Last weekend was an important one for Barrow II, as the team aimed to realise their ambition for promotion to Division 1 North of the British League. With a perfect record going into the weekend, Barrow II were the favourites. Though tough opposition, particularly in the form of Drumchapel Glasgow III and title contenders Chesterfield stood in the way.
Barrow II vs. Woodfield
Barrow II’s previous fixture against Woodfield ended in a 6-2 victory for the Barrow team. On that occasion, Woodfield’s Andy Rich claimed the scalps of Barrow’s Jonathan Crawford and Scott Crawford. The Crawford brothers will have been relieved to see Rich missing for this match.
Jonathan Crawford was simply too strong for Leigh Hipkins (11-4, 11-4, 11-4) and Scott Crawford overcame the tricky John Collymore (6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8). A nervy Tristran Swan got the better of Liam Farmer (12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9) and stepping in for the injured Tom Smith, Graham Coupe was quick to prove his worth and get his name on the score sheet with a battling win over Jarendra Patel (5-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-3) to give Barrow II a faultless 4-0 start.
The second half went much the way of the first with Jonathan Crawford beating John Collymore (11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9), Swan beating Hipkins (11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5) and Scott Crawford beating Patel (11-9, 11-9, 11-7). Coupe was close to an impeccable start, but was in need of a couple of extra points to get the better of Farmer (9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11).
Match Score: Barrow II 7 – 1 Woodfield
Barrow II: Jonathan Crawford (2), Scott Crawford (2), Tristran Swan (2), Graham Coupe (1)
Woodfield: John Collymore (0), Leigh Hipkins (0), Jarendra Patel (0), Liam Farmer (1)
Barrow II vs. Drumchapel Glasgow III
Barrow II won the previous encounter with Drumchapel Glasgow III 8-0, a score line that took even the Barrow team by surprise. Barrow II certainly weren’t expecting things to be as easy this time against a young and dangerous Drumchapel Glasgow III.
From the start, the match didn’t go to plan as Scott Crawford failed to penetrate the sharp looking Drumchapel Number 1 Calum Main (11-7, 11-13, 9-11, 5-11). Thankfully for Barrow, the ship was steadied as brother Jonathan Crawford stepped into the court showing the sort of form that has deserted him for much of the season. Jonathan beat the much-improved Scott Barton (11-7, 11-5, 16-14).
Graham Coupe was on fire as he produced possibly his best win to date against Nathan Courtney (11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 3-11, 11-7) to put Barrow II back on track. With the Barrow team visibly lifted and once again buoyant, Tristran Swan fed of the mistakes of Andrew McFadyen (13-11, 11-6, 11-5) to give Barrow II a 3-1 lead at the halfway point.
Jonathan Crawford then went on to produce his best table tennis of the season. Hitting the ball sweet and at times with unreturnable venom, Jonathan always looked in control as he beat Drumchapel’s Main (11-6, 11-4, 3-11, 11-8). Scott Crawford then overcame Courtney (11-5, 15-13, 13-11), whilst Swan didn’t have an answer for the serves and short play of Barton (12-14, 6-11, 6-11). For Coupe, a satisfying afternoon was concluded with a superb win over McFadyen (10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6) to give Barrow II a very respectable 6-2 win.
Match Score: Barrow II 6 – 2 Drumchapel Glasgow III
Barrow II: Jonathan Crawford (2), Scott Crawford (1), Tristran Swan (1), Graham Coupe (2)
Drumchapel Glasgow III: Calum Main (1), Scott Barton (1), Nathan Courtney (0), Andrew McFadyen (0)
Barrow II vs. Chesterfield
Barrow II’s previous encounter with Chesterfield is what defines the standings at the top of the table. On that occasion, a strong team of Bradley Evans, Jonathan Crawford, Scott Crawford and Steve Dixon took the fixture 5-3 to give Barrow II a two-point advantage at the top of the table.
This time around, Barrow II had a very different lineup against an unchanged Chesterfield (William Cooney, Andy Henry, Andrew Horsefield, Mark Short). As such, this match had the potential to be a game of two halves. With Barrow II on paper boasting a stronger 1 and 2 and Chesterfield greater depth at 3 and 4, a draw looked to be on the cards and it is this that Barrow were playing for.
To start, Chesterfield’s Andy Henry struggled to read Jonathan Crawford’s deceptive serves (11-4, 11-6). Come the third set, he seemed to have the hang of them (8-11). Although Jonathan wasn’t playing as well as the previous day, he managed to close Henry out in the fourth set to give Barrow II a very important early lead (11-9).
Barrow’s lead was extended as Scott Crawford held his nerve after loosing the first set to Will Cooney (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5). As expected, Tristran Swan went down to the consistent Mark Short (4-11, 10-12, 8-11) and Graham Coupe lost out to the intelligent play of Andrew Horsefield (7-11, 5-11, 5-11). This left the match score 2-2 at the halfway point and Barrow II needing two more games to more or less guarantee them the title.
In the first of two crunch games for Barrow, Chesterfields Cooney failed to convert chances, aiding Jonathan Crawford to victory (14-12, 11-9, 12-10). Tristran Swan then failed to get the better of Andy Henry to leave the match perilously tight at three a-piece.
In possibly the most entertaining match of the weekend, much to the delight of the Barrow team, Scott Crawford got the better of Andrew Horsefield (11-8, 12-10, 11-4) to guarantee Barrow a valuable draw and possibly the title. This lifted any pressure off Coupe as he faced Short. Despite a strong start by Coupe (10-12), Short went on to control the game and earn Chesterfield the conciliation of a draw (2-11, 6-11).
Match Score: Barrow II 4 – 4 Chesterfield
Barrow II: Jonathan Crawford (2), Scott Crawford (2), Tristran Swan (0), Graham Coupe (0)
Chesterfield: William Cooney (0), Andy Henry (1), Andrew Horsefield (1), Mark Short (2)
Barrow II vs. Ormesby III
To start, Ormesby’s Karen Shepherd played an excellent and effective counter-hitting game against Barrow’s Scott Crawford. However, Crawford managed to hang on and clinch the game in a dramatic 5th set (14-12, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9). Jonathan Crawford then proceeded to ease past Martin Rutter (11-5, 12-10, 11-5) and Graham Coupe beat Michael Young (11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9). Tristran Swan then battled through against Chloe Whyte (11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5) to guarantee Barrow the draw they needed to win the division.
The second half of the game followed the first. Once again Karen Shepherd played well, but lost out to Jonathan Crawford (11-9, 12-10, 12-10). Scott Crawford beat Michael Young (11-9, 11-6, 11-9), Tristran Swan did well to fight back and beat Martin Rutter (11-13, 10-12, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5) whilst Graham Coupe frustrated Chloe Whyte (11-5, 11-9, 12-14, 11-8) to earn Barrow II a convincing 8-0 win.
Match Score: Barrow II 8 – 0 Ormesby III
Barrow II: Jonathan Crawford (2), Scott Crawford (2), Tristran Swan (2), Graham Coupe (2)
Ormesby III: Karen Shepherd (0), Martin Rutter (0), Michael Young (0), Chloe Whyte (0)
This weekend, at Draycott and Long Eaton Table Tennis Centre, the champions of Division 2 North of the British League will be decided.
Occupying pole position, Barrow II have spent the last week preparing. Despite being undefeated so far, the team have a slender 2-point advantage over Chesterfield and the youthful Barrow team understands there is no leeway for slip-ups.
Over the weekend, Barrow II will face some tough opposition from: sixth placed Woodfield I, third placed Drumchapel Glasgow III, second placed Chesterfield (championship deciding game) and seventh placed Ormesby III.
It is the start of a new year. A time to reflect and a time to look ahead and think about what we want to achieve.
With this in mind, I asked a few Barrow TTC players the following questions (as well as answered them myself). Please leave your answers to the questions in the comments section below.
- What is your table tennis target for 2011?
- What is your personal goal for 2011?
- To win Division 2 North of the British League with Barrow II and to help Barrow I win the British League Premier Division. Going into the new season, I’d like to take everything I’ve learnt running the Barrow teams this season and make things even better.
- To adapt to a new life as a father and find the right balance that allows me to do everything I want and keep those important to me happy.
- To qualify for the U21 Pro-Tour Finals – it is my last year.
- To be ranked in the World top 150 ahead of the Olympics next year.
- To win the British League Premier Division with Barrow and maintain the outstanding team-spirit.
- To enjoy the last half of my stay in England.
- To practice and compete more and help Barrow win matches in the British League.
- To successfully complete my degree (BSc. (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science) achieving a 2.1. Also, manage my time effectively so I can still practice and compete in table tennis.
- To reach the top 40 men in England.
- To get into University and achieve an A in Business Studies (A-Level).
- To reach 2000 ranking points by mid-year to get me up into Band 3 for the Grand Prix events the following season. Then hopefully build on this total during the 2011/2012 season.
- Try and get more organise and a bit more tidy!
I really enjoyed last weekend for a number of reasons, but there is one highlight that really stands out.
It isn’t that Barrow II retained their 100% record beating division leaders Chesterfield in the process. It isn’t that it was so good to see so many of the first team present supporting the second team. It isn’t even laughing, as Denis Neale got so wound-up when Duncan Crawford suggested Bradley Billington had beaten Jan-Ove Waldner. Lastly, it isn’t how well Graham Coupe played against Peter Morgan on the Sunday afternoon. Infact, it wasn’t even a table tennis match. Though it did involve Sheffield player Peter Morgan.
It was only a matter of time before the PS3 came out. With Peter Morgan boasting a 3-year unbeaten FIFA spell, the gauntlet was laid. It was Kane that took up the challenge.
Whilst Pete enjoyed most of the possession, he simply couldn’t convert in the last third. Kane on the other hand possessed unpredictable flashes of brilliance, which were deadly. So deadly, they ended Pete’s 3-year FIFA unbeaten spell in the most entertaining of fashion. It was brilliant, compelling on the edge of the seat stuff and my highlight of the weekend.
Happy days and massive thanks to Darius for putting us up.
The weather was kind as the Barrow II squad of Bradley Evans, Jonathan Crawford, Scott Crawford, Tristran Swan, Steve Dixon and Graham Coupe travelled over the Pennines to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. Joining them for a weekend of British League Division 2 North action were supporters Paul Drinkhall, Darius Knight, Sebastian Laux, Tom Smith and coach Denis Neale.
Barrow II vs. Drumchapel Glasgow III
Barrow II’s first opponents were Drumchapel Glasgow III. Sitting third in the table, only one place behind Barrow II, a tough match was expected.
However, the forecasted stormy waters didn’t materialise as Barrow gave Drumchapel a drumming, winning 8-0.
Barrow’s Bradley Evans beat Scott Barton (11-9, 11-8, 11-6) and Calum Main (10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2), Jonathan Crawford beat Calum Main (11-8, 11-8, 11-4) and Nathan Courtney (11-7, 11-8, 11-1), Scott Crawford beat Andrew McFadyen (11-7, 13-11, 11-6) and Scott Barton (11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7) and Steve Dixon made his season’s debut beating Nathan Courtney (9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8) and Andrew McFadyen (12-10, 11-9, 11-8).
Final Score: Barrow II 8-0 Drumchapel Glasgow III
Barrow II: Bradley Evans (2), Jonathan Crawford (2), Scott Crawford (2), Steve Dixon (2)
Drumchapel Glasgow III: Calum Main (0), Scott Barton (0), Nathan Courtney (0), Andrew McFadyen (0)
Chesterfield vs. Barrow II
Saturday afternoon’s opponents were Chesterfield. A team disappointed not to have been promoted last season and this season’s league leaders. On paper, Chesterfield’s game difference over Barrow suggested they might be favourites, but Barrow were boosted by the presence of England Number 37 Bradley Evans.
Jonathan Crawford got the match underway for Barrow against Chesterfield’s Will Cooney. Sets were traded as Jonathan took the first 11-6, Cooney the second 9-11 and Jonathan the third 11-5. The fourth set looked to be breaking the pattern as Jonathan took a 10-4 lead. However, Cooney had other ideas as he fought back to make it 10 apiece. Cooney couldn’t maintain the momentum though as he failed to set-up what would have been a very nervous fifth set as Jonathan won the fourth 12-10. Bradley Evans followed and scored a comfortable win over Andy Henry (11-6, 11-7, 11-6) to give Barrow an early 2-0 lead.
Chesterfield’s Andrew Horsefield proved too sharp for Barrow’s Steve Dixon. Despite his best efforts, Dixon just couldn’t keep Horsefield’s aggressive attacking at bay as he went down 5-11, 13-15, 6-11. Scott Crawford then stepped forward and beat the impressive-looking Mark Short (11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 13-11) to earn Barrow a 3-1 lead at the halfway point.
The second half got underway with Bradley Evans winning a 5 set thriller against William Cooney to guarantee Barrow at least a draw. Barrow expected to win the next game to seal the victory. Andrew Horsefield, however, was determined not to be beaten and defeated Jonathan Crawford (11-7, 8-11, 5-11, 7-11) to keep Chesterfield’s chances of a draw alive. Chesterfield’s hopes were soon dashed as the younger Crawford (Scott) stepped in to seal an important victory for Barrow with a win over Andy Henry (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9). Consolation for Chesterfield came in the form of a Mark Short victory over Steve Dixon (3-11, 9-11, 4-11) to leave the score line of a very important match 5-3 to Barrow.
Final Score: Chesterfield 3-5 Barrow II
Barrow II: Bradley Evans (2), Jonathan Crawford (1), Scott Crawford (2), Steve Dixon (0)
Chesterfield: William Cooney (0), Andy Henry (0), Andrew Horsefield (2), Mark Short (1)
Barrow II vs. Ormesby III
Sunday wasn’t a day of rest for Barrow II as they got the day underway playing fourth placed Ormesby III. A strong start it was, too, as Jonathan Crawford beat Martin Rutter (13-15, 11-5, 11-5, 12-10), Scott Crawford beat Edward Fambely (7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 13-11) and Tristran Swan beat Karl Shaw (11-5, 11-7, 11-8) to give Barrow an early 3-0 lead. It was nearly a perfect start, but Graham Coupe was just edged out by Michael Young (7-11, 14-12, 10-12, 9-11) to make the score 3-1 at the halfway mark.
Barrow’s winning ways returned as Jonathan Crawford beat Edward Fambely (11-4, 11-7, 11-6). Tristran Swan then went down to Martin Rutter by the closest of margins (12-14, 8-11, 11-9, 13-15). Scott Crawford beat Michael Young (12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5) and Graham Coupe won his first match of the season in a tactical exchange against Karl Shaw (3-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9) to give Barrow a comfortable 6-2 win.
Final Score: Barrow II 6-2 Ormesby III
Barrow II: Jonathan Crawford (2), Scott Crawford (2), Tristran Swan (1), Graham Coupe (1)
Ormesby III: Edward Fambely (0), Martin Rutter (1), Michael Young (1), Karl Shaw (0)
Barrow II vs. Sheffield
Barrow II overcame Sheffield 5-3 at the start of the season. A far from convincing margin and a game Sheffield felt they could have come away from with a little bit more.
The match got under way with Jonathan Crawford overcoming the improved Jack Grant (12-10, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7) and Scott Crawford beating Jack’s father, the experienced Bill Grant (11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9).
With Barrow expecting the Crawford brothers to win four games, a fifth game had to come from somewhere for Barrow to win the fixture. For Barrow, the most likely fifth win would come in the next match, Tristran Swan versus Liam Carson.
It was then the turn of Graham Coupe who stepped into the court to face the much higher-ranked Peter Morgan. Coupe always gives 100%, but on this occasion he was visibly fired up for the game. A defender by trade, Coupe played some ferocious forehands away from the table and on occasion they were just a little too crazy. The match was without doubt the most entertaining of the weekend as Coupe played some of his best table tennis. Despite his best efforts though, Coupe eventually went down to a relieved Morgan 11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 8-11.
With the score 3-1 to Barrow at the halfway point, Jonathan Crawford faced up to Bill Grant and came away the victor (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7). Helped by a dose of good luck, Tristran Swan scored a good win over Jack Grant (11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 4-11, 11-6) and Scott Crawford maintained his weekend’s 100% record with a battling loop-to-loop encounter with Peter Morgan (11-9, 9-11, 13-15, 11-3, 11-6). Liam Carson was too consistent against Graham Coupe’s defense, winning 10-12, 4-11, 11-9, 8-11. It was Barrow though that walked away with a better-than-anticipated 6-2 victory.
Final Score: Barrow II 6-2 Sheffield
Barrow II: Jonathan Crawford (2), Scott Crawford (2), Tristran Swan (2), Graham Coupe (0)
Sheffield: Bill Grant (0), Jack Grant (0), Peter Morgan (1), Liam Carson (1)
This weekend, Barrow II play their second set of British League Division 2 North fixtures at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield.
Like the first team, Barrow II has all to play for as they fight for promotion to Division 1 North. After four matches, Barrow II have a maximum 8 points, but sit second in the table to Chesterfield on game difference.
Over the weekend, Barrow II will face some tough opposition including: third placed Drumchapel Glasgow III, current table-toppers Chesterfield, fourth placed Ormesby III and fifth placed Sheffield; whom Barrow II have already beaten once 5-3.
British League Division 2 North First Weekend Table
British League Division 2 North Results
British League Division 2 North Barrow Player Averages
Last weekend, Barrow II began their quest for promotion from Division 2 North of the British League. An all Barrow team consisting of Jonathan Crawford, Scott Crawford, Tristran Swan and Tom Smith supported by Garstang based Graham Coupe entered Hynburn Sports Centre in Accrington ready to face all that awaited.
Sheffield vs Barrow II
Barrow II started the weekend against long time opposition and the familiar faces of Sheffield.
Scott Crawford and brother Jonathan got the team off to a good start with a win a piece against Bill Grant and Pete Morgan. Tom Smith then entered the court, but seemed to have left his usual fighting spirit and confidence behind him as he didn’t look up for the game against Jack Grant which he lost. Tristran Swan then returned Barrow II to winning ways with a convincing win against Liam Carson to leave the match score 3-1 to Barrow at the halfway point.
Jonathan and Scott continued as they started, scoring convincing wins over Bill Grant and Jack Grant. The lower end of the team then failed to match the top order as Tristran Swan went down to Pete Morgan and Tom Smith suffered a disappointing defeat in the hands of Liam Carson.
Barrow II vs Derwent II
Barrow II’s second and final game of the first day was against Derwent II, a team that will be battling for survival this season and therefore a must win. Despite his poor display in the morning, it was decided to give Tom Smith a chance to redeem himself and turn his game around.
Barrow II got off to a storming 7 – 0 lead with Jonathan Crawford beating Mick Wilcockson and Richard Moss, Scott Crawford beating Richard Moss and Richard Breary, Tristran Swan beating Doug Bartel and Mick Wilcockson and Tom Smith beating Richard Breary. Once again, Tom Smith didn’t look his usual self and failed to crank the gear shift as he suffered a bad loss against Doug Bartel.
Final Score: Barrow II 7 – 1 Derwent II
Barrow II: Jonathan Crawford (2), Scott Crawford (2), Tristran Swan (2), Tom Smith (1)
Derwent II: Richard Moss (0), Mick Wilcockson (0), Richard Breary (0), Doug Bartel (1)
Barrow II vs Halton II
Barrow II’s second day started with the toughest fixture of the weekend and surprise package Halton II. During the close season, Halton have signed a number of players meaning one-time first team players moving down to the second team.
Barrow II couldn’t have got off to a better start as Jonathan Crawford ‘grannied’ Jake Shaw in the first set of the first game. For those unfamiliar with the term, ‘to granny’, it is to beat someone game 0. This didn’t prove to be a fluke, as Jonathan went on to win the game convincingly. Jonathan was once again backed up by brother, Scott, who scored a good win over Chris Ford. Tristran Swan once again failed to take his chances against Pawel Orzechowski and despite a fighting performance, Graham Coupe lost to strong opposition in the form of Keith Bird. At the halfway point this left the match tied 2 apiece. For Barrow II to win and keep their promotion dreams on course, they needed to win 3 out of the remaining 4 games.
Jonathan Crawford comfortably overcame Chris Ford and in a crucial game Tristran Swan beat Jake Shaw. Thankfully, Barrow II didn’t have to wait to the final game for victory to be sealed as Scott Crawford decisively beat Keith Bird. With the pressure relieved this gave the opportunity for Graham to play ‘his game’ against Pawel Orzechowski. However, on this occasion it was Pawel that enjoyed the honours.
Final Score: Barrow II 5 – 3 Halton II
Barrow II: Jonathan Crawford (2), Scott Crawford (2), Tristran Swan (1), Graham Coupe (0)
Halton II: Chris Ford (0), Jake Shaw (0), Keith Bird (1), Pawel Orzechowski (2)
Woodfield I vs Barrow II
Going into this game, a tough decision had to be made. Graham Coupe had battled hard and played well in the morning. Tom on the other hand had failed to perform and justify his selection the day before. Despite this, it was once again decided to give Tom Smith another chance to prove himself.
Barrow II started the game in uncharted territory. For the first time over the weekend, the team went behind as Scott Crawford suffered a surprise defeat in the hands of Andy Rich. A lot of credit has to go to Andy as he played sensationally. Scott simply didn’t have the power to break his solid defensive style.
Jonathan Crawford then went on to the table and scored an easy win against John Collymore. This was matched by Tom Smith as he returned to winning ways beating Leigh Hipkins. Tristran Swan extended Barrow II’s lead to 3 – 1 with a sometimes nervous win over Tom Savary.
Jonathan then faced his brother’s slayer, Andy Rich. After some incredible and intense rallies it was Andy Rich that ran out the surprise victor. As Jonathan came off the table he confessed he didn’t have a game plan and for the first time a whiff of tension drifted through the Barrow II camp.
In must win games, Scott Crawford easily beat Leigh Hipkins and a much more relaxed Tristran Swan destroyed John Collymore securing victory. Tom Smith concluded the weekend winning in deuce in a tight 5-set battle with Tom Savory.
Final Score: Woodfield 2 – 6 Barrow II
Barrow II: Jonathan Crawford (1), Scott Crawford (1), Tristran Swan (2), Tom Smith (2)
Woodfield I: Andy Rich (2), John Collymore (0), Leigh Hipkins (0), Tom Savary (0)
The clock is ticking and the opening weekend of Barrow II’s British League campaign is drawing closer.
Last season, Barrow II narrowly escaped relegation from Division 2 North after moving from the foot of the table during the final weekend of play. This season, the team aims to turn last season’s 7th position into 1st, thus winning promotion to Division 1 North.
The first British League weekend, 11th and 12th of September, is to be played at Hyndburn Sports Centre in Accrington. Barrow II’s opponents include Sheffield who were relegated from Division 1 North last season as well as Derwent II, Halton II and Woodfield I who finished 3rd last season. Sheffield and Woodfield I stand out as the weekends two tough fixtures. However, with team squads yet to be released, there could be some hidden dangers lurking.
The Barrow II team is to be an all Barrow affair consisting of Jonathan Crawford, Scott Crawford, Tristran Swan and Tom Smith. Travelling with the team will be reserve player Graham Coupe from Garstang.