162 – Winter – 2014 – Round 15 Wrap

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Sunraysia Table Tennis Winter Pennant round 15: –

PENNANT ONE:

–   Mallee Bearings 7 (Mark Ljubic, Kate Carmichael 2, Matt Ljubic 1) d Tankard Dental 4 (Mark Dorman 3, Nick Dorman 1)

– Max Miller Carpets 6 (Gavin Carmichael 3, Shane Carmichael 1) d Dunkley Scales 5 (Darren Robinson, Andrew Cannard 2, Arthur Paar 1)

– Weightmans Packaging 7 (Joel Thomas 3, Mick Hogarth 2) d Fishers IGA 4 (Wayne Carmichael 2, John Gray, Kevin Johns 1)

PENNANT TWO:

– Weightmans Packaging 6 (Sony Sefer 3, Tony Malycha 2) d Tankard Dental 5 (Matt Avers 2, Josh Carmichael, Ross Humphreys 1)

– Pinnacle Packers 7 (Peter Midgley 3, Terry Martin 2) d Fishers IGA 4 (Andrew Jones 2, Aidan Moore, Geoff Peters 1)

– Max Miller Carpets 6 (Ashley Morrison, Cole Keegan 2, Aidan Moore 1) d Spanline 5 (Geoff Wright 3, Peter Fitzpatrick 1)

PENNANT THREE:

– Weightmans Packaging 7 (Rod Healy 3, Jai Green 2) d Dunkley Scales 4 (Sam Hensgen 2, Colin Moore, Karly Leach 1)

– Pinnacle Packers 9 (Rachel Fitzpatrick 3, Paul Fitzpatrick, Quentin Clark 2) d Fishers IGA 2 (Tom Douglas 2)

– Mallee Bearings 6 (Alan Erskine 3, Sabrina Fitzpatrick 2) d Bishop Builders 5 (Peter Kelly 2, Mick Bacon, Jeff Hards 1)

PENNANT FOUR:

– Fishers IGA 7 (Cambell McKenzie 3, Ben Hosking, Soyel Zahidi 1) d Weightmans Packaging 4 (Kim Avers, Quentin Clark 2)

– Max Miller Carpets 6 (Kumail Jaffry 3, John Fitzpatrick 2) d Sunny Daily 5 (Paulo Reyes 2, Shirley Whitecross, Sue Green 1)

p1Gavin ‘Richie’ Carmichael in post Rnd 15 review. For Kate the road ends here for her Mallee Bearings team. As for Richie, this is where the fun begins, facing an elimination final against a Joel Thomas led Weightmans, he must use all of his experience to motivate in true Richie style. As well as a Monday night Super 8’s firstup showdown with brother Wayne, the week promises plenty.

 

PENNANT ONE:

With finals commencing this week the feature of the final home and away round fifteen matches was the defeat of both Fishers IGA and Dunkley’s Scales who have finished first and second on the ladder respectively. This could be an indication of an even finals series coming up as they were defeated by Weightmans Packaging and Max Miller Carpets who occupy the remaining two positions on the ladder.

 

– Weightmans Packaging 7 (Joel Thomas 3, Mick Hogarth 2) d Fishers IGA 4 (Wayne Carmichael 2, John Gray, Kevin Johns 1)

On the grand stand court fourth placed Weightmans Packaging proved too strong for top team Fishers IGA winning 7-4. p1Weightmans skipper Joel Thomas again won three singles to remain undefeated for the season. He defeated his nearest rival, in the singles race, Wayne Carmichael in four sets to finish one win clear of Carmichael over the fifteen rounds. Thomas capped off a great night by participating in both doubles victories with team mates Michael Hogarth and Bernadette Fitzpatrick. Hogarth continued his good form from last round again winning two singles and his form leading into the finals could be a key factor for Weightmans.

 

– Max Miller Carpets 6 (Gavin Carmichael 3, Shane Carmichael 1) d Dunkley Scales 5 (Darren Robinson, Andrew Cannard 2, Arthur Paar 1)

Third placed Max Miller Carpets defeated second placed Dunkley’s Scales 6-5, on centre court, in a close match. Dunkley’s were without skipper Shannon Bowen and he was replaced by Darren “Hurricane” Robinson who showed good form winning two singles. Again the doubles played a key role in this result with the Carpeters successful in both. The first went to five and the Carmichael combination of Shane and Gavin outlasted Robinson and Andrew Cannard 11-9 11-5 10-12 9-11 11-7 in a topsy turvy match.

For Dunkley’s Andrew Cannard played well winning two singles and just going down in five against p1Gavin Carmichael who won three singles for the Carpeters. Shane Carmichael also chipped in with an important singles as his team won by the narrowest margin.

 

–   Mallee Bearings 7 (Mark Ljubic, Kate Carmichael 2, Matt Ljubic 1) d Tankard Dental 4 (Mark Dorman 3, Nick Dorman 1)

In the remaining match, on the stage court, between the two teams who will not feature in the finals series Mallee Bearings performed strongly early to eventually win 7-4 against Tankard Dental, despite Mark Dorman winning three singles for Tankards. Mallee Bearings, like the other two successful teams on the night, recorded victories in both doubles both by the barest margin in five sets indicating how close the match was.

Despite losing his singles match to Mark Dorman, Mallee Bearings skipperp1Mark Ljubic enjoyed a successful night winning two of his three singles as well as partnering Matt Ljubic and Kate Carmichael to success in both doubles. Carmichael also played a key role winning two of her three singles to help her team to victory.

 

PENNANT TWO:

In an exciting final round, and with three teams vying for the vital second spot, Spanline were the big losers, dropping from second to fourth on a disappointing night.

 

– Weightmans Packaging 6 (Sony Sefer 3, Tony Malycha 2) d Tankard Dental 5 (Matt Avers 2, Josh Carmichael, Ross Humphreys 1)

After two recent losses, Weightmans overcame the fast finishing Tankard Dental in this final round match.

Led by on-form Sony Sefer, Weightmans kept ticking up the wins, taking the match in the second last rubber.

It was a welcome return to form for Sefer, who had scored just a single win in the previous two matches, matches which his team lost.  Sony was back to his fighting best here, and he had to be.  After defeating opposing captain Ross Humphreys comfortably 11-8, 12-10, 11-5, Sony came up against Josh Carmichael and Matt Avers in the later rounds.  These two youngsters have improved out of sight this season, and whilst they did not win their respective contest with Sefer, they both came within an ace of doing so.  Sefer led Carmichael two sets to love 11-8, 11-5, only for Carmichael to take the third 11-5.  Sony almost finished the game in the fourth, but could not, young Josh denying him the win with a score line of 12-10.  The fifth set also was close, but Sony got the break he needed and hung on to take the match 11-8.  His match with Avers was even better.  Avers soundly trounced Sony in the first set 11-4, Sony settled and took the second 11-7, hung on to take the third 13-11, once against had chances to take the fourth, but could not, Avers taking it 15-13.  Avers kept very close to Sefer in the fifth, but Sony got home with the narrowest of margins 11-9.

p1Tony Malycha chipped in with two valuable wins: he solidly defeated Humphreys 11-7, 11-3, 14-12, and in the rubber which gave the win to his team, he proved too good for Carmichael in a good five set contest, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-8.

Those five rubbers together with victory in the first doubles – Sefer and Jago downing Humphreys and Carmichael in four – was enough to get the win for the minor premiers.

Matt Avers finished his year off as best performed for his side in this game.  Matt has had a big year after starting the season in Pennant Three.  Drafted into this team, his improvement has been rapid, and wins over Tony Malycha in four close sets 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 and in five sets over Arnold Jago 8-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8 kept his team in the contest.

So it was only fitting that he and Carmichael should take the second doubles – five sets again – against Arnold Jago and Tony Malycha.

The other two rubbers for Tankards came with wins by Carmichael and Humphreys – both over Arnold Jago.

Final scores:  6 rubbers to 5 and 26 games to 22.

 

– Pinnacle Packers 7 (Peter Midgley 3, Terry Martin 2) d Fishers IGA 4 (Andrew Jones 2, Aidan Moore, Geoff Peters 1)

Pinnacle Packers won this match slowing down, and jumped back to second on the ladder as a result.

Fishers were without captain Leon Brown and number two Seval Fuat, but had good replacements in Andrew Jones and Aidan Moore respectively.

The Packers were never in trouble, taking five of the first six rubbers.  With Peter Midgley leading the way with three wins, and p1Terry Martin with two, the Packers had the game secure after the second doubles.  Once again Midgley was the class of the field – as well as his 3 singles wins, he helped his team-mates to wins in both doubles.

For Fishers, fill-in captain Andrew Jones took two wins – both in three sets – against Terry Martin and Glen Bell, and Aidan Moore and Geoff Peters both downed Bell.

Final scores:  7 rubbers to 4 and 23 games to 16.

 

– Max Miller Carpets 6 (Ashley Morrison, Cole Keegan 2, Aidan Moore 1) d Spanline 5 (Geoff Wright 3, Peter Fitzpatrick 1)

Max Miller Carpets took a close win here to stake their claim as a genuine finals contender.  This win took them back up to third, from fourth, and relegated Spanline to the final spot for finals competition.  Both captain Ashley Morrison and Cole Keegan took two wins (both against Matt Burns and Peter Fitzpatrick), and Aidan Moore one (against Burns).

These wins were the platform for the win, and with the second doubles (Morrison and Moore against Wright and Fitzpatrick), coming ridiculously easy, 11-7, 11-0, 13-11, the Carpeters had enough to take the win.

There were some good matches too:  Cole Keegan and Matt Burns played an entertaining  match in which sets came easily, or were lost just as easily.  Keegan took that one 11-8, 11-4, 4-11, 5-11, 11-5.  Later on Burns played another five setter, this time with Aidan Moore in a match which would, had he won, given the match to his side.  It was close, but one could sense that Moore was determined to win, even though this was his eighth game for the night (having doubled up in the Pinnacle Packers-Fishers IGA) game. p1Moore traded blows with Burns, and had the final say in his 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 win.

Apart from those two games, the only other rubber that was a real contest was that of the two number 1’s, Geoff Wright and Ashley Morrison.  Morrison looked strong initially, taking the first set 11-8, however Wright struck back in the second and third sets 12-10, 11-9; Morrison bounced back in the fourth 11-7 to square up at two sets all, but Wright was much too good in the fifth taking it 11-4.

Final scores:  6 rubbers to 5 and 21 games to 20.

With the home-and-away games finished, it is worth considering who might take the flag.

Weightmans Packaging are the obvious favourites, and although they lost two of their last three games, they are the best performed team over the last half of the season, having won 5 of their last 7.

Next on the ladder, Pinnacle Packers, and they have won four of their last seven, in fact four of the last five.

Max Miller Carpets is third, and they have scored in four of their last seven, and three of the last four.

So, all these sides have good recent form.

The fourth team, Spanline, have really hit the wall in this period, and can only lay claim to two wins in their last seven matches.

That said, finals are a different game, and if you make the four, then you are in with a chance.

 

PENNANT THREE:

Bishop Builders have been on a charge since Round 10, and going into this round were in second spot on the ladder.  However, an upset loss to bottom-of-the-ladder team Mallee Bearings this week saw them lose the double chance in the upcoming finals.  Pinnacle Packers, equal with Bishop Builders, took advantage of the situation with a big win over Fishers IGA to take second spot.

 

– Weightmans Packaging 7 (Rod Healy 3, Jai Green 2) d Dunkley Scales 4 (Sam Hensgen 2, Colin Moore, Karly Leach 1)

Weightmans Packaging were untroubled in this game against Dunkley Scales.  After the minor blip last week, a loss to Bishop Builders, Weightmans were in control once more.

Dunkley Scales started well, winning the first two rubbers.

Sam Hensgen and Jai Green played a marathon five set contest with the fifth set being a real nail-biter.  Sets had alternated to 2 all, and with both players believing a win was possible were keen to take the vital fifth set.  When it got to 10-all things got interesting.  Instead of continuing to play their natural game, both players played safe and waited for their opponent to make the mistake.  With team-mates watching in turn being buoyed at the chance of victory, only to see their player lose the chance, the score inched along:  13-all, 14-all, 15-all, and so it went.  Keeping their concentration up, the score got into the 20’s, the umpire had run out of numbers on the flip-chart, and still no result.  Finally, at 25-24 Hensgen got the break he needed, and took the set 26-24.  The change of ends at 5-4 looks a little premature now !!

Karly Leach took the second rubber in four sets over Helen Frania, who was subbing for Jol Peters, to make it 2 rubbers to love.

Weightmans took control after that, and were not headed for the rest of the match.

Rod Healy once again took three rubbers, with only Sam Hensgen being able to extract a set.

p1Jai Green, after the loss to Hensgen, took two rubbers.  Significantly both were five set contests, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9 over Karly Leach, and then playing a great comeback match against Colin Moore in the final round of singles.  More led 11-1, 11-4 and would have been fairly confident of closing the match out.  Green had other ideas though, and after a close third set, which he took 11-9, raced through the fourth 11-3, and with the wind to his back continued on in the fifth, making fewer mistakes than his more experienced opponent to take it and the match 11-8.  A great win.

Both doubles went to the victors, which goes to show the influence Rod Healy has.  The first was a straight sets win – Healy and Green 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 over Leach and Moore; the second in four sets – Healy and Frania beating Leach and Hensgen 11-9, 12-14, 11-6, 11-4.

Best peformed for Dunkley Scales was Sam Hensgen.  After his confidence boosting win in the first rubber, Sam later defeated Helen Frania in three.  The only other rubbers for Dunkley Scales were those taken by Leach and Moore, also defeating Frania.

Final scores:  7 rubbers to 4 and 25 games to 18.

 

– Pinnacle Packers 9 (Rachel Fitzpatrick 3, Paul Fitzpatrick, Quentin Clark 2) d Fishers IGA 2 (Tom Douglas 2)

Pinnacle Packers finished the season on a high, with an impressive 9-2 win over Fishers IGA, and the bonus of jumping Bishop Builders for second spot.

Pinnacle Packers captain Rachel Fitzpatrick was firing on all cylinders, taking three singles, and partnering her team-mates to wins in both doubles, however Fishers number three Tom Douglas kept her honest for the first three sets of their match.  Rachel had to work extremely hard for this win. p1Douglas almost her beat in three sets, as at that point Douglas had taken the first two 14-12, 12-10, and came very close to taking the third, but losing it 12-10.  That really was the end for Tom, because Rachel, with that set on the board returned to her confident flowing game to take the next two sets 11-2, 11-7.  Disappointing for Tom, but a good game nonetheless.

Paul Fitzpatrick and Quentin Clark, who was subbing for Peter Edwards, took two rubbers each, both defeating Fishers captain Jeremy Corrin, who it must be said was far from fit, suffering one of the many winter bugs which float round at this time of the year, and Ajay Chowdrey.

The only rubbers for Fishers came from the bat of Tom Douglas.  After that near-miss with Rachel, Tom made up for it with a solid 12-10, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9 win over Paul Fitzpatrick, and later, after dropping the first set to hard-hitting Quentin Clark 10-12, took control of the game, taking the last three sets 7, 6 and 3.

Final scores:  9 rubbers to 2 and 29 games to 11.

 

– Mallee Bearings 6 (Alan Erskine 3, Sabrina Fitzpatrick 2) d Bishop Builders 5 (Peter Kelly 2, Mick Bacon, Jeff Hards 1)

Bishop Builders would probably have expected to win this game.  They had won four of their previous five games, sat second on the ladder, and here were playing the team which sat on the bottom of the ladder.

But the surprise for them was that Alan Erskine was subbing for Mallee Bearings captain Peter Mikhaeil.  Erskine has made a limited return to table tennis this year, and this was his fourth game for the season.  His form has been pretty impressive, having lost only two of the nine singles matches to date.  And Erskine it was who was the difference in this game – he took another three singles haul, and partnered Sabrina Fitzpatrick to a win in the first doubles.  Erskine only dropped one set in those singles wins, this to Bishop’s number two Mick Bacon.  He had no trouble with Jeff Hards, and in his contest with opposing captain Peter Kelly made the scores 5 all with a three set victory.  After a very close 13-11 first set, Erskine kept the pressure on his opponent in the second, taking it 11-9, and then eased away to an 11-7 win in the third.

Erskine was backed up by number two Sabrina Fitzpatrick who easily defeated Jeff Hards 6,8 and 5, and in the second last rubber, with the score at 5-4 and needing just one more for the win, p1Sabrina promptly lost the first two sets to Mick Bacon 8-11, 5-11, but then made a remarkable comeback to take the next three 13-11, 11-8, 11-3.

For the Builders, their five rubbers came from wins over Helen Frania, Peter Kelly in three over Sabrina, and the second doubles when Kelly and Bacon downed Erskine and Frania in four.

This loss means that the Builders drop to third on the ladder and so miss the double-chance in the finals.  If they want to continue on to take the flag, this will have to be their last loss of the season.

Final scores:  6 rubbers to 5 and 20 games to 19.

And so, to the finals.  Weightmans Packaging are clear favourits, having lost only two games for the entire season, in the first round to Pinnacle Packers and in Round 14 to Bishop Builders.  Their captain Rod Healy has conceded just one singles rubber, that to Pinnacle Packers captain Rachel Fitzpatrick back in Round 6.

Second spot on the ladder is Pinnacle Packers, and they are a threat to any side in the competition, but do not have the hitting power of Weightmans.  The same can be said of Bishop Builders, who after a great run in recent matches, taking four from five, faltered in this last round to Wooden-Spooners Mallee Bearings.

Dunkley Scales occupy the final spot, and they have amassed four of their seven wins from teams below them on the ladder.  Still, they have defeated Pinnacle Packers twice and Bishop Builders once.

 

PENNANT FOUR:

 

– Max Miller Carpets 6 (Kumail Jaffry 3, John Fitzpatrick 2) d Sunny Daily 5 (Paulo Reyes 2, Shirley Whitecross, Sue Green 1)

Fourth placed Max Miller Carpets gained some momentum leading into the finals when they defeated second placed Sunny Daily 6-5 to win their third match of the season. Carpeter’s pair Kumail Jaffry and p1John Fitzpatrick enjoyed a good night by winning three and two singles respectively.

To win his third singles Kumail had to defeat the in form Paulo Reyes in a tough three setter 11-3 11-8 12-10. These two players finished second and third respectively in the singles aggregate race and are evenly matched.

Jaffry and young Fitzpatrick were able to defeat Reyes and Shirley Whitecross 11-9 15-13 11-13 11-8 in the first doubles and this was vital in their narrow victory.

In the knockout semi final the Carpeters match up against the Weightmans Packaging combination of Kim Avers, Quentin Clark and Demi Green in what will be their biggest challenge of the season.

 

– Fishers IGA 7 (Cambell McKenzie 3, Ben Hosking, Soyel Zahidi 1) d Weightmans Packaging 4 (Kim Avers, Quentin Clark 2)

For the fifteenth round in succession, Fishers IGA have been able to manufacture victory, this time defeating a plucky Weightmans Packaging 7-4. For the second round in succession the top team have had their hands full and have been pressed and needed to perform well to gain the four points.

In this contest there were five five setters with Fishers winning three of these. Fishers skipper Cambell McKenzie again won three singles however he did not have it all his own way with two of these going to five sets. He was under extreme pressure against the fast improving Quentin Clark and trailed by two games to love before he steadied and in a memorable match McKenzie prevailed 8-11 7-11 11-8 11-6 11-6. p1Later in the match Kim Avers took Cambell to five again with the Fishers skipper again able to come from behind to win 7-11 12-10 4-11 11-3 11-5.

In another five setter Fishers pair McKenzie and Soyel Zahidi outlasted Kim Avers and fill in Therese Fitzpatrick 10-12 11-8 10-12 11-9 11-6 again under pressure.

This had been a great effort by Weightmans and they will be encouraged with trhis form against the team who have been outstanding all season.

 

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