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Senior British League

posted 20 Dec 2012, 05:22 by Martin Sarre
Sportingbet Guernsey Senior British National League Weekend 2 Report December 2012

The Sportingbet Guernsey table tennis team recorded an important win during the second weekend of British
National League action of the season. The 5-3 victory was obtained against Crusaders I and moves the side up
into 6th position of the strong Division 1 South ahead of the aforementioned side and TTC Cornwall.

The first encounter of this round of fixtures was against Olop Impact who are currently sitting in 3 rd position
of the league table. A 7-1 loss was incurred, however that does not tell the full story of the encounter, as Olop
won 3 pivotal matches over the full 5 game distance. Adam Langlois was very unfortunate to lose to both
Daniel Moses and Daniel McTiernan 11-9 and 11-8 in the 5th respectively and Phi Ogier was also unable to
convert against the unpredictable Moses despite holding a 2-0 lead. Alice Loveridge prevented the whitewash
by getting the better of Hari Gehlot in 5 games. Gehlot led 2-1 and the 4 th end was the defining point of
the match, the Sarnian eventually battling through 17-15 after saving a few match points in the process.
Loveridge’s fighting spirit in the 4th increased her confidence and she powered past her opponent in the final
leg.

Saturday afternoon’s match saw the 5-3 victory obtained against Crusaders I and all players contributed to
the victory. Phil Ogier was on first against Crusaders number 1 Michael Ho and went down in 4 games, a 16-
14 loss in the first end and a 12-10 loss in the 3rd end being the small difference between differing outcomes of
result. Loveridge was up next and restored parity by getting the better of Ben Larcombe 3-1. Another lengthy
leg was eventually won by Loveridge as she clinched the crucial 4th 20-18 after numerous missed match point
opportunities. Adam Langlois then opened his account by powering past Dean Rose in straight games. The
confidence and momentum was now with the Guernsey outfit and Paul Hainsworth also earned his first win
of the weekend by defeating Ian Kelly in 4 games. Ho played some exceptional table tennis against Loveridge
in the next match to keep his side in the match at 2-3. The next match was between Ogier and Rose was a lot
closer than expected and Rose opened up a 2-1 lead. Ogier was struggling with Rose’s bat which comprised
an anti-spin rubber and a pimpled rubber and the Crusaders player often had Ogier in the deep returning his
powerful smashes. Fortunately Ogier’s experience came to the fore at the right time and he cruised through
the 4th and 5th legs to give the side a 4-2 lead. Hainsworth was not able to close the match out as he went
down to Larcombe in straight games, but Langlois was cool as a cucumber in the final match of the encounter,
defeating Kelly in straight games to close out the win.

Sunday saw matches against the 2 top teams in the division who are head and shoulders above the others in
terms of standard due to the quality players that they possess throughout their order.

Urban I are 2nd and they inflicted a 7-1 defeat on the side. Despite the loss, the encounter contained the best
win as Loveridge produced a great performance to beat England number 18 Alim Hirji in straight games. Ogier
and Langlois also competed well against Urban number 3 Costas Papantoniou, however each was ousted in 4
legs by the enthusiastic England number 60.

Greenhouse Progress played in the Premier Division last season and they are the juggernauts of this division,
having lost just 2 individual matches out the 64 that they have played. The strength in depth of the team is
evident to see from the fact that their 4th player is ranked 43 in England, with the other 3 firmly in the top 30.
An 8-0 outcome was the verdict in September and on this second encounter the story was the same, however
the Greenhouse side were pressed very well by the Guernsey side, who lost just 3 of the 8 matches in straight
games. The closest to obtaining victory was Ogier who led England number 30 Senior and number 4 Junior Igor
Morais 2-1. It was not destined to be Ogier’s day as Morais got all the fortune in the encounter, increasingly
so in the huge 4th end. Morais earned 4 or 5 nets and edges towards the latter end of the leg, including a
thin edge on match point down and a net and edge on another. This helped steer the Greenhouse player to

a deuce win in the 4th and he went from strength to strength in the 5th, closing it out with ease. Ogier also
competed well with top 20 player ‘Barry’ Po Huang Chen for the first 2 ends. From 1-1 though the Progress
player went up the gears and played some exceptional shots, fully showing off the extents of his ability.
Loveridge and Hainsworth both competed well against England number 28 Daniel Basterfield as each lost in 4
games. Langlois also took a leg of Ashley Willets before losing in 4 games in the final match of the encounter.

The team faces an important fixture when they return to action on 9th January 2013. They will be competing
against the bottom of the table side TTC Cornwall in a weekend where the Cornish side also play against fellow
strugglers Crusaders I. Sportingbet Guernsey’s other match is against 4 th placed side Batts I.

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