ELLENBOROUGH TABLE TENNIS CLUB

Ellenborough Ladies British League Veterans Report Final Weekend

The Ellenborough Veterans’ British League squad of Sandy Nash, Sue Pingram, June Nelson and Faith Frankel returned to the superb Derby Arena to complete their Veterans’ British League campaign over the weekend of 18th and 19th February 2017. The event was held over two weekends, with the first weekend played back in September 2016.  

The division is made up of eight teams, with five matches played each weekend.  So Ellenborough started the weekend with two teams from the division still to play to complete the first stage of the competition.  First up were Halton, where we managed to overcome any first match nerves to win 4-2.  Next, we had to face the team standing in top place at the end of weekend one, RTA.  Something of an all Hertfordshire affair, with all bar two players in the match (and on the bench) representing Hertfordshire county teams.  Played in great spirits, but we took the crucial maximum 2 points and won the match 5-1.  June managed a 3-0 win along the way against higher ranked Pat Thorley, and Sandy and Sue remained consistent to pick up 2 wins each.  Therefore, after playing all of the teams once, we had overtaken RTA to take the lead, albeit by just 1 point!  

The Division was then split in to two halves, with the Ellenborough ladies heading division 2a we had to play return matches against the teams standing in 2nd (RTA), 3rd (Billwood), and 4th (Sutton at Hone).  The first of these was against our ‘bogey’ team from the first weekend, Billwood. We had lost to them 5-1 in our Sunday morning match back in September, so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy.  Could we do better on a Saturday late afternoon? Both Sandy and Sue remained unbeaten throughout Saturday and secured maximum points with a 4-2 win. Along the way, Sandy and Sue showed good form to reverse the scores from their previous encounter against Linda Hales, to both win in close 5 game sets.  All in all a very successful Saturday, with only one point still required to guarantee overall division victory.  

Sunday and both Sutton at Hone and RTA came between us and the division title! All was not to go Ellenborough’s way. Sunday mornings clearly do not bring out our best table tennis!  First on was our number two, Sue against Sutton’s number 1, Heidi.  Heidi, a new vet, with a fast, attacking playing style, who, like Sue, had only lost one match in the division up until their game was always going to be a challenge. Unfortunately, despite all very tight games, Sue could not get the better of Heidi on this occasion. Next Sandy had to play Sue Adamson, who she had lost to in close games back in September. It was looking good when Sandy went 2-0 up and was close in both the 3rd and 4th games. A win looked likely at 4 points ahead during the 4th, but as we all know, being ahead and getting to 11 first are often not the same thing!  Sandy lost in 5, leaving June to go on against an on-form Carol Homewood to try to get us back in the match. June also got to 2 games first, but eventually lost in a very close 5th. We were so nearly 2-1 up, but could Ellenborough come back from 3-0 down to level the match and claim the one point needed to guarantee that nobody could catch us at the top? It looked unlikely.  However, table tennis is a funny game, where different playing styles can and do play a big factor in results. The captain, Sandy, led the comeback with a hard-fought 5 game battle against Heidi. Next was June against Sue Adamson.  Fighting hard, as always, June started to see the match slip away from her at 2-1 down and with Sue gaining a big lead in the 4th game.  A run of points saw June come back from 10-6 down to win the 4th 14-12. There was no looking back in the 5th, which she won 11-5.  Well done June for such a super fight back.  If only we could bottle up the amount of grit and determination that went in to that comeback. All that was left was for our Sue to beat their number 3 Carol.  Easier said than done when the final match score depended on it.  Carol won the first game 11-9, but after that Sue upped her play and won the next 3 games to secure our point and the division title. We had to double check the points table, but it was confirmed, and whatever happened in the final match, we were division champs!

The teams around us were all still fighting for second place, and the other promotion spot. Meanwhile, we had a re-match against RTA. Lots of very close games, and perhaps we were a little unlucky to not at least get ourselves another draw, but the final 4-2 score line wasn’t quite enough for RTA to hang on to the 2nd place spot, with Sutton-at-Hone overtaking them to runners up spot on count back.  

As in the first weekend, there were lots of very close, competitively fought games and enjoyable matches played with good sportsmanship. Everyone contributed to the great team effort over the two weekends. Looking forward to promotion to division one next season and the challenges that will bring.  

Well done to all of the ladies who took part representing Ellenborough Table Tennis Club.


Final Division 2 Table
 

Final Division 2A Table after Round Robin

 


British League Veteran Ladies Division 2 Champions L-R Faith, Sandy, June & Sue.
Photo by Mike Rhodes

 


June Nelson
Photo by Mike Rhodes

 


Sandy Nash
 

 


Sue Pingram

Faith Frankel

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