolnshire Wolds Table Tennis players set off into the unknown; three preliminary matches would determine who made it into the main draw of 16.
The basic premise was simple – a system all golfers will be familiar with: each player had a handicap which (in theory) would lead to some extremely close games; the better the player the more points he had to give away.
The three ‘top end’ players who found themselves in the prelims looked to be in a potential spot of bother if they didn’t treat their opponents with respect: Rick Kirby took on Mary Silverton; Tony Lascelles faced Dave Middlehurst; and Steve Mason looked to have a tricky task against Simon Shotton.
As it happened, Rick and Tony both won relatively easily, but Steve was taken all the way in the second leg by Simon before finally getting over the winning line.
So to the first round proper and some tasty-looking ties.
The biggest shock – not to the man himself but, it seemed, to his opponent and others – was Nigel Devereux’s defeat against Mike Wade. The four points Nigel had to ‘gift’ to Mike was, in fact, pretty much the difference in the game; although it is a while since Psycho beat Dr Evil the matches are nearly always pretty close due to the attacking style of both players, so the handicap proved decisive.
Brian Lovely (86 – his age, not handicap) beat Neil Lancaster in a close-fought three setter; Karen ‘Rocky’ Ward KO’d Ricky Nichols; and Bob ‘Bronson’ Parish was another surprise winner as he shot down Steve Devereux.
In the top half of the draw, Steve Mason cemented his hard fought prelim victory with an equally bruising win over Rick; Tony despatched Alan Lidmila; and Derek Baker had a very good win against Mike Schofield (a few peoples’ fancy as a lively outsider) in a titanic tussle which could have gone either way.
This left us with the final eight to battle it out.
Steve Mason, finding some form lately, looked to be on the march when he won the first set off Tony Lascelles, 13-6. However, the latter’s ‘grind the bu**ers down’ philosophy paid off and with Steve making a few too many mistakes it was ‘The Angler’ who reeled him in 13-8, 13-4 to gain a last four berth.
Derek ‘Deep Chop’ Baker was having a lot of success against Mike Wade in a match played off level; Derek took the first set 11-8 with Psycho unable to stop himself (Stupid Boy) from attacking heavy chop. However, Stickney’s finest gathered himself and in a more restrained performance took the next two 11-6, 11-9 to go through…. but not without a mighty scare.
Brian ‘Carry On’ Lovely tackled Karen Ward (cue Sid James-style laugh) and had the latter not made so many unforced backhand errors could have produced a Kenneth Williams-style facial contortion of shock by beating the ‘grand old man’. However, Brian is a canny player and his balance of attack and chop proved a winning formula – 15-9, 15-12.
That left Jake against Bob in a match that ‘Tigger’ probably should have expected to have received a far harder test. As it was he won easily 13-9, 13-6.
So to the semis: Tony v Mike and Brian v Jake
Even handicapped as he was, the wise money was on Tony to outwit Mike with his excellent side spin, chopping and slower play. This proved too much for Psycho who wham-bammedhis way to oblivion – goodnight! Tony won 13-7, 13-7.
In the other semi, fitness was beginning to tell, unsurprising with a 60-year age difference between the two players. However, Brian gave Jake much to think about (not least his variety hall ‘one liners’) but the poor old bu**er was whacked and ‘Tigger’ came out on top 15-10, 15-10.
So the final… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
For the record Jake won 16-14, 9-13, 13-1 (Tony retired… hurt/bored/whatever…he packed in)
A great night was the general consensus for a fun competition which will hopefully become part of the annual calendar at Lincolnshire Wolds Table Tennis Club.
Preliminary Round (scorelines where known; handicaps in brackets)
Rick ‘Statto’ Kirby (-4) bt Mary ‘The Edge’ Silverton (+2) 2-0
Steve ‘Big Chopper’Mason (-2) bt Simon ‘The Rotovator’ Shotton (+6) 2-0 (19-11, 19-17)
Tony ‘The Angler’ Lascelles (-4) bt Dave ‘The Cavalier’ Middlehurst (+2) 2-0 (17-7, 17-9)
Brian ‘Carry On’ Lovely (+2) bt Neil ‘The Bomber’ Lancaster (0) 2-1 (11-4, 8-11, 11-7)
Mike ‘Psycho’ Wade (-2) bt Nigel ‘Dr Evil’ Devereux (-6) 2-0 (15-10, 15-12)
Steve Mason bt Rick Kirby 2-1 (7-13, 13-9, 13-10)
Bob ‘Bronson’ Parish (0) bt Steve ‘Iron Man’ Devereux (-2) 2-1 (5-13, 13-11, 13-4)
Jake ‘Tigger’ Tomlinson (-2) bt Derek ‘The Technician’ Elmhirst (-4) 2-1 (13-9, 5-13, 13-7)
Karen ‘Rocky’ Ward (+6) bt Ricky ‘The Breeze’ Nichols (+4) 2-1
Derek ‘Deep Chop’ Baker (-2) bt Mike ‘Melchett’ Schofield (+2) 2-1 (15-12, 11-15, 15-13)
Tony Lascelles bt Alan ‘Cracker’ Lidmila (+6) 2-0 (21-13, 21-16)
Mike Wade bt Derek Baker 2-1 (8-11, 11-6, 11-9)
Brain Lovely bt Karen Ward 2-0 (15-9, 15-12)
Tony Lascelles bt Steve Mason 2-1 (6-13, 13-8, 13-4)
Jake Tomlinson bt Bob Parish 2-0 (13-9, 13-6)
Tony Lascelles bt Mike Wade 2-0 (13-7, 13-7)
Jake Tominson bt Brian Lovely 2-0 (15-10, 15-10)
Jake Tomlinson bt Tony Lascelles 2-1 (16-14, 9-13, 13-1 ret)
2015 Wryder Cup
TECHNICIAN ELMHIRST FINDS THE WINNING FORMULA
‘My Way’ faced his final curtain at about 7.45pm…
WHEN the dust finally settles on the 2015 Wryder Cup it will be a tale of ‘rusty’ players finding the going too tough against the ‘match-ready’ regulars.
On paper – as in the previous two competitions – the sides looked evenly matched.
However, Derek ‘The Technician’ Elmhirst had selected a team in which top player Mick ‘Napoleon’ Cox was the most ‘rusty’ (not too bad), while Frank ‘My Way’ Hanson’s line up included himself, Steve ‘Big Chopper’ Mason, Ricky ‘The Breeze’ Nichols, Mike ‘Psycho’ Wade and Ian Gorrie, all of whom have not been playing a huge amount of late.
It seemed to prove decisive.
The final scoreline of 11.5pts to 8.5pts in Derek’s favour reveals a fairly comfortable evening but, as ever, the true story lies in the detail.
The first round of doubles was where the match was really decided – Derek’s team took it 4-1 and were never under any sort of pressure from that point on.
The next round of doubles was won 3-2 by ‘The Technician’, with Frank’s team having the honour of winning round three - the singles - by a point; but by that time the fat lady had gargled twice and was already singing.
The first two match ups of the evening were pivotal. Derek Elmhirst and Karen ‘Rocky’ Ward had a super win over Frank and Ian, with Karen, in particular, playing very well. But the real tension was on ‘centre court’ where Alan ‘The Viking’ Spencer and Mike Wade were having a right old ding dong with Mick Cox and Bob ‘Bronson’ Parish.
Apart from the third set, all the others went beyond 10-10; this was gripping stuff. But it was Mick and Bob who held firm to clinch a crucial win and make the scoreline 2-0… who knows how the dynamic of the overall score might have been affected had Frank’s troops squared things up?
Other first round highlights included a brave fightback from the abyss by Steve ‘Iron Man’ Devereux and Brian ‘Carry On’ Lovely against Nigel ‘Dr Evil’ Devereux and Steve Mason; the latter pairing were in cruise control until Steve and Brian hit a purple patch and, at 9-6 up in the final set, should have inflicted more misery on ‘My Way’s team…but his charges hung in there to claim the win.
Mike ‘Melchett’ Schofield and Tony ‘The Angler’ Lascelles were struggling after losing the first set to Doug ‘The Great Wall’ Rodwell and Ricky Nichols, but came back well to win in some comfort; this proved to be a very profitable partnership for Derek throughout the evening.
In the remaining doubles, Rick ‘Statto’ Kirby and Derek ‘Deep Chop’ Baker unsurprisingly beat Simon ‘The Rotovator’ Shotton and Dave ‘The Cavalier’ Middlehurst, but didn’t have things all their own way, the final set being 11-9.
So, Frank had to pull off a masterstroke to get himself back into contention; Steve Mason had achieved this in 2013 (the inaugural Wryder Cup) when he found himself 3.5/1.5 down after the first round, only to swap his pairings around, take a gamble, and win round two 4-1… the stuff of legends.
Derek was in the driving seat and thought “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” and just changed the running order, while keeping the same pairings.
Frank consulted Mason and Devereux Jnr to see if a winning formula could be unearthed; problem was that ‘My Way’s team had a number of players who are better at singles (as was proved) than doubles, the ‘push, spin, slice’ tactics of pairs not being their strength.
In the event, Frank tinkered a little and off we went…
Two of the first three doubles were claimed by ‘My Way’s’ battling band of brothers…but could they get another win somewhere? Answer no, although Frank and ‘Psycho’ could and should have sealed the deal. One set up over Tony and Mike S, they were leading in the second but a series of errors (many unforced) created an opening for ‘The Angler’ and ‘Melchett’ who took it 23-21. They were always in the box seat in the third and perhaps it was this defeat which finally sealed Frank’s fate.
And to really stick the boot in, Brian and Steve were never troubled by Ian and Ricky.
Going in to the singles, ‘The Technician’ led 7-3 – a huge lead but certainly not insurmountable; those of you familiar with golf’s Ryder Cup (on which our event is based) will know that big leads can evaporate very easily.
What Frank needed was a good start – in fact a dream start – no point in putting his potential winners at the end of the evening. He had to send the big guns out early on, surely?
However, after another committee meeting, a more mixed approach was taken with ‘The Rotovator’ kicking things off against ‘Rocky’… in many ways a good draw for both teams.
Other highlights when the draw was revealed included Alan v Mick – the best two players in the competition; Nigel v Rick – always a tasty encounter; Bob v Mike W – interesting; Steve D v Ian – never played each other before. The other match ups gave a feeling of very few ‘gimmees’ on the table.
In the event, although Frank’s team won the singles section, Derek’s lads and lass just kept pulling off the odd win here and there; it was more than enough with such a healthy lead.
Karen completed an excellent night for her with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Simon, who had beaten her a couple of times recently.
Derek E was never troubled by Ricky…. so 7-3 became 9-3!
Then a mini comeback…Alan saw off Mick in the clash of the titans, and Mike Wade finally found some form and despatched Bob Parish….”get in my son”!
An opening for Frank? Nah! ‘The Angler’ Lascelles was well baited up and hooked the opposition skipper to net another point.
Dr Evil was always in control against Rick, despite being dazzled by lights; worrying over a slippery patch which had claimed ‘The Viking’; and losing out on a protest over the position of the table… just get on with it man!
In truth, before the final four matches started, there was a glimmer for Frank; they all looked winnable (for both teams, actually) and at 10-6 down this was the point of no return.
However, Steve Mason’s struggle for form continued as he tried to repel a resurgent Derek Baker; while on Court Two Steve D was imperious in his dismantling of Ian…whichever way you looked the Wryder Cup was going to ‘The Technician’.
In the final analysis Derek and Steve drew in a thriller (‘Deep Chop’ being very unlucky not to claim a good scalp); Steve D had the honour of winning the all-important point; Dougie Rodwell had a relatively easy win over Mike S; and in a match that had no bearing on the outcome it should not be overlooked that Dave M gave Brian a good spanking (ooh, matron)with an excellent 3-0 win.
A top night of table tennis and, more importantly perhaps, Wolds Table Tennis Club getting back to what it does best…providing great matches, great fun, and a great night out.
RESULTS IN FULL
(Derek Elmhirst’s team named first)
Doubles Round 1:
Bob Parish/Mick Cox 3-1 Alan Spencer/Mike Wade (10-12, 13-11, 11-5, 15-13)
Derek Elmhirst/Karen Ward 3-1 Frank Hanson/Ian Gorrie (11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7)
Brian Lovely/Steve Devereux 1-3 Nigel Devereux/Steve Mason (4-11, 5-11, 11-9, 9-11)
Derek Baker/Rick Kirkby 3-0 Dave Middlehurst/Simon Shotton (11-3, 11-3, 11-9)
Mike Schofield/Tony Lascelles 3-1 Doug Rodwell/Ricky Nichols (7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-7)
Doubles Round 2:
Derek B/Rick 2-0 Dave/Simon (21-14, 21-8)
Derek E/Karen0-2 Nigel/Steve M (18-21, 16-21)
Bob/Mick 1-2 Alan/Doug (19-21, 21-16, 21-23)
Mike S/Tony 2-1 Frank/Mike W (15-21, 23-21, 21-14)
Brian/Steve D 2-0 Ian/Ricky (21-13, 21-15)
Karen 3-0 Simon (12-10, 11-8, 11-2)
Derek 3-0 Ricky (11-6, 11-4, 11-5)
Mick 1-3 Alan (9-11, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11)
Bob 0-3 Mike W (5-11, 3-11, 5-11)
Tony 3-0 Frank (11-4, 11-9, 11-7)
Rick 0-3 Nigel (7-11, 8-11, 6-11)
Derek B 2-2 Steve M (2-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13)
Mike S 0-3 Doug (10-12, 5-11, 7-11)
Steve D 3-0 Ian (11-2, 11-7, 11-8)
Brian 0-3 Dave (5-11, 7-11, 5-11)
TOP POINTS SCORERS (maximum 3pts)
Nigel D – 3pts
Tony L – 3pts
Steve M – 2.5pts
Derek B – 2.5pts
Steve D – 2pts
Rick – 2pts
Doug – 2pts
Mike S – 2pts
Derek E – 2pts
Karen – 2pts
Alan – 2pts
Bob – 1pt
Mick – 1pt
Dave M – 1pt
Brian – 1pt
Mike W – 1pt
Ricky – 0pts
Frank – 0pts
Ian - 0pts
Simon – 0pts