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.
Barrow II will be facing the following teams and players in Division 2 North of the British League 2010/2011 Season.
Drumchapel Glasgow III
Terry McLernon (Junior)
Barrow I British League Premier Division Fixtures
Barrow II British League Division 2 North Fixtures
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)
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.