Tristran Swan, Barrow TTC team manager, looks ahead to the second British League Premier Division weekend with BBC Radio Cumbria’s Paul Newton.
The Barrow first team has developed a phrase. In fact, you might have even heard it on some of our videos; it goes something like this, “GEESE”.
At the last British League weekend, at the end of a team talk everyone even got in a huddle and gave the geese sign (making your arm and hand look like a goose face and neck) and shouted “GEESE” – me included. Now, I don’t know why I joined in with this ritual (had to really given everyone else was), as I don’t have a clue what it means. I don’t know whether at anytime in my life I have been goosed or geesed, indeed, I don’t know whether I have been doing the goosing or the geesing!
I have consulted the urban dictionary, but this doesn’t seem to offer any obvious clues. So, can someone please help me and tell me what “GEESE” means?
This weekend, Barrow I will be making the long journey south to Old Harlow to play the second of four weekends that constitute the British League Premier division season.
Barrow I currently top the table with four wins from four, including an important 5-3 victory over reigning champions Drumchapel Glasgow.
Barrow I’s opening Saturday fixture is not only tough, but has an interesting twist. It comes in the form of an experienced team from a northeast club co-founded by Barrow TTC coach Denis Neale in 1957, Ormesby. This is the team that Neale won the European Club cup with in 1972, the only English team to ever do so. After that, Barrow I face London club DHS Greenhouse Progress.
Sunday’s aperitif comes in the form of a match-up between Barrow I and Fusion, the team Barrow were promoted with after last season’s play-offs. It is then time for the main course, the British League crunch match of the decade, the return fixture against Drumchapel Glasgow.
Speaking about the weekend and the Drumchapel Glasgow fixture in particular, Barrow Team Manager Tristran Swan commented,
“Only Drumchapel Glasgow concerns me. Barrow and Drumchapel are a class apart from the other teams in the division. Saying that, we can’t afford to go easy as a loss against Drumchapel will bring all the other results into play.”
“The Drumchapel game is massive. The players know it and they know what is at stake. A win will make us very strong favourites for the title. A draw will put us in a perilous position, as we can’t guarantee that our top players will always be available. For me, a loss will be a disaster as I don’t believe we can beat Drumchapel on game difference.”
“There will be a few key games (in the match against Drumchapel). Assuming they have the same squad, the match between Gavin (Rumgay) and Ryan Jenkins is hugely important as are the matches involving our number 4 player (player to be announced).”
British League Premier Division First Weekend Table
British League Premier Division Results
British League Premier Division Barrow Player Averages
British League Division 2 North First Weekend Table
British League Division 2 North Results
British League Division 2 North Barrow Player Averages
The Barrow TTC team (Jakov Krivić, Bradley Evans, Jonathan Crawford, Tristran Swan, Scott Crawford and Steve Dixon) that won promotion to the British League Premier Division last season has been nominated for the Barrow Borough Sports Council open age sports team of the year award.
Barrow TTC are up against Furness Cricket Club, Barrow AFC and Furness Scratch Golf Team.
Barrow TTC promotion winning player Scott Crawford has also been nominated for the Barrow Borough Sports Council sportsperson of the year for his performances last season which included gold and bronze medal wins at the Schools International.
Scott will be up against Brett McDermott (Rugby League) and Sonja Foster (Multi-Sports).
The winners will be announced at the Barrow Borough Sports Council Annual Sports Awards, Friday 19th November at Barrow Town Hall.
Last weekend, a full strength Barrow I confidently strutted into the DHS Greenhouse Progress Tournament Centre to make their British League Premier Division debut. Heads visibly turned as players and spectators counted in the Barrow stars; Paul Drinkhall – check, Gavin Rumgay – check, Darius Knight – check.
Drumchapel Glasgow I vs Barrow I
Played in front of a large and expectant crowd, the majority of which were Barrow supporters, Barrow I’s first game saw them face Drumchapel Glasgow I. The game had been billed by the ETTA as “the most eagerly anticipated British League match for many years”.
Playing for Drumchapel Glasgow I, British League champions for the last two seasons were: Ryan Jenkins (Welsh Number 2), Gareth Herbert (former England Number 1), Terry Young (Commonwealth Gold medallist) and Craig Howieson (Scotland Number 2).
In the first game, Gavin Rumgay faced Ryan Jenkins in a repeat of their Liverpool Grandprix final a month ago. On that occasion, Ryan got the better of Gavin. This time around, despite Gavin stealing the first set 13 – 11, Ryan went on to win 11 – 4, 11 – 4, 11 – 3. Gavin wasn’t playing his usual confident self, possibly victim to jetlag from his flight from China, and Ryan fresh from the European Championships simply didn’t let him get going.
Paul Drinkhall then stepped up and demonstrated his class comfortably beating Gareth Herbert (1 1 – 7, 11 – 6, 11 – 7). It was then over to Barrow I’s German signing Sebastian Laux who made a sensational British League debut going 2 sets to 0 up against England Number 14 Terry Young (11 – 8, 11 – 8). However, Sebastian didn’t take his chances when they presented themselves and eventually went down to the ever-fighting Terry (6 – 11, 9 – 11, 9 – 11). Darius Knight put in a workmanlike performance beating Craig Howieson (11 – 8, 5 – 11, 11 – 7, 13 – 11). At the halfway point, the match was tied two apiece leaving all to play for.
Barrow I went into the second half confident and struck Drumchapel Glasgow I with a hard hitting 1-2-3 combo. Paul Drinkhall, utilised his skill and power to beat Ryan Jenkins (11 – 9, 11 – 2, 11 – 9). Barrow I team captain Gavin Rumgay mustered his Scottish spirit beating Terry Young (5 – 11, 11 – 5, 11 – 8, 11 – 8 ) whilst Darius Knight dished out killer forehands and the killer blow as he beat England Number 11 Gareth Herbert 11 – 7, 12 – 10, 4 – 11, 13 – 11.
With victory secured, Sebastian Laux once again entered a marathon of a game against Craig Howieson. This time, he went 2 sets to 0 down (9 – 11, 6 – 11) before fighting back to bring the game level (14 – 12, 11 – 9). In the final set, Sebastian got off to a flier, however, he couldn’t maintain the momentum and Craig came back to take the game and set (11 – 13). This left the final match score 5 – 3 to Barrow I – an excellent and memorable victory.
Final Score: Drumchapel Glasgow I 3 – 5 Barrow I
Barrow I: Paul Drinkhall (2), Gavin Rumgay (1), Darius Knight (2), Sebastian Laux (0)
Drumchapel Glasgow I: Ryan Jenkins (1), Gareth Herbert (0), Terry Young (1), Craig Howieson (1)
Barrow I vs BATTS I
After a very early climax to the season, Barrow I needed to keep the impetus going as they faced BATTS I.
Playing for BATTS I were: Wang Zheng (China), Craig Bryant (England Number 18), Thomas Bennborn (Sweden), Jimmy Walsh (England Number 69).
With Paul Drinkhall beating Craig Bryant (11 – 8, 9 – 11, 11 – 4, 11 – 9), Gavin Rumgay beating Wang Zheng (11 – 9, 11 – 7, 8 – 11, 11 – 3) and Darius Knight beating Jimmy Walsh (11 – 5, 11 – 3, 12 – 10), it wasn’t until Bradley Evans faced Thomas Bennborn that a challenge was met. Thomas played the most deceiving of defensive games and got the better of Bradley winning 4 – 11, 11 – 7, 11 – 5, 11 – 5. At the half-way point, the match score was 3 – 1 to Barrow I.
Paul and Darius continued where they left off. Paul beat Wang Zheng (11 – 9, 11 – 9, 11 – 8 ) and Darius beat Craig Bryant (11 – 6, 11 – 9, 11 – 6). Once again, Thomas Bennborn proved to be the thorn in Barrow I’s side as he hacked the ball in half with authority scoring an excellent win over Barrow’s Gavin Rumgay (12 -14, 11 – 8, 1 – 11, 11 – 9, 15 – 13). Bradley concluded the day with a comfortable win over Jimmy Walsh (11 – 8, 11 – 8, 11 – 9) to earn Barrow I a satisfactory 6 – 2 victory.
Barrow I vs Sycamore
This was the first game to be played on the Sunday and given the previous night’s “celebrations”, it was with little surprise that the team got off to a slow start.
Playing for Sycamore were: Omkar Torgalkar (India), Sam Perry (England Number 32), Daniel Lowe (England Number 34), Jason Ramage (England Number 71).
The first game saw Paul Drinkhall face Sycamore’s Sam Perry. Powerful and often vocal Sam was clearly up for the game, whilst Paul was a little more subdued and took a little bit longer to get going. Well, two sets to be precise as Sam went 2 – 0 up (8 – 11, 11 – 13). The third set was tight and Paul had to produce a bit of magic and draw on his experience to clinch the third set 13 – 11. In his head, Sam must have realised that he had missed an opportunity that most likely will never be repeated. In sets four and five, Paul took control of the game as he won 11 – 6, 11 – 4.
Gavin then faced one of this seasons British League surprise packages, newcomer Omkar Torgalkar who had claimed some significant scalps during the previous day of play. Gavin’s scalp is one that Omkar will not be able to boast however, as Gavin beat him 11 – 6, 11 – 5, 5 – 11, 9 – 11, 13 – 11 in what was a tight match. Darius Knight then produced yet another professional performance comfortably beating Jason Ramage (11 – 6, 12 – 10, 11 – 6).
In the fourth game, Jonathan became the first Barrovian to ever play in the British League Premier Division as he faced higher ranked Daniel Lowe. With a number of expectant Barrow eyes watching in the crowd added to the pressure he had put on himself, Jonathan struggled to find the form that saw him unbeaten in the British League play-offs as he lost 11 – 7, 6 – 11, 8 – 11, 6 – 11. At the halfway point, Barrow I had a comfortable 3 – 1 lead.
Once again, Barrow I produced a killer 1-2-3 blow on the backend as Paul Drinkhall comfortably beat Omkar Torgalkar (11 – 8, 11 – 4, 11 – 4), Darius Knight beat Sam Perry (11 – 8, 11 – 3, 11 – 8 ) and Gavin Rumgay beat Danny Lowe (15 – 13, 11 – 8, 11 – 9). Jonathan Crawford simply found Jason Ramage too much to handle as he went down 5 – 11, 9 – 11, 6 – 11 to leave the final score 6 – 2 to Barrow I.
Final Score: Barrow I 6 – 2 Sycamore
Barrow I: Paul Drinkhall (2), Gavin Rumgay (2), Darius Knight (2), Jonathan Crawford (0)
Sycamore: Omkar Torgalkar (0), Sam Perry (0), Daniel Lowe (1), Jason Ramage (1)
Westfield I vs Barrow I
Going into the weekend, this fixture was predicted to be Barrow I’s easiest. With Westfield I propping up the table, it looked as if this prediction was going to be true.
Playing for Westfield I were: Richard Andrews (England Number 20), Shaun Marples (England Number 23), Alim Hirji (England Number 25), Lewis Gray (England Number 108).
Gavin Rumgay started off in style playing to the audience as he put on an exhibition beating Richard Andrews (15 – 13, 13 – 11, 11 – 7). Paul Drinkhall carried on where Gavin left off beating Shaun Marples 11 – 2, 11 – 8, 11 – 5. It was then the turn of Barrow’s Scott Crawford to make his British League debut against top England Junior Lewis Gray. The match was a pleasure to watch with exchanges a plenty. However, despite Scott’s creditable fighting performance, it was Lewis Gray that got the better winning in five sets (12 – 10, 8 – 11, 11 – 8, 10 – 12, 11 – 5). Darius Knight was all set to face Alim Hirji. However, Alim had to withdraw due to injury handing Darius the win and giving Barrow a 3 – 1 lead at the halfway point.
Once again, Paul made table tennis look hideously easy as he toyed with Richard Andrews beating him 11 – 6, 12 – 10, 12 – 10. The baton was passed over to Gavin Rumgay who once again put on a show beating Lewis Gray 11 – 7, 11 – 6, 11 – 4. Darius looked composed and professional as he brushed aside Shaun Marples 11 – 9, 11 – 3, 11 – 7. Scott Crawford was handed victory by the injured Alim Hirji earning Barrow I their most comfortable win over the two days.
Final Score: Westfield I 1 – 7 Barrow I
Barrow I: Paul Drinkhall (2), Gavin Rumgay (2), Darius Knight (2), Scott Crawford (1)
Westfield I: Richard Andrews (0), Shaun Marples (0), Alim Hirji (0), Lewis Gray (1)
Tristran Swan, Barrow TTC team manager, discusses Barrow’s British League Premier division debut and the Teams memorable victory over Drumchapel Glasgow with BBC Radio Cumbria’s Paul Newton.
Planes, trains and automobiles. What you may ask. Well, these are all the different forms of transport to be used by Barrow players to get to Barrow I’s British League Premier Division debut this weekend at Southall.
Gavin Rumgay will be flying in from Scotland’s Commonwealth Games training camp in China, Paul Drinkhall and Darius Knight will be flying in from the European Championships in the Czech Republic, Sebastian Laux will be arriving by train from Germany, whilst Bradley Evans and Jonathan Crawford will be making their way by car along with travelling fans.
Over the weekend, Barrow I will be facing Drumchapel Glasgow I, BATTS I, Sycamore and Westfield.
Without a doubt, the division’s standout clash is that between Barrow I and Drumchapel Glasgow I. This will be a contest that sees Barrow I’s British Number 1 Paul Drinkhall, Scottish Number 1 Gavin Rumgay, England Number 3 Darius Knight and one other going head to head with Drumchapel Glasgow I’s Welsh Number 2 Ryan Jenkins, Chinese player Qian Hai Song, former England Number 1 and Commonwealth Gold Medallist Gareth Herbert and Commonwealth Gold Medallist Terry Young. It is going to be a fierce contest of dramatic games with intense points and outcome that will have a big impact on Barrow I’s European table tennis aspirations.
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)