Ellenborough Ladies British League Veterans Report

On the weekend of 17th/18th September 2016 Ellenborough entered a new team into the Women’s Veterans British League.  The event is held over two weekends, both at the fantastic Derby Arena (Velodrome).

The squad playing this time were Sandy Nash, Sue Pingram, June Nelson, and Faith Frankel.

The division is made up of eight teams, so Ellenborough played five of them this weekend, and will play the other two in the second half of the season. They will then have a further three matches to play during the second weekend against the other teams finishing in their half of the table.

Each fixture is played 3-a-side, with two matches for each player.  So six matches in each fixture.  The winning side gets two points, and there is one point available for a draw.  

The team managed to win against Farfetched, Carpe Diem and Market Rasen Ladies II all with a convincing 5-1 scoreline.  However, the final scores do not reflect some of the tough battles fought out on the tables.  There really were a lot of very close games throughout the weekend, including in our first fixture, against another new team, Farfetched, a determined June was incredibly unlucky not to win both her matches against Farfetched (losing out 12-10 in the fifth to Carol Philp). 

Our second match against Sutton at Hone, went to the final game to be played to decide whether we got the full two points for a win or just the one for a draw.  Faith was our player faced with the challenge of playing an on-form Sue Adamson, arguably, their best player.  Faith played some of her best table tennis of the weekend, attacking on both wings, to record an impressive win, 11-1, 11-5, 10-12, 11-3 and therefore securing a 4-2 win and crucially two points on the league table for the team.  Well played Faith. 

A special mention also to Sue Pingram, who won 9 out of the 10 games she played.  Time and time again she successfully set up her big forehand hit and sent her opponents chasing balls left, right and centre! Her only loss being an unlucky 12-10 in the 5th end to Billwood’s Linda Hales.    

Billwood was the only team to beat Ellenborough this weekend, and by a slightly surprising 5 matches to 1 score.    The Ellenborough ladies should take something from the fact that five of the six matches went beyond three games, and two of those went the distance.  So many individual games were lost by only a two or three point margin.  As with the 5-1 wins, the scoreline does not really reflect how close and competitive some of the games played were.  Perhaps an early start on a Sunday morning had something to do with a slight drop in form along with styles of game not suiting our players strengths!? 

Several of the close games over the weekend finished in favour of the opposition.  Fortunately, a few of the close matches also went our way, including one in the final match of the weekend for Faith against ex- Ellenborough player, Sylvia Tyler.  Eventually won by Faith 14-12 in the 5th!    Playing styles was a factor throughout the weekend, with June and Sandy’s wins being quite comfortable, but the losses considerably closer.

Overall, a very successful weekend enjoyed by the four ladies who travelled to Derby.   It was quite surreal playing in a hall which is also a velodrome with the cyclists whizzing around above our heads whilst we played.  Sandy was worried that this might be distracting, but even she was amazed at how little they could be noticed whilst playing and our team all enjoyed the atmosphere this unique venue provided.  There were lots of very close, competitively fought games and enjoyable matches played with good sportsmanship.  Everyone contributed to the great team effort, which has put Ellenborough in second place, just one point behind the team sitting at the top of the table (RTA – Recycled Teen Agers!) and still with them to play as our final match before the division is split in to two mini divisions of four teams.  So, everything still to play for.

L-R Sue, Sandy, June & Faith

June Nelson

Sandy Nash

Division 2 Table

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