Woodield are Champions
Woodfield are Division 2 South, Midlands & West Champions after completing the final series of matches at Westfield Table Tennis Club in Northampton. The team produced 4 excellent performances to complete a record breaking 12 consecutive victories brilliantly led by the current England Number 27 Adam Nutland. The team were impossible to break down due to their diverse style of play, mental strength and team spirit, even when forced to play the final 2 matches without their injured captain. At full strength, no team really got close and that was acknowledged by the opposition.
The first match started well with an 8-0 white wash of Fusion III with all 4 players on top form to set the tone for the weekend. Jamal Dennison provided a few anxious moments for Amann ‘Ice man’ Ubhi and Steve ‘Anchor man’ Horton with Jack Merton doing the same to Billy Pegg. Adam was untroubled with a straight set wins to maintain his fine unbeaten record in this division.
Match 2 against Ashford Brunswick saw Billy Pegg exact revenge on Alexander Gillen in straight sets with a very focussed display. Steve lost in a tight battle against the up and coming David Rahbani who was surprisingly ranked down at number 3 in the order. David took his chance and held on for victory. David was close to a repeating this against Amann who was able to see the early warning signs and keep his ice cool nerve at key points to see off the challenge. Adam was just too powerful against the number 1 and 2 – Philip Tilotson and Winston Wong, restricting them to very low scores. The final match score was 7-1 to Woodfield.
Adam suffered back problems on Sunday morning and despite his best attempts to recover, was advised to withdraw. Just 1 point was needed from the last 2 matches for the title but the team would have to start each match 0-2 down by conceding Adams’ sets. This just galvanised the team even more with outstanding efforts from Steve, Billy and Amann against strong opponents. A 6-2 score line was achieved and with it the title. Player of the match was awarded to Barbara Izyk fot taking 9 points off Steve. My man of the match was Billy for his clinical disposal of Matt Spero and Robin Ashleigh. Steve and Amann were able to hold off the challenge of the powerful Bartholemew Kazmzerczak by both beating him in 4 sets.
The best performance of the weekend was left till last against rivals Westfield I which included Miles Chan, John Fuller, Terry Caldwell and Kevin Bird. Amann provided a great start for the team by beating Miles Chan in a breathtaking final set full of powerful hitting. Amann pulled out some amazing shots under pressure and at 9-9 in the final set, used a time out to compose and seal victory. Billy beat the dangerous John Fuller in straight sets and Steve edged the team in front after a close tussle with Kevin Bird which could have gone the distance. Amann beat John Fuller in 4 sets to extend the lead to 4-2. Steve followed this with a classic trademark display of retrieving and spin attack to win a thriller against Miles Chan who had beaten him first time around. Revenge was sweet for Steve and was appreciated by his team mates who had given him quality advice to turn this one around. Billy wasted no time beating Terry Caldwell to round off a superb team effort.
This was job done – 12 wins out of 12 – team captain Adam Nutland unbeaten with 20 wins out of 20 and acknowledged as the top player in the division – Amann Ubhi realising exciting potential with 23 wins out of 24 – Billy Pegg also with 23 wins out of 24 showing steely determination and Steve Horton throwing down the anchor with 21 wins out of 24.
Division 1 table tennis will be a different proposition next year but this team are capable of further improvement and at their best would be difficult to stop.
Woodfield close in on promotion
Woodfield Set The Pace.
Newly assembled Woodfield II have made their mark in British League Division 2 South Midlands and West after an excellent set of results to open their account in emphatic style. The team consisting of Adam (Captain) Nutland, Billy (Bad Boy) Pegg, Amann (Iceman) Ubhi and Steve (Anchor man) Horton travelled to Eastfield Table Tennis Centre in Peterborough with designs on a shot at the title and the ultimate prize of promotion to Division 1 next year. The intended venue had not been completed on time therefore the weekend was staged in a makeshift gym which was well short of British League expectations with little room to apply their trade.
In match 1 against Woolwell II Adam led the way with some blistering attacking play to see off the challenge of the experienced and awkward Mike Short in 3 straight sets. Not so straight forward for Billy in the next game who was taken the distance by Kevin Buddell. Steve was forced into early battle by the up and coming Ollie Buddell and needed 4 sets for victory. Amann dropped his first game to Nathaniel Sheehan but responded to quickly reeled off three quick sets to also win in 4. The final match score was 8-0 and a great start.
The afternoon match against York Gardens II started with a firey encounter between Billy and Shaun Hall. Billy recovered a 2-1 deficit with an outstanding display of aggressive and determined table tennis to win the last 2 sets 11-5 and 11-2. Deepak Patel was no match for Adam who fired shots from all parts of the court on his way to a 3-0 whitewash. In the next game Steve allowed 2-0 and 7-5 up in the third lead slip from his grasp against Paul Payen, losing out in the deciding set. Paul appeared to have no solution to Steve’s mix of chop and float but somehow managed to work his way into the game at the right time. This proved to be the only set back during the weekend. Amann cruised through his 2 games with an effortless brand of skill and touch play to achieve his second man of the match nomination. The final match score was 7-1 in favour of Woodfield.
The butt of the jokes that evening was Steve for his loss and Billy because his beloved Birmingham City had been beaten 5-0 at home to Barnsley with the result appearing on the TV screen during the evening meal out.
The next morning, first match on was the stylish Bedford Modern II. Billy continued his best form with a superb 4 set win over Wayne Mason. Adam followed that also with a 4 set victory over Robert Swift. It was great to see Adam at his best by winning the big points at crucial times in the set. His backhand, at times, was unplayable helped by his lightening reactions. Steve returned to winning ways with a straight sets win over Oliver Autin followed by another stylish performance by Amann over John Alsop. A 4-0 lead quickly became 8-0 with no quarter given. Amann gained another man of the match nomination for his ice cool persona which is proving a frustration for opponents who are struggling to find a way through.
Last up to conclude the weekend was Fusion III. A strong team on paper were rapidly taken apart with only one game going past 3 sets which involved the ‘Ice Mann’, cooly seeing off the attacking threat of Jamal Dennison. Man of the match was Billy for his consistent brand of attacking play, relentlessly firing on all cylinders.
Player of the weekend for me goes to the Captain Adam Nutland for leading from the front at number 1 and setting high standards for the team. It will take a special performance for someone to beat him on current form. The team lead the table at this early stage with some exciting battles ahead.
Three in a row for Woodfield
Woodfield III have been crowned British League division 3 champions on the first time of asking after delivering a series of near perfect performances in the final round of matches held on the 18th and 19th February at Woodfield. The team of Steve Horton, Joe Hurdley, Paul Worrallo and Chris Tarr held a very slender lead at the top of the table after suffering two set backs in the previous weekend which derailed their title charge and dented pride. With 4 matches remaining and a lead only based on sets difference over nearest rivals Woolwell, the team were still in control of their own destiny and knew that it was theirs to lose. They could not, however, afford to risk dropping a single point as Woolwell would be sure to pounce followed in hot pursuit by third placed NWF.
Practise sessions and team talks had been had and put to rest prior to the weekend. Woodfield did not let up in the first 2 matches, delivering an emphatic 8-0 score line against a very dangerous Keyworth side who pushed them close in their first encounter. This was followed by a 7-1 hammering of Cippenham. The perfect start and statement had been made. No quarter given either on the Sunday with Woodfield raising their game again to beat bottom club Westbury 8-0 and a 7-1 victory over a very determined and aggressive York Gardens team to seal another great campaign.
Captain Steve Horton and Joe Hurdley were unbeaten throughout the weekend despite some tough battles and Paul and Chris provided excellent support only suffering one defeat each. This has been a real success story for a team that was formed at the eleventh hour 3 years ago. They have now won every division they have played in – 5, 4 and now 3 and only been beaten twice in the process. The mix of styles, determination and team spirit has carried them to this point and a shot at division 2. Thanks also to The ‘Flying Frenchman’ Stephane ( Use it! ) Bonnafous and Dave Rogers for their valuable contributions.
Double set back for Woodfield
Woodfield suffered 2 defeats in their quest for the division 3 title and in the process losing their 36 match unbeaten record spanning 2 and a half seasons.
All four players were in good form leading up to the matches with Chris Tarr showing much improvement through practise, Joe Hurdley looking very sharp, Paul Worrallo causing havoc in the local league and captain Steve Horton playing with some freedom with his tennis elbow injury starting to clear.
With a 4 point lead over second place Woolwell, a draw against them would have more or less meant another title and promotion. The young and talented Woolwell team had other ideas, spurred on by the dynamic Dominic Sussex they edged home 5-3 to inflict a first ever defeat on Woodfield. The pattern of the match was set in the very first game when Steve Horton lost 11-9 in the 5th set to Victoria Smith – a game riddled with some unfortunate luck for Woodfield. This was repeated in other games at vital times. It would be true to say that luck finally ran out on Woodfield. Woolwell deserved their win and Chris, Steve, Joe and Paul were unable to raise their game when it really mattered and produced a ‘flat performance.’
The second match against 3rd place NWF started badly with Steve losing in a deciding 5th set to Rod McMullan and Paul losing 25-23 in a deciding set against Andy Whitcher! Woodfield were 4-0 down and probably still reeling from the defeat earlier before they started to play. Steve started the fightback by beating the number 1 Scott Lawson followed by Paul Worrallo who disposed of Rod McMullan. Joe then involved in a real battle against the stubborn defence of Alex Rorke. He played magnificently to lead 2-0 only to be pegged back to 2-2 and a deciding set. Joe lifted himself once more to battle to a match point at 10-9 only for Alex to win 3 points in a row to secure the win. Chris beat Andy Whitcher to make the match score 3-5.
With the final weekend of 4 fixtures remaining Woodfield are level on points with Woolwell and hold a very slender lead on sets. There is everything to play for for both teams. It promises to be a very exciting finale which could go right to the last set on Sunday afternoon.
This is why we play the game of table tennis.
Woodfield march on...
Woodfield 3 maintain their proud unbeaten record in a push for a third consecutive title and promotion after completing the 2nd round of matches as hosts in Division 3 South West Midlands. The campaign got off to a shaky start in the opening fixture back in September with Woodfield having to dig deep to claw back a 2-4 deficit to secure a draw against a strong Elgre Draycott line up. The team were without the charismatic, ever present Paul Warrallo and his disruptive style of play which often leaves opponents in disarray. However, the in-form Stephane (points) Bonnafous provided some excellent support to deputise for Woz. The second fixture against Woolwewell was more comfortable resulting with a 7-1 victory in favour of Woodfield.
Woodfield III Champions (2nd year running)
Woodfield III extended their unbeaten run to 2 seasons to win the British League Division 4 North title. In the final weekend - 19/20 February at Hartlepool they were crowned champions and gain promotion for a second successive season since their formation in the bottom division 2 years ago.
The first match v nearest rivals Halton was the key fixture of the weekend which was to decide the outcome of the title. Halton led the match 3-2 at one stage, inspired by the outstanding Keith Williams who had destroyed Woodfield number 1 Steve Horton and number 2 Paul Worallo. The reliable and rock steady Joe Hurdley kept his nerve to level the match and Paul secured the valuable point beating Andy Eagles who had no answer to Paul’s attacking style of play. Chris Tarr was unable to win the match for Woodfield as Janay Gibson inflicted a 3-0 defeat in the final game for a 4-4 draw.
The second match against Isle of Man was back to winning ways with a 7-1 win. Paul recovered from 2 match points down against Ewan Watterson – he trailed 10-8 in the fifth but eventually won 13-11. The team enjoyed a quality night out in Hartlepool courtesy of Darren McVite ( tour guide )- excellent choice for Chinese meal and final destination. Great to meet Gladstone Small’s sister! Graham Cleary should consider X factor as his performance on the Karaoke was stunning! Even better than his table tennis! Lots of banter and great company and many new friends made.
On Sunday morning there were a few sore heads but Woodfield were not going to let a seasons work slip and delivered a resounding 8-0 win against Bonsall Barbarians. Tean captain Steve had the pleasure of delivering the title winning points with a 3-0 win over David Kelly.
The last match ( as Champions ) was against Hartlepool who were on paper the strongest team in the division. Darren McVitie, Dave Robson, Chris Blake and Allan Thompson were fired up to inflict a first ever defeat on Woodfield. This match proved to be the most exciting in the division. Darren powered through Paul in record time 2, 1 and 6 in game 1. Steve then produced a season’s best performance to beat Dave Robson and Chris Tarr was outstanding in his 5 set victory over Chris Blake. Joe put us in the driving seat 3-1 with a 4 sets win over Allan Thompson. Darren was unstoppable against Steve although there were some amazing rallies as you would expect when attack meets defense at this level. Chris Blake leveled with a straight sets win over Paul Worallo and Dave Robson edged Hartlepool ahead 4-3 by beating Joe Hurdley. Chris Tarr had improved throughout the weekend and was able to keep the teams’ unbeaten record intact by beating Allan Thompson.
The title was well deserved and the team has a good mix of table tennis styles and personality and most important of all - a never say die attitude. The big question is how far can they go from here as next year they play in a higher division and may need to strengthen to continue the momentum achieved.
Woodfield III Champions
Woodfield III have emerged victorious as champions in their first season in Division 5 North. The final series of matches for the 4th weekend at Hyndburn in Accrington provided a tough challenge for the team of Paul Worrallo, Joe Hurdley, Chris Tarr and Captain Steve Horton. Three teams were tied on identical points going into the weekend with all playing each other to decide on one promotion place.
Woodfield made their intentions clear right from the off with an 7-1 hammering of Spartans with Chris Tarr on the receiving end of some poor luck to suffer the only defeat against an inspired Spartans’ number 2 who also pushed Paul Worrallo to a fifth set. Paul produced a powerful display of hitting from both wings with his home made super thick balsa/carbon blade to overcome a 2-1 deficit.
This was followed by another comprehensive victory against talented rivals Cliffdale Chandlers. The 8-0 score line represented hard work and determination to eliminate Cliffdale from the title race. Chris played well in this match, despite his recent illness and battled hard for his 2 wins. Steve continued his winning form with straight set victories with a mix of retrieving and hitting.
This concluded the first day and was followed by a swim in the hotel pool and a relax in the steam room. Fitness manager – Steve then decided to take the team on a 3 mile walk around Accrington to find a Chinese restaurant.
Day 2 provided the toughest and closest matches for Woodfield. Two points from 2 games would secure promotion. Ormsby, brimming with confidence and skill were close in most matches with many games going to a deciding set. Steve had to dig deep retrieving from every corner to snatch victory in a deciding set against a very stylish Adam Smith who had beaten Paul Worrallo. Joe and Chris were both in involved in close battles with both emerging with wins. A 7-1 win was above all expectations and sealed promotion.
The final match against Northfield was in the balance at 3-3 with 2 games to play. Paul and Chris had lost a game each and Steve had finally run out of steam losing to Nick Corking. Woodfield were not about to surrender their proud unbeaten record and were still battling it out on the table at 5pm with all other teams making their way home. Joe Hurdley played some amazing table tennis using his strong backhand to see off a gritty Nick Corking in 5 sets to edge Woodfield ahead. Joe’s temperament and attitude throughout the weekend was outstanding. Chris stepped up for the final game of the season and really got his game firing on all cylinders with a powerful display to clinch victory 5-3.
This team, put together at very short notice by Chris Dangerfield in the summer also included Tom Savory who played an important part in the 3 of the 4 weekends with some good wins. Paul Worrallo conducted himself immaculately throughout the campaign and was a source of inspiration with his banter and good humour and kept the team going. He proved to be a popular character with opposition teams. Joe Hurdley continues to improve his game and has the temperament to go through all the divisions.
Let’s look forward to next season in a higher division and maybe another promotion for Woodfield.
British League Report for 17th January 2010
by Paul Worrallo
Pressure was on the Woodfield III team of 1) Steve Horton, 2) Paul Worrallo, 3) Joe Hurdley and 4) Chris Tarr, before the team even arrived at Halifax, each player knowing anything but 2 wins out of 2 would result in not getting promoted.
Our first match was against Rugby, who could field a team of extremely high class, with the likes of Adrian Pilgrim, ranked 129 in the country and Mathew Outhwaite, who recently knocked out Steve Berti and narrowly lost in 5 sets in the final of the Warwickshire closed tournament to Radek . Pilgrim wasn’t playing but Outhwait was at no2 and Jack Randle who Steve knew, was playing at No1.
First up Steve (No1) against Outhwait (No2), Steve came out of the blocks with some crowd pleasing retrieving from the back of the court, using his pimples to good effect, Outhwaite with youth and extremely powerful forehands to his arsenal came battling back, but the vast experience of Steve saw him come through 3-0.
Next up Worrallo (No2) against their new number 1 Jack Randle. Paul was in control all of the first game with some strong forehands off his antiloop causing Randle lots of problems. Jack Stole the second game on deuce; however Paul then took the next 2 games comfortably with controlled hitting and blocking on both wings.
The 3rd match saw Joe Hurdley (No3), against their No4. Joe who’s been playing some excellent table tennis over the last few months, went on and did the business in his usual quiet manner, superb serves and counter hitting on the backhand side mixed up with very spinney loops and quick and powerful forehand topspins, to which his opponent had no answer, yet again a superb performance, 3-0 Joe.
4th game Chris Tarr (No4) against Rugby’s No3. Chris started with some very good serves which his opponent couldn’t read, 1-0 Chris, second game was more of a match for Chris, however some nice counter hitting off the backhand side saw him take a 2-0 lead. Chris then tightened up slightly on serve in the 3rd and gifted it to his opponent. The next game Chris became more relaxed and came through comfortably.
5th game Steve against Randle No1 against No1, Jack started off well reading Steve’s mix of chop and float from both his rubbers, again Steve’s retrieving was thrilling and entertaining to watch, however Randle was reading the spin well, Steve changed to attack and in doing so came out winning 3-0.
Next up Joe against Outhwaite, could the young gun beat the mild mannered Joe? Not on your Nelly, Joe came out all guns blazing; he gained a 4 point lead in the first, only for Outhwait to then go in front, then some aggressive forehands from Joe saw him take the first. The second game saw some fantastic forehand exchanges between the two players, but Joe seemed to be in control of the match. With Joe’s forehand doing the damage he came out a winner in straight sets.
The 7th game was between Worrallo and Rugby’s 3rd player who we all thought was their weakest player, a terrible start from Paul going down 2 sets to nil, could this be the first game lost of the day, well Worrallo had other ideas, as he won the next 2 games easily crushing the youngster. On to the 5th game it was point for point all the way to 7 all, then 2 missed shots from Paul gave a 9-7 lead to Rugby, normally Worrallo would have lost his cool, but he just composed himself and won the next 4 points to win the match 3-2.
The last match up was between Chris and their No4, Chris found this match a lot more difficult than his previous one. Chris was never in the first game, but showed some grit and determination in the next three, winning 3-1. A great start to the day 8-0.
The second match of the day was against Team Tameside who were missing the 4th player, so we were already 2 games up, however their No1 player Mohammed Khan who missed the first encounter against us, was unbeaten.
First up was Worrallo against Khan, Paul had played Khan before at the Barnsley Grand Prix, where Paul won a very close 5th set. Paul played his best table tennis in this match up, controlling the game with tight serves, good touch and deceiving loops off his Anti, taking the first 11-4. Second game Khan started to get his power game going, Paul kept his cool but lost in deuce. Paul then won the next 2 games comfortably, not allowing Khan to use his power off the backhand side.
Next Steve Horton against their young number 2, total domination from Steve as his opponent had no idea how to play against him. Steve cruised to a 3-0 win with some excellent loops and topspin drives down the line.
The 3rd game saw Chris Tar against another youngster, but with Chris’s style of play being the norm, their No3 had no problems coping with it. Chris had found a new lease of life in this match, it was like he was 20 again, on his feet, moving well, hitting and looping great. Chris seals it 3-0 with a superb loop down the line.
On to the fourth game, Horton against Khan, could Khan handle the different spin of Steve? Well he could, the power this player has is unbelievable, Joe and Chris watching with disbelief at the shear power Khan could hit the ball with. Steve was right at the back of the court getting balls back almost off the floor, the ones he could see anyway. Steve did his usual and made Khan do shot after shot to try and win a point. First game to Steve, onto the second, Steve seemed to be more interested in the match next to us, loosing concentration giving it to Khan 1-1. Steve then refocused on his own match, playing some brilliant table tennis, Khan slowly tiring, the writing was on the wall, Steve 3-1.
Next up Paul and the cocky youngster, first game over in a few minutes, 1-0 to Paul, onto the next one, this time Paul’s too busy looking at the Chandlers match, but still manages to win. Their No3 didn’t like Worrallo’s bat at all, game over 3-0 Worrallo.
The last match up was Joe Hurdley, for another 8-0 could Jo do the business?
Of course he could, without any problems at all. Their No2 had a better understanding playing Joe than he did against Steve, but Joe’s armoury was just too good for his opponent. Joe hitting backhands down the line, then cross court, forehands blasting down all over the place. Joe did the honourable thing and soon put an end to the suffering of his opponent. 3-0 Joe.
There are 3 teams at the top of the league all on the same points. The last weekend will be the hardest of them all, we have to play the top 3, promotion is in our hands. But with the vast experience of Steve and the awkwardness of Paul, the quality of Joe and the Knowledge of Chris we should be triumphant.
Woodfield frustrated in 2nd weekend
by Tom Savary
After a perfect start in weekend one of British League, Woodfield 3 were the team to beat. With the ‘redoubtable’ Steve Horton missing for the second weekend at Ormesby Table Tennis Club, the team of Paul Worrallo, Joe Hurdley, Chris Tarr and Tom Savary had a tough test to keep the team’s unbeaten run from weekend one going.
Match 5 - Cliffdale Chandlers
The match of the two top teams took place firstly on Saturday morning where comfortable wins for Paul, Joe and Chris saw an early 3-0 lead, in the next 2 games saw a tight loss in 5 from Tom and Paul thump Cliffdale’s talented number 1, Nick Rate, 3-0. From 4-1, one more game was needed to pick up max points, but Chris lost in 4 to Chris Turner; who looked more comfortable than earlier against Paul. Joe and Tom both lost incredibly tight 5 set games to Sasha Martin and Susie Steeples respectively to leave a 4-4 draw.
Match 6 – Ormesby V
The local team Ormesby V were next and this match up produced 4 games that went the distance. Paul cruised to a 3-0 win in the first game followed by strong performance by Chris to make the match score 2-0 then followed Joe and Tom who failed to take their games in tough 5 setters. Joe’s conqueror, Adam Smith, went on to continue his stunning form to beat Paul in 4. Joe went on to level the match at 3-3 with a straightforward demolition of Shannon Walker. The match looked to be going 4-3 to Ormesby, but Chris battled back from 2-1 down and being down in the 4th set to take a victory over the awkward Gary Whyman. The final game saw another 5 setter, which saw Tom lose and see Anthony Phoenix rescue a 4-4 and a point for his team.
Match 7 – Northfield III
Another local team provided another tough test; Paul lost a tight first game in 5, to Nick Corking, with Joe levelling the match straightaway. Chris edged the first 2 sets in his first game but Anthony Langley with his unique ancient bat managed to claw it back to 2-2 and also edged the decider 16-14. Another battle ensued between Tom and Adam Caveney with 5 tight sets, which ended with Adam taking the match score to 3-1 for Northfield. Things looked ominous but Paul, Chris and Joe managed to get Woodfield into the lead with 3 successive victories. In the last game Tom struggled to cope with Anthony Langley’s style and went down 3-0, which resulted in another 4-4 draw.
Match 8 – Arbory
This match proved to be as comfortable as in weekend 1, with Paul, Joe, Chris and Tom picking up their 2 victories each. The Arbory team led by John Magnall, have given a great opportunity to their young players who have a great attitude and will surely improve to become good players if they continue.
This weekend has seen Woodfield III drop to 2nd behind Cliffdale Chandlers. With so many games lost in 5 by the team being an especially frustrating way of losing top spot in the division. The team should be able to bounce back strong in the next 2 weekends and force their way to the top for promotion.
Woodfield off to flyer
by Steve Horton
Newly formed Woodfield 3 opened their account in Division 5 North of the British League with 4 emphatic victories. The team, assembled at the eleventh hour by Chris Dangerfield were in fine form throughout the weekend at the Hilton Table Tennis Centre in Horwich, Bolton. Team captain – Steve Horton used a squad rotation to produce 8-0 victories in all 4 matches to set the early pace in what promises to be an intriguing and tight division. There appears to be 3 sides in contention for promotion with tough matches to come in the second set of scheduled matches at Middlesborough.
Paul Worrallo, Steve Horton, Joe Hurdley and Chris Tarr were rarely troubled in this fixture against Arbury. Score 8-0.
The fixture against Rugby resulted in the same score line but there were closer matches against stronger opposition. Paul, Steve, Chris and Tom Savary recorded maximums. Tom did well to fight back from a difficult situation to register his win against Dave Daniels.
Team Tameside were next up and were again soundly beaten by the team of Paul, Steve, Joe and Tom. This was another 8-0 victory for Woodfield. This match produced ‘shot of the day’ with Paul ( Woz ) launching a powerful smash away from the table using his anti-loop rubber from an impossible angle.
The final fixture of the weekend against Spartans finished as it began with another emphatic victory against good opposition. Steve, Joe, Chris and Tom were undefeated yet again.
The team has a real mix of styles and determination which will make this squad one of the favourites for promotion. Cliffdale Chandlers have some very gifted players and look likely to be the main opposition for Woodfield.
Adam Inspires Woodfield
Adam Nutland turned in a captains display of sensational ,aggressive table tennis to put Woodfield in pole position in Division 2 British League South Midlands and West. Make no mistake, this was one of the best performances ever produced by a Woodfield player at this level. The combination of supreme fitness, speed and determination proved to be too much for the opposition as he whitewashed every opponent without dropping a single set! There was some excellent support too from fellow team mates ,Billy (Bad Boy) Pegg, Amann (Iceman) Ubhi and Steve (Anchor man) Horton. A late change of venue, switching to Northampton meant that their nearest rivals Westfield would have a slight home advantage.
First up was Ashford Brunswick who fielded a very young and talented team with pick of the bunch Alexander Gillen inflicting a rare defeat on Billy Pegg. There were no further slip ups with Woodfield running out 7-1 winners and a solid start to set the tone for the weekend. Man of the match award went to Veteran Steve Horton for his consistent mix of attack and defence.
Next up was Mossford II who included the dangerous Matt Spero and Barick Kazmiellak in their line up. Woodfield raced into a 5-0 lead in record time without dropping a single set thanks to some dynamic attacking play from Adam, some ‘ice cool’ quality from Amann and solid defence from the ‘anchor man.’ When the ‘ice mann’ is in the zone, he frustrates and destroys the rythem and confidence of all who encounter him on the table. The performance of the day, in my opinion, belonged to Billy Pegg who battled from a dire position 2-1 down and 4-8 against the powerful and consistent Barick. Billy refused to settle for second best and produced an inspired display of counter hitting to rescue the 4th set and edge home in a deciding set for ‘man of the match’ The day had not started well for Billy as he trod in the proverbial on route to the venue which did not impress our ‘Taxi man’ Rob (Action man) Nutland. Billy had redeemed himself and the team registered an impressive 8-0 scoreline.
This was not over for Billy as he had to sit through the live sky match between his beloved Blues and local rivals Wolves. This proved to be the second time that he had to suffer defeat and, of course, stick from his team mates, one of which being a Wolves supporter.
Sunday morning provided the toughest examination of this team with opponents, Westfield just 2 points behind Woodfield at the top of the table. Woodfield were without their number 2 Amann Ubhi with Chris Tarr deputising. Billy got us off to soild start by beating the ace defender John Fuller 3-1 after losing the first set. Next up was Adam who was charged up and showed no mercy in his destruction of the Miles Chan in straight sets. Chris (The serve) Tarr was involved in a 5 set battle with Terry Cardwell and just lost out 8-11 at the death. With the score at 2-1 Steve managed to see of the challenge of Alex Ramsden 3-1 in close sets to establish some space between our rivals. Adam was next up and just too much for John Fuller who put in a valiant effort, fetching balls back from every part of the court only for Adam to drill home with devastating effect. Billy sealed the victory with another excellent performance against Terry Caldwell also in straight sets. The pressure was off but 2 matches remained. Steve produced some resolute defence to open up a 2-0 lead against Miles Chan and was close to victory at 9-7 only to see this slip from his grasp with a run of bad luck. Steve was unable to regain his composure and despite a late fight back could not rescue the situation losing 11-9. Chris, who had travelled down on the morning was involved in another tussle , this time against Alex Ramsden. There were opportunities for both players to seize the initiative and it was Alex who eventually took a hold and winning in 4 sets. The final score of 5-3 meant that Woodfield had established a strong hold on the division and look favourites now to gain promotion at the first attempt. In this form, who would bet against the team achieving their goal.
By Steve Horton