Ravenscroft Senior British National League Weekend 4 Preview 2016/17 Season
The Islands best table tennis players are returning to British National League action this weekend, where the final round of fixtures from the 2016/17 season will be contested.
The leading Ravenscroft backed outfits are near the top of their respective divisions and each will be looking to achieve the results required to obtain promotion to higher leagues.
Ravenscroft I will be made up of Garry Dodd, Joshua Butler, Joshua Stacey and Phil Ogier and they currently reside joint top of the National B-3 table with Fusion II. The sides are separated by only games difference and it is the Sarnian squad that have the slightly superior ratio.
The second string side on the other hand is in 2nd place of National C-4, despite having the strongest games ratio within the Division. The reason for this discrepancy in the table is largely due to the leading Scottish based side North Ayrshire II’s decision to use the Premier Division player, Chris Main, for both clashes between the sides. Whilst the honours were even during the first clash, a narrow 6-4 defeat was incurred last time out. The team of Lawrence Stacey, Alex Robinson, Paul Hainsworth and Ben Foss will be looking to finish the season strongly with 4 wins and a second placed finish could also lead to promotion.
In National B-3 at the Kingfisher Table Tennis Club in Reading, the top side have an extremely tough start to their weekend, which culminates in what is likely to be a winner takes all clash with Fusion II on Saturday afternoon. They open first up against 3rd placed side Kingfisher II though and the previous meetings between the sides ended in a comfortable 8-2 victory for the Guernsey team. The big top of the table clash in the afternoon will see if the sides can finally be separated, having been level on points throughout the season thus far. Defender Joseph Hee has been the player of the season to date and has lost just 1 single match. In the encounter earlier in the season, he was responsible for 3 of the Fusion rubbers, having seen off Dodd and Butler in singles action on top of also teaming with James Smith to win the doubles match over Dodd and Olly Langlois, also in straight games. Smith and Jamal Dennison were the other players to record wins last time and the strength in depth of the Fusion side will invariably make it a tough clash whomever they field.
Should defeat be avoided in the afternoon clash and a win obtained in the morning, it should be a more comfortable day on Sunday as the final fixtures come against the sides at the bottom of the table, Finsbury and Ellenborough respectively. 9-1 and 10-0 routs were achieved last time and this will be the goal to finish the season in style.
Over in Widnes in C-4, the second team will be looking to end the season with a quad of victories to secure at least 2nd position in the table. They are reliant on top side North Ayrshire dropping points to give them hope of winning the league, however 2nd position is very close to being achieved before the weekend commences, a large 5 point gap being in place between them and 3rd placed side Ormesby VI.
The first clash of the weekend is against the youthful Ormesby side in question and a convincing 10-0 whitewash was achieved on that occasion. The afternoon encounter is against the other Ormesby side (V) and a 10-0 drubbing was also the outcome back in November.
The toughest match of the weekend is likely to come against 4th placed side and venue hosts Halton IV. An 8- win was achieved last time, however there were a lot of hard fought matches in the tough encounter, also back in November. The final match of the season comes against 7th placed side Bishop Auckland and the aim will be for a conclusive win, similar to the 10-0 drubbing from earlier this season.
The youthful Ravenscroft III team will also be competing in National C-4 and will be hoping to get their first points on the board. The team representing the Island this weekend is Ryan Bichard, Dan Collenette, Matthew Casey and Ryan Gilson. Gilson will be making his senior British League debut and the left hander has been showing good signs of improvement of late with his performances in the local 1st Division. The team has been very close to getting results this season and will be looking to achieve this at the final time of asking.
Fourth Weekend Sides
1. Garry Dodd (Team Captain)
2. Joshua Butler
3. Joshua Stacey
4. Phil Ogier
1. Lawrence Stacey
2. Alex Robinson
3. Paul Hainsworth (Team Captain)
4. Ben Foss
1. Ryan Bichard
2. Daniel Collenette
3. Matthew Casey
4. Ryan Gilson
Fixtures (4th Weekend)
Ravenscroft I – National B-3
Kingfisher Table Tennis Club, Reading
18 March 10:30 Ravenscroft I v Kingfisher II
Ravenscroft III – National C-4
Halton Regional Table Tennis Centre, Widnes
18 March 10:30 Ravenscroft III v Halton IV
18 March 14:30 Isle of Man v Ravenscroft III
19 March 10:00 Ravenscroft III v Bishop Auckland
19 March 14:00 Ormesby VI v Ravenscroft III