Bournemouth Achieve Play-off Place

Bournemouth Sports Table Tennis Club

The final weekend of the Senior British League on the weekend of March 15th-16th saw Bournemouth Sports, consisting of: Steve Foster, Nathan Bingham, Matthew Haynes and Chloe Thomas secure 2nd position in Division 1 South, book themselves a play-off place for the Premier Division for next season.

Circumstances led to a slight change in personnel for Bournemouth Sports. Matt Haynes travelled from Limerick in Ireland provided cover for absentees Hannah Hicks, who played in the Elite division in Sweden, and Hugo Pang, who represented England in the Cadet Home 6 Six Nations in Guernsey. The change did little to effect the team’s winning capabilities as they won 3 out of their 4 matches against Godalming Coversure (6-2), Fusion 2 (8-0) and Crusaders (6-2), while drawing match against a strong Cippenham I (4-4).

Outstanding players of the weekend were Nathan and Chloe who both won 7/8 of their matches. Chloe dispatched her opponents using her close to the table playing style. She effectively used her short pimples on her backhand to change the pace of the rally, giving opponents very flat and awkward shots to deal with. Her only loss came to chopper Matt Squires from Cippenham, losing 11-13 in the 5th. Unfortunately for Chloe, the Cippenham defender retrieved brilliantly, returning some of Chloe’s incredible, first rate attacking shots during some crucial points at the end of the match.

Nathan played consistently well over the weekend with his relentless attacking style of play and speed. His toughest win of the weekend was against England Women’s Senior number 3 Tin-tin Ho, coming back from 2-0 down to win 11-7 in the 5th. Nathan had to deal with Ho’s unique style of play, containing a pen hold grip and short pimples on the forehand. His only loss, with a 3-1 score, came against the higher ranked Mark Scutts of Cippenham. Hardly anything separated the two players, both being left-handers and exhibiting a similar style of play.

Steve and Matt also performed well, winning 5/8 of their matches. Matt won matches using a vast array of shots, varying spin and pace. Notable wins were against the higher ranked Jogenes Senorin from Fusion 2 and youngster Liam Grant. Liam had a very good weekend of results and played a very effective attacking game. However, Matt displayed guile and tactical nous, preventing Liam from finding a rhythm to defeat him 3-1.

Steve played well over most of the weekend but struggled against Crusaders against the quick pace and attacking play of Tin-tin and Liam. However, he turned it around against Cippenham when he performed exceedingly well. Steve beat Martin Adams 15-13 in the 4th having been 10-4 down. He also beat the higher ranked Mark Scutts 15-13 in the 5th after holding his nerve brilliantly. Steve won comfortably in the first two games by not letting Mark into any sort of rhythm. Mark grew into the match in the next 2 games by playing a lot tighter preventing Steve from opening with his heavy spin strokes. In the 5th Steve played a strong serve, receive and counter attacking game to close the match off against a spirited Mark to round off a superb performance.

Well done to all the team, including: Hugo Pang, Hannah Hicks, Tony Clayton, James Whitehorn and Finn Morgan-Bayliss who contributed to the teams success this season. The team has performed very well this year in a much tougher league and can be proud of their achievements. The team can now look forward to the play-offs in May, when they will play against all the 1st and 2nd placed teams from the 3 Division 1’s (North, Midlands and South) to compete for the two available Premier Division places for next season.