British League Division 1 North Final Table
British League Division 1 North Results
British League Division 1 North Barrow Player Averages
Despite the first day’s results not going Barrow I’s way with two 5-3 defeats, results elsewhere meant a play-off place was secure. With little to play for, and the distraction of the 2nd team’s battle for survival, it seemed a win for Barrow I was going to be hard to come by.
Barrow I vs Sheffield
Barrow I’s first game was against Sheffield; the division’s ‘whipping boys’ and a team that Barrow I had beaten 6-2 in the first half of the season. The match saw the return of Tristran Swan as Scott Crawford returned to play for the 2nd team in their crunch match against Elgre Nottingham II.
Barrow I got off to a fast start with wins for Jonathan Crawford over Simon Pugh (6, 5, 9) and Brad Evans over Paul Johnson (8, 7, 9). However, once again it was the teams lower end that failed to perform as Steve Dixon lost to Jack Grant (-6, 5, -9, -6) and Tristran Swan suffered a disappointing defeat to Liam Carson (-6, 2, -9, -9).
Going into the second half of the match with the score tied two a-piece, the ever dependable Brad Evans stepped up and beat Simon Pugh (9, 10, 5) and was backed up by Jonathan Crawford who comfortably beat Jack Grant (6, 9, 8). This gave Barrow I a 4-2 lead and needing only one more win to take 2 points. Next up was Tristran Swan who should have beat Paul Johnson after leading the 5th and final set 10-8, however, it wasn’t to be as he lost it game 10 (6, -6, -3, 8, -10). So, it was up to Steve Dixon to secure victory for the team as he easily beat Liam Carson (8, 7, 5).
Barrow I vs Halton I
Barrow I’s final game of the season saw them face Halton I, the closest team Barrow I have to arch-rivals and a team they beat 5-3 at the start of the season. The match saw Tom Smith stepping up into the team, making his debut, in reward for his morning’s performance for the second team.First up Brad Evans scored a comfortable three straight set victory against Chris Ford (7, 2, 6). This was followed up by a less comfortable affair as Jonathan Crawford faced the ever-entertaining Richard Lightowler. Jonathan went two sets up, but took his foot of the gas and ended up losing to the seasoned veteran in the fifth set (8, 9, -8, -9, -6). Tristran Swan then lost to Pawel Orzechowski (-8, -8, -6) before the stage was set for England Number 409 Tom Smith to face his biggest challenge of the weekend in the form of England Number 88, Michael Moir. On paper, this should have been a breeze for Michael, however, from the start he was under pressure and it wouldn’t be unfair to say that Tom never let him get into the game as he won comfortably in three straight sets (8, 10, 6).
With the matched tied two all at the halfway point, Bradley Evans faced Richard Lightowler. Given previous confrontations, it is obvious Brads scalp is one that Richard wants, but he’ll have to wait for now. Like his earlier match, Brad cruised through winning 8, 1 and 3. After a nervous start, Tristran Swan furthered Barrow I’s lead to 4-2 with a good win over higher ranked Chris Ford (-5, 7, 9, 3). Jonathan Crawford then failed to keep Mick Moir’s swinging attacking style at bay as he suffered a disappointing, but tight defeat (-12, -12, 7, 9, -10). So, with the match 4-3 in Barrow I’s favour, it was up to Tom Smith to conjure up some of the magic he’d shown over the weekend to secure a victory for Barrow I. However, it wasn’t to be as Pawel Orzechowski evaded his wizardry skills (-9, 10, -10, -10) to earn a draw for Halton I.
Final Score: Barrow I 4 – 4 Halton I
Barrow I: Brad Evans (2), Jonathan Crawford, Tristran Swan (1), Tom Smith (1)
Sheffield: Richard Lightowler (1), Chris Ford , Michael Moir (1), Pawel Orzechowski (2)
Going into the final weekend of Division 1 North of the British League, Barrow I sat comfortably in joint 2nd position; only needing a couple of points to guarantee the target of a Premiership play-off position.
Barrow I vs Elgre Nottingham I
Barrow I’s first match saw them face Elgre Nottingham I, the team they shared second position with and likely future play-off competitors. The previous meeting between the two clubs in the first half of the season saw Barrow I win 5-3.The first two matches went Barrow I’s way as Jonathan Crawford beat Mark Green (5, -5, 5, 7) and Brad Evans beat David Arrowsmith (4, 9, -6, 9). As easy as the first two games were won, the next two were lost as Steve Dixon lost to Stewart Mudie (-6, -5, -5) and Tristran Swan lost to in-form and newly crowned Under 21 Womens’ Singles National Champion Emma Vickers (-9, -7, 7, -5). With the match poised at two apiece, there was all to play for.
Next up saw Brad Evans against Mark Green. Going against all expectations, Mark won the first two sets easily game 4 and game 5. Brad was under serious pressure and forced to fight for and win every point. Eventually he overcame Mark winning the crucial 3rd set game 14 followed by easier wins in the 4th and 5th sets, 5 and 9 respectively. Barrow I then went on to lose the next three matches and therefore the tie 5-3. Jonathan Crawford suffered a disappointing loss to Stewart Mudie (10, -3, -8, -10), Tristran Swan lost to David Arrowsmith (-8, -7, -9) and Steve Dixon was taught a lesson or two by Emma Vickers (-7, -2, -6).
Final Score: Barrow I 3 – 5 Elgre Nottingham I
Barrow I: Bradley Evans (2), Jonathan Crawford (1), Tristran Swan, Steve Dixon
Elgre Nottingham I: Mark Green, David Arrowsmith (1), Stewart Mudie (2), Emma Vickers (2)
Barrow I vs Northfield I
Next for Barrow I were Northfield I, a team that looked impressive in the morning’s session and that certainly boasts a squad that belies there 6th position in the division. The two teams’ previous meeting had resulted in a 4-4 draw. For this match, Scott Crawford moved up into the team as Tristran Swan had other commitments.
The match got under way with Bradley Evans beating Keith Rodger (-10, 7, 4, 4). Next up was a big match for Jonathan Crawford (England 60) as he faced higher ranked Bryn Drinkhall (England 29). Typically, it is against stronger opposition that Jonathan produces his best table tennis. On this occasion, despite some quality open play and killer shots from Jonathan, Bryn was to strong winning -7, 4, 5 and 11.Bradley Evans entered the court to play the highly anticipated match of the weekend against England Number 1 Paul Drinkhall’s older brother Bryn. The match met the all expectations, with table tennis of a caliber unmatched by any other that day. It was Bryn that took the initiative winning the 1st set game 3. The following sets were traded with Brad taking the next game 5, Bryn the 3rd game 3 and Brad the 4th game 8. In an entertaining 5th set, Brad showed experience, skill and composure as he took it game 7 to claim an excellent win.
Barrow I were now trailing 2-3 and, with a subsequent loss for Scott Crawford against Keith Rodger (-6, -8, -10), a draw was the best Barrow I could hope for. With a victory for Jonathan Crawford over Dan Welsh (-7, 5, 4, 9), this was looking likely, but despite his best efforts Steve Dixon lost to Tony Wilson (12, -3, -7, -5) to hand Northfield I a 5-3 victory.
Final Score: Barrow I 3 – 5 Northfield I
Barrow I: Bradley Evans (2), Jonathan Crawford (1), Scott Crawford, Steve Dixon
Northfield I: Bryn Drinkhall (1), Keith Rodger (1), Dan Welsh (1), Tony Wilson (2)
The team – whose home is under threat as Furness Academy looks to expand its South Site – have won back-to-back promotions in the past three seasons, rising from Division Three to Division One in the national standings.
Last season, the club made the Premiership play-offs for the first time in their history, missing out to Sycamore and Derwent.
This season has seen the creation of a second Barrow team in Division Two of the British League, while the first team has been strengthened with the acquisition of England number two and London 2012 Olympics hopeful Darius Knight, as well as Croatian number three Jakov Krivić.
Their links with some of the best players in the country have allowed the Barrow team to excel, and this weekend will see key fixtures take place.
Both teams go into the final games of their British League campaigns with everything to play for, with four matches taking place over two days, in Draycott and Long Eaton, Derbyshire.
The two sides find themselves in very different positions, with the first team able to relax as, barring mathematical improbabilities, they have all but secured a Premier Division play-off place.
Meanwhile, Barrow TTC II go into the weekend, bottom of Division Two and battling for survival.
The most important and decisive match of the weekend will come when Barrow TTC II face second-from-bottom Nottingham Elgre, who are one point ahead in the standings. It is set to be a nail-biting weekend for Barrow, whose star players have travelled to Furness to coach many of the area’s young rising stars.
If the first team do rise into the Premier Division, then the cost of running the team is set to rise.
While their home is under threat, the teams are also looking for sponsorship to help fund their progress.
Anyone interested in sponsoring the club can email firstname.lastname@example.org for details regarding packages available for next season.
With the leaders Drumchapel Glasgow II not eligible for promotion to the Premier Division the battle for the minor places has taken on a new significance. Elgre Nottingham I and Barrow both have 14 points but it is Barrow who appear to be finishing the stronger. They dented the leaders Drumchapel Glasgow’s 100 % record, winning 5-3 in round nine. New signing Jakov Krivić played a major part in this success winning twice and England no. 45 Brad Evans followed suit. Barrow stalwart Jonathan Crawford had the honour (extreme pressure might be a better description) of winning the crucial game and he was up to the task. Crawford beat Terry McLernon Junior 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9 to make the score 5-2. Glasgow’s Craig Hardie, who had only lost three of his 16 singles felt the full force of the Barrow push for promotion. He missed out 11-6, 5-11, 4-11, 8-11 to Brad Evans and 16-18,5-11, 4-11 against Jakov Krivić.
Barrow turned in another accomplished performance in round 10, beating fourth-placed Ormesby II 6-2. Jakov Krivić was again undefeated although Andrew Wilson’s five game win over Bradley Evans stood out from Ormesby’s perspective. Wilson triumphed 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7. Barrow no.4 Tristran Swan also impressed and he scored two notable victories. He beat Karina Le Fevre 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 and Karen Shepherd 11-5, 11-8, 11-8.
ELGRE Nottingham added four points to their score as well. Chris Rogers was undefeated as they beat Northfield I 5-3. Rogers looked sharp as he defeated Keith Rodger 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 and Bryn Drinkhall 11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9 and he received solid support from his team-mates. Emma Vickers scored a fine 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 11-3 win over Danny Welsh and David Arrowsmith a last gasp 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 victory over Keith Rodger. Mark Green clinched the victory for the Nottingham side by beating Danny Welsh 11-5, 11-7, 11-8. Steve Bailey, returning to action after a break from the Sport fared best of the Northfield players. He marked a successful return to British League action by beating David Arrowsmith 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7 12-10 and Emma Vickers 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11.
ELGRE were more comfortable 7-1 winners over bottom-side Sheffield. The score flattered them slightly as they won the two tightly contested five setters. David Arrowsmith who seems to specialise in playing five-enders was again involved in both of these battles. This time he beat Liam Carson 3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 12-10 and then Bill Grant 12-14, 11-5, 14-12, 2-11, 11-7. England no.52 Veteran Simon Pugh was Sheffield’s sole winner, and he scored a fine 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 success over Mark Green.
At the lower end of the table Northfield I beat Halton I 6-2 to jump above them. Bryn Drinkhall and Keith Rodger were both undefeated for Northfield whilst Danny Welsh did well to beat Chris Ford in five ends, fighting back strongly to win 2-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4. Keith Rodger clinched the Northfield victory by getting the better of Michael Moir 11-5, 14-12, 11-9 and Steve Bailey wrapped up proceedings by beating Mark Ramsbottom 11-6, 11-8, 12-10. A very good performance from Northfield.
British League Division 1 North Third Weekend Table
British League Division 1 North Results
British League Division 1 North Barrow Player Averages
Drumchapel Glasgow II (with a maximum 16 points) carried on where they had left off, although they won’t be eligible for a place in the Premier Division play-offs and with Ormesby II (11 points) only able to compete in the Play-Offs if their Premier division side are relegated, you can expect a real battle to secure third and fourth spot. Elgre Nottingham (10 points) and Barrow Fastbats (10 points) lead the way at present.
Drumchapel Glasgow (Craig Hardie, Terry McLernon, Richie Main and Chris Main) faced a tricky test against Ormesby in round five, and although they were never behind victory wasn’t assured until the last game when Chris Main saw off Eddie Fambely 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 to make the score 5-3. Craig Hardie didn’t put a foot wrong, beating Andrew Wilson 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 as well as another Premier division hopeful Patrick Thomas by a very impressive 13-11, 11-2, 11-7 scoreline, Thomas‘s first defeat of the campaign. Elgre Nottingham also caused the Champions-elect numerous problems before succumbing 5-3, and again Craig Hardie led the way from the no. one position by winning his two singles. His 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 victory over England no. four Veteran Lee Neil being particularly clinical.
Drumchapel’s 6-2 win over Sheffield was never in doubt, although Simon Pugh and Paul Johnson both impressed here by beating Terry McLernon 3-1. Drumchapel were equally dominant against Northfield I, again coming out on top 6-2. Both Northfield wins were achieved by former Scottish international Keith Rodger who rolled back the years, as he beat Terry McLernon 5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-8 and Craig Hardie 4-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5.
The big shock came in round seven where Elgre Nottingham overwhelmed Ormesby II 7-1, yes 7-1! On paper the two teams: Elgre – Chris Rogers, Lee Neil, David Arrowsmith and Stewart Mudie and Ormesby – Patrick Thomas, Andrew Wilson, Steve Brunskill and Karina Lefevre looked evenly matched. Not so. Elgre stormed into a 7-0 lead before Karina Lefevre saved her team from a whitewash by getting the better of Stewart Mudie 11-7, 11-8, 12-10. Chris Rogers, still a force to be reckoned with beat both Andrew Wilson (3-1) and Patrick Thomas (3-1) whilst Lee Neil was even more dominant, beating Thomas 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 and Steve Brunskill 11-8, 11-8, 11-4. With their team on a real high David Arrowsmith was determined to get in on the act as well and how well he played. He beat Karina Lefevre 13-11, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11 and in a really determined display Andrew Wilson (9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-0).
With seven points out of eight Barrow Fastbats enjoyed a good weekend and their success owed a lot to the form of Bradley Evans and Jonathan Crawford, both of who won seven singles out of eight. Jonathan Crawford (still under-rated at no. 61 nationally) tasted defeat in his first singles against Keith Rodger, but, from there on he left an impressive list of scalps trailing behind him. He beat Lindsay Taylor, Simon Pugh, Paul Johnson, Dave Harvey, Eddie Roofe, Richard Lightowler and Garry Watson. Bradley Evans accounted for Keith Rodger and only tasted defeat once, when beaten 11-1, 9-11, 9-11, 8-11 by an inspired Chris Ford (Halton I). Improving Scott Crawford also impressed in the match against Halton and he scored an excellent 11-8, 1-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9 victory over the afore-mentioned Chris Ford.
British League Division 1 North First Weekend Table
British League Division 1 North Results
British League Division 1 North Barrow Player Averages
Drumchapel Glasgow, favourites to retain their Premier Division crown have made a very strong start to the season and on this showing it will be a major surprise if they don‘t win this division as well. In Liu Kuan they have the best player in this division and one who would surely relish playing in the Premier Division. Kuan was only tested twice, both times in the match against Barrow Fast Bats (which they won 6-2). The hard-hitting Jonathan Crawford pushed him all the way before succumbing 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11 and Bradley Evans also went down fighting. Brad missed out 9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 7-11, 7-11. The big surprise here was the very impressive display by Drumchapel no. two Craig Hardie and he produced a truly faultless performance as he beat England no. 37 Evans decisively 11-5, 11-8, 11-3. Hardie faced something of a reality check in his second singles, but, he again came up trumps, with an altogether different 13-15, 11-9, 12-10, 11-5 win over a battling Tristran Swan.
Drumchapel had it all their own way as they beat a more than reasonable Grantham side 8-0 with Liu Kuan, Craig Hardie, Terry McLernon and Richard Main all playing well. Richard Main made his presence felt, getting the better of Andrew Leighton 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 and most impressively Eddie Roofe 11-7, 11-6, 11-6. Terry McLernon Junior came up trumps in the closest game of the match, seeing off former Premier Division player Andy Wignall 10-12, 11-5, 13-11, 3-11, 12-10.
Drumchapel’s win over Halton I, saw the Scots tested for the only time of the weekend. England no. eight Veteran Richard Lightowler scored an excellent 13-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-13, 13-11 win over Craig Hardie but he was made to pay for it in his second singles. Liu Kuan took no prisoners as he blasted his way past Lightowler 11-6, 11-3, 11-4. Chris Ford did well to beat Terry McLernon Junior 11-9, 5-11, 2-11, 11-6, 16-14 and Michael Moir did even better as he made the scoreline 3-4 by getting the better of Craig Hardie 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6. However, it didn’t lead to them picking up a point. Richard Main won his second singles by getting the better of Mark Ramsbottom over four ends.
Ormesby II impressed, taking seven points out of eight. They beat Northfield 6-2 in a well contested local Derby in which five games were decided in a fifth end, and they won four of them. It was a case of three of the four Ormesby players excelling in the same match. Patrick Thomas beat both Danny Welsh (3-2) and Bryn Drinkhall (3-0), whilst Andrew Wilson scored superb wins over Drinkhall (3-2) and Mark Simon (3-2) and Karen Shepherd excelled by getting the better of Mark Simon (3-1) and Tony Wilson (3-2). Ormesby’s dropped point came against Grantham in round four, further proof if any is needed of just how strong Drumchapel Glasgow II are. Patrick Thomas (eight wins out of eight for the weekend) was blameless and he powered his way past Andy Wignall (11-7, 11-8, 11-4) as well as Dave Harvey (11-3, 11-2, 7-11, 11-6) but, Grantham hit back well elsewhere. Andrew Leighton and Eddie Roofe were both 3-0 winners against Karen Shepherd and Dave Harvey secured a vital 11-9, 2-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 opening game victory over Andy Wilson. Wignall played his part with an all guns-blazing 11-3, 11-3, 11-8 victory against Steven Brunskill.
Patrick Thomas produced another top-draw performance in Ormesby II’s 5-3 victory over Barrow I. He beat both Jonathan Crawford (11-8, 11-8, 11-9) and Bradley Evans (11-8, 11-8, 11-7). England no. 74 Andy Wilson who looks to have added a new level to his game over the summer months also excelled. He showed tenacity to stop Bradley Evans 12-10, 11-4, 16-14 as well as grit and determination as he just saw off Tristran Swan 6-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10.