Barrow Reach the Play-Offs
This season was Barrow Table Tennis Clubs first in the 1st Division of the British League, and in typical Barrow style, we didn’t make things easy for ourselves!
Going into the first weekend, Barrow had a motley crew of just three players (Steve Dixon, Tristran Swan and Scott Crawford). Given the “step up” in quality from the 2nd Division to the 1st, there was little surprise when the team came away scoring exactly 0 points. It was a tough weekend, things were looking bleak and all thoughts were on survival.
The second weekend saw the return of much needed Jonathan Crawford (England top 90 player – though should be much higher) and new signing Bradley Evans (England top 20 player) joining Tristran Swan and Scott Crawford. There was little surprise when things proved to be much better than the first weekend with the team notching up two wins (Halton and Fastbats) and two draws (including high flying Ormesby II and Rotherham Scorpions). The team had caught the eye of some, but what was to follow was to surprise all, Barrow included.
Coming into the third weekend (which only includes two matches as opposed to the normal four), Barrow secured the signings of Gavin Rumgay (Scotland number 1) and the controversial legend that is Denis Neale (former World top 15 player). So with, Gavin Rumgay, Bradley Evans, Jonathan Crawford and Denis Neale, Barrow led out the strongest team ever to play for Barrow Table Tennis Club. Needless to say, with Gavin and Denis untested, the team won comfortably securing maximum points (against Grantham and Drumchapel Glasgow II). This meant going into the final weekend to quote the ETTA website, “They (Barrow Table Tennis Club) won’t be able to make the play-offs as they only have 10 points, but expect them to cause the leading teams all kinds of problems”.
Well, with Gavin Rumgay, Jonathan Crawford, Bradley Evans, Denis Neale, Tristran Swan and Scott Crawford turning out for Barrow the final weekend. They did indeed “cause the leading teams all kinds of problems”. On top of that, they secured a maximum 8 points (against Halton, Derwent, Rotherham and Fastbats) and managed the seemingly impossible by gaining a place in the play-offs to be held at Draycott on the 23rd and 24th of May. So, congratulations to all those that represented Barrow Table Tennis Club and a big thank you to club coach and manager, Duncan Crawford.