Ravenscroft Senior British National League Report Weekend 1 2019/20 Season


The Ravenscroft backed Guernsey Table Tennis sides have returned from their opening round of fixtures in the Senior British League with mixed results.

Both sides were in action at the Halton Table Tennis club in Widnes and it was the leading Island side that fared the best.

Competing in the National A-1 Division, the team of Lawrence Stacey, Joshua Stacey, Ben Foss and Alex Robinson managed to win 2 of their matches over the weekend and were only narrowly edged out by the finest margin in the other 2.

The first fixture was against Cardiff City TTC I and the Sarnian side started well, securing a tight 5-4 victory. Alex Robinson playing from the number 4 spot proved decisive in this fixture as he won both of his matches over Welsh Cadet Evan O’Connor and Welsh Junior Girl Jamie-Lee Harley with relative ease. Josh Stacey also defeated O’Connor in 4 sets, whilst Foss saw off Harley in straight sets. The 5th and decisive win was obtained by Lawrence in the match opener. It was the only rubber in the match to go the full 5 sets and Stacey clinched the deciding end of his clash against Rhys Hetherton 11-7. Welsh star Dean Cundy was a bridge too far and the player equivalently ranked in the top 40 in England defeated both Stacey twins as well as winning the doubles rubber alongside Hetherton against Robinson and Foss.

The afternoon fixture against Fusion II ended in opposite fashion as a tight 5-4 loss was incurred. Despite the defeat, there were encouraging signs for Foss who ended his day on a high. He started by overturning a 2-1 deficit to defeat Robert Pelc 11-7 in the deciding end and followed up with a 4 set win over top 100 ranked player Joshua Dye. Lawrence also earned himself a win against Dye in 5 sets, whilst twin Joshua overcame Jamal Dennison in 4 sets. Like with Cardiff, it was Fusion’s top player who did the damage. England number 25 James Smith is one of the highest ranked players in the Division and he earned wins over both Stacey twins.

The Sunday started positively with a 6-3 win over Barrow I. Lawrence was the man of the match following a straight set win over England Number 99 Jonathan Crawford and a 4 set win over Barrow number 1 Richard Lightowler. Joshua was edged out in 5 sets by Lightowler, but overcame England number 128 Paul Cicchelli in 5 sets. Foss and Robinson each defeated Barrow number 4 Peter Morgan to make sure of the win. The result was made better following Lawrence and Foss’s 4 set doubles win over Crawford and Cicchelli.

The final encounter of the weekend resulted in another narrow 5-4 defeat, this time at the hands of Swerve TTC I. Lawrence earned a solid 5 set win over England number 110 Kieran Wardell to open the match, whilst Foss and Robinson each overcame Andy Benjamin. The doubles rubber was won again by the Guernsey combination of Lawrence and Foss over Wardell and Callum Mcrae, however the 5th and final rubber proved elusive. The match swung on the outcome of 2 other 5 set encounters and unfortunately it was the Swerve side who edged both. Lawrence was on the wrong end of the first match against Swerve number 1 Sam Kwan 11-8, but there was further despair for Joshua who lost 14-12 in the decisive 5th end of his encounter against Mcrae.

Ravenscroft II had a tougher opening weekend of action in National C1 and only managed to win 1 of their 4 matches.

The first match of the weekend was harsh on the local side consisting of Jamie Ferbrache, Ryan Bichard, Matthew Casey and Ryan Gilson as the 5-4 loss to Colin Deaton I hinged on the outcome of the final match between Gilson and David Molyneux, which ended in a 5 set victory for the opposition. The afternoon saw a 7-2 defeat at the hands of venue hosts Halton TTC III. 

Despite the 8-1 defeat to a strong St Neots I side on the final day of action, a well deserve 6-3 win was obtained against Colin Deaton II. Casey capped off a solid weekend with 2 wins, whilst each of Bichard, Ferbrache and Gilson all managed to win 1 of their matches. The Guernsey side also came out on top in the doubles match.