Nottingham brush off Ormesby threat to win SBL Championship
Hosts Nottingham held off a fast-finishing second-team Ormesby to claim the senior British League Championship Division title on the final weekend of this season’s competition.
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Nottingham were in pole position at the start of the weekend and they started with a goalless game in the nine-team division, followed by a 5-3 victory over London Academy which was secured from 3-2 after Gabriel Achampong defeated Joseph Langham-Ferreira. 3-2 (5-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6).
Ormesby II, a young side of Josh Weatherby, Tom Rayner and David Gofton, with Jake Haygarth playing from third, started with 6-2 wins over Fusion II and Drumchapel Glasgow to stay in contention.
The penultimate round saw Ormesby go on to win, 5-3 against Wymondham in a game they led 5-0, while Nottingham lost a point in a 4-4 draw against Fusion, who recovered a 4-2 deficit and sealed a point. thanks for Jamal Dennison’s narrow 3-2 (11-6, 10-12, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10) victory over Will Dobinson.
It saw Nottingham’s lead at the top reduced to two points before the final round, and Ormesby kept the pressure on with a 5-3 win over St Mary’s Tigers, a game they clinched with Gofton winning on Connor Whitehead in the seventh draw.
Nottingham opened a 3-0 lead over Drumchapel but also had to wait until Game 7 to secure the key fifth win as Maxim Stevens overcame Danny Bajwa. The final score was 5-3.
Topping the division averages, London Academy’s Ismaila Akindiya won 17 out of 18 for a pass rate of 94.44%.
The Player of the Season award went to Josh Stacey of Perry Dale 08.
Section A1, hosted at Draycott & Long Eaton, saw Wensum maintain their two-point advantage over Milton Keynes as both sides won all four games at the weekend.
This allowed Wensum to lose only once and their rivals twice during the season. The front two fought once each – both matches were decided 5-4 – and it was ultimately a 6-3 loss to mid-table PPong in January that cost Milton Keynes, who had a colossal gap of eight points against Barrow in third place.
The averages saw a fantastic full house for Ormesby III’s Jake Haygarth, who won all 20 games from a team that finished in sixth place.
In Section A2 at Cippenham, Kingfisher overhauled Ellenborough to win the title with a four-point advantage.
That was not how the weekend started, with the Ellenborough side holding a two-point lead. It remained that way after the first round of matches, but Kingfisher equalized by beating Finsbury 6-3, while Ellenborough lost 7-2 to Joola Plymouth.
The front two met in the next round and it was a 6-3 win for Kingfisher, and they duly clinched the title with a tight 5-4 margin over Plymouth in the final round – although that was ultimately academic, as Ellenborough lost 7-2 for Brighton anyway.
Among regulars in the division, Mircea Neagu of Kingfisher had the best average of 85.71%, having won 24 of 28, just ahead of Olly Cornish of Joola Plymouth, who had 17/20 on 85%.
Division B1, in Halton, North Ayrshire II claimed top spot but not without concern, particularly in the weekend’s first round where they lost 6-3 to Derwent.
That result, coupled with Ayrshire’s 7-2 success against Huddersfield in the final round, saw Derwent finish second, two points behind the Scottish side and ahead of Huddersfield on the countdown.
Among the regulars, North Ayrshire’s Andrew Macpherson led the averages with 87.5% (21 out of 24) – but also Josh Bramley, who won 9/10 for Derwent.
East Midlands and Nottingham II could only be separated by match ratio as Section B2 ended in St Neots.
The two teams won 12 and lost two, but it was the East Midlands who got the verdict, helped by their 6-3 victory over Nottingham in their first game of the weekend – and a remarkable 9 defeat -0 from Nottingham against Shrewsbury Academy.
Hats off to Adam Nutland in the middles – playing for fourth-placed Bromley, who have won each of their 28 games this season.
Lilleshall and Greenhouse completed the level at the top of Section B3, eight points ahead of the others. It was Lilleshall who prevailed on match ratio to win the Organized Division at BATTS.
Greenhouse however avenged their loss to Lilleshall earlier in the season, recording a 5-4 victory over the champions in the penultimate leg – a game they never trailed as they opened up a 5 lead -2.
Greenhouse’s Bogdan Postudor won all 14 of his matches, while Lee Horton also impressed in the middles, winning 18 of 19 (94.74%) for Lilleshall.
Ormeau II broke away from the peloton, with a record of 100% victories Division B4 at Cippenham. They won all 14 matches and topped the table by eight points, ahead of the hosts.
The champions were led by Zak Earley, who topped the averages with an impressive 100% record in 26 games.
In Division C1, held in Halton, two exceptional teams finished at the top of the pack, eight points ahead of the pack. They were Draycott III and Birmingham Academy, and it was the former who had the best match record and therefore won the title.
The two won all four games over the weekend and fought once, so Draycott’s superior firepower throughout the season decided that.
It’s no surprise, then, that Fred Jones won 19/20, Joseph Cooper 18/19 and Daniel Jones 12/12 for the champions – although it was Birmingham’s Nathaniel Saunders who topped the standings with 16/16.
the Division C2 the champions were Northfield, who had a 100% record in 14 matches to win the division by eight points from Shiyi Ling. Ormesby was the host club.
Of those who played more than a handful of matches, Andrew Wilson of Northfield and Colin Wilson of Smash won 15/16 averaging 93.75%.
Fusion V won Division C3 at home, with Larry Trumpauskas also leading the averages with 23 of 25 wins (95.83%).
Fusion have only been beaten once all season – 5-4 by Fulham Brunswick in December. Fulham then finished second, just ahead of Urban III on match ratio, six points behind Fusion.
Division C4, held in Gen 2, was tight as WCBTT and Portsea Island II both reach a total of 24 points, winning 12 and losing two. WCBTT won the title on match difference.
It could have been a different result – WCBTT were leading at the start of the weekend but they were beaten by Greenhouse II in the third of the weekend’s games, while Portsea were unbeaten on both days.
Thomas Jeffcott topped the averages, the WCBTT player winning all of his 18 games.
Division C5 also took place in Gen 2 and it was Godalming Simply Let who won the title by four points ahead of Fusion IV.
Godalming lost only once all season, led by Adam Laws, who won 25/26 for an average of 96.15% – although he had to rely on Robert Domingo, who led the averages with 26/27, a little better at 96.3%.