Mid season summary
EAST LANCASHIRE TABLE TENNIS LEAGUE SUMMARY OF THE FIRST HALF OF SEASON 2017-8
This is a short summary of how the first half of the 2017-8 season has played out, division by division. In the current absence of a Press Secretary this has been put together by the Fixtures Secretary. It is based on all the results I have currently been able to enter onto the ELTTL Website.
The Premier League.
This is looking to be the closest that the Premier League has been for a number of years. The top three teams HTTC A, Clitheroe and East Lancs have all played 7 matches and only 8 points divide them. HTTC A are currently top with 163 but it looks like it will be very tight, with hopefully an exciting end of season run-in. Rovers are having a good season and are currently in 4th. Newly promoted Ramsbottom C have lost all their 7 games and sitting at the bottom of the division. However Ramsbottom B Ladies and the other newly promoted team Whalley Hawks have played 8 games and are only 12 and 13 points respectively above them and must also be in some danger of relegation.
Micky Moir from HTTC is topping the merit table with a stunning 97.30% but when we apply the 50% rule Martin Wyatt from Ramsbottom A is top on 77.94%, closely followed by K Ward Plumber’s Keith Ward on 74.03%.
The First Division.
Whalley Eagles are top at the moment on 221 points with Doal’s Marauders in second place on 205, both after 9 matches. However this is clearly going to be a four horse race with KSB A on 167 and the Lions on 162 after both having only completed 7 matches due injuries. Whalley Kestrels and Best Centre Raptors are both having solid seasons so far. Spin Doctors (formerly Mavericks) have had a season blighted by illness and injury and have struggled to be able to raise a team some weeks, and unfortunately are well adrift at the bottom of the table. The other relegation place looks to be a battle between Old Masters on 120 after 7 matches, Hyndburners on 122 and Past Masters A on 125, having both played 8.
Graham Young KSB A and Matt Harrison Lions lead the merit table on an identical 82.19%, with Whalley Kestrels Colin Hooper 77.65% and Whalley Eagles Phil Mileham 74.74% close on their heels.
The Second Division.
The title chase seems to have developed into a head to head battle between the young HTTC B team and the experienced KSB B. Currently HTTC B lead on 238 after 9 matches, with KSB B on 211 after 8 – a good win for the Rawtenstall men would make it neck and neck. The two Best Centre Teams are handily placed with Jets on 184 after 9 matches and Phantoms on 150 after 8. Slayers look to be losing ground at the bottom despite the welcome return to playing of former Fixtures Secretary David Heys. It looks like the battle of who joins them for potential relegation is going to be between Ramsbottom D and Doal’s Vikings, but KSB C and Brierfield might find themselves dragged into the battle.
Trevor Elkington KSB B is well out in front in the Merit Table on 84.38%. It looks as if the battle for second place will be between the experienced Ian Smith from Rolling Doals on 73.08 and the young Nathan King on 72.28, who is having a great season for HTTC B. They are however closely followed by 8 other players who are currently on over 65% and will be looking to chase them down.
The Third Division
The division is being dominated by the young team from Whalley Kites who have won all their games so far, after being relegated last season. Joe Tattersall, Anthony Richardson, Owen Jones & Sam Fox have all responded really well to the challenge. In second place are Past Masters B on 175 points. It is likely that KSB D, who have been hit by injury and only played 6 matches, will mount a strong bid in the second half of the season.
It is good to see so many new teams and new players playing in this division. This includes some good players from the past who have started playing again. The Merit Table is led by two such players on 100% Khurrum Karim for Whalley Harriers and Carl Ross for the Kites. However when we apply the 50% rule the clear leader on 92.60% is young Joe Tattersall, followed by Anthony Richardson on 81.33%.
The Fred Holden Trophy
The First Round of the Fred Holden produced the usual number of very tight matches with 6 of them being decided by less than 10 points. KSB E scraped past KSB A by 3 points as did East Lancs over Whalley Kestrels. However the tightest of all was Best Centre Phantoms beating KSB C by a single point with everything on the final set of the final game when Rob Tokeley managed to just get enough points against the higher ranked Johnny Thomason. The Second Round is due to be played w/c 22nd January with last year’s East Lancs and runners-up Whalley Eagles both having difficult looking home draws against Third Division opponents who will be itching for a giant-killing.
The Vets and Super Vets Competition
These comps were played on 11th December at HTTC and were enjoyable and well-attended. In the Vets Dave Kay beat Joe Gizon 11-5, 11-7, 11-4. He then went on to be victorious in the Super Vets as well, this time beating Mark Gleave 11-7, 11-7, 11-5. Will there be a new veteran to emerge next year and take Dave’s crown?
Mike Turner Fixtures Secretary