Senior British League Premier Division- First Weekend

Bournemouth Sports Table Tennis Club

Not too long before this season started the team were destined to play in Division 1 as we just missed out on promotion in the Play-Offs. Then I was contacted by the chairman of the British League telling me that too many teams had dropped out of the Premier Division and we were invited to play in it if we wanted. Well after discussions amongst ourselves we decided to accept the invitation gladly knowing it would be a good experience for our players and good for the club being in the highest division in the UK.

We knew that the Premier Division is another kettle of fish compared to Division 1 and that is why we decided to bring in Steve Beerling, (ranked 48), who has played in the Premier Division before with Barrow, to strengthen our team. We know Steve as he plays in most of the Grand Prix tournaments and often wins Bands 1 and 2. So our team of Steve Beerling, Nathan Bingham (ranked 68), Hugo Pang (ranked 85) and Steve Foster (ranked 97) drove up to Ormesby, in Middlesborough, Steve B travelling with the Fusion team from London, for the weekend of 13th and 14th September. The team were in positive spirits intrigued to know how they would compete at this level.

Our first match was a real wake up call to what the level was like in the Premier Division. We played against Sycamore the reigning champions, who's team consisted of Chris Doran (ranked 7), Matt Ware (ranked 11), Paul Mcreery (Irish number 1) and Sean Cullen (ranked 30). We lost 8-0 without even winning a set/game, however we looked at the positives and saw that there were a number of deuce games.

Our second match was against London Academy who had a much stronger team then when we played against them in the Play-Offs where we beat them 5-3 with a team of Dexter St Louis (Trinidad and Ex Olympian), Sebastian Loso (highly ranked Swedish player), Adam Nutland (ranked 36) and Omar Khassal (Junior ranked 9 and Senior ranked 174). We lost 8-0 with Hugo and Steve not quite performing against Omar Khassal, both losing in the 5th, credit to Omar who played the important points in both matches well.

The next day the team had to pick themselves up and motivate themselves for another day’s matches. Their first match of the day was against promoted Kingfisher who won their division 1 last season. They had a strengthened team as well with Tom Maynard (ranked 13), Liam McTiernan (ranked 38), David Barr (ranked 46), and Daniel Kolesnik (ranked 93). The team started really well by going 3-1 up with wins from Steve B vs Liam, Hugo vs Daniel and Steve F vs David. However the job was not done and even though getting close with two losing in the 4th game and Nathan losing in the 5th against David, we couldn't get a result.

After feeling disappointed the team picked themselves up for the last time for our last match against Fusion. Their team was Kazeem Adeleke (Nigerian International), Lorestas Trumpauskas (ranked 27), Matthew Dodds (ranked 41) and Luke Savill (ranked 49). We were outplayed to lose 8-0, but it wasn’t a complete walkover with three of the matches going to the 5th game, Steve B vs Lorestas, Hugo vs Luke and Nathan vs Matthew.

Even though the team didn't get a result, it was a good experience for us to play against that level and we will keep fighting until the end. The next Senior British League Premier Weekend is the 1st and 2nd November in Glasgow.

To see the full results of the weekend click on the link; .