The final journey to Halton started with a text to say our first match was cancelled so a full 6 points came our way. Unfortunately so did all the other participating teams. However the challenge to pull back the 1 point difference from the league leaders Stockport B was now just that little bit harder with fewer matches to play.
The team of Harvey, Frankie and Cameron played the first match v Rhyl, always a close match and with both Harvey and Frankie falling short of the consistency required to overcome their top player, it was Cameron who came in with all guns blazing to beat both his opponents. With Harvey winning his second match and Frankie just unluckily losing his second match to the cunning left hander over 5 games, it was a draw at 3-3.
Without saying so now I was starting to feel the 1 point difference was a target too great to reach but the lads slammed home a massive 6 – 0 win over Stockport C to keep the race alive. This final day was also about what was happening with the other towns so we knew it would be tight but a shock result in the previous session with Rhyl beating league leaders Stockport B 6-0 which was a definite plus for Wigan but we had to beware because the Halton team were on form and had beaten us in 2 previous sessions.
The Halton match started with the first of the David v Goliath encounters, Harvey(David) winning 3 – 0 over his challenge followed by Cameron again strong enough to win both his matches with excellent serving followed by consistent attack. Harvey and Frankie both lost to a player who was also playing in Division 1 on the same day. Harvey came back from 10-4 down in the 4th to take it to a fifth before then losing after a deuce game. The battling spirit was great to watch and all the Wigan supporters were behind our players, creating a great atmosphere. Frankie was on form for his last match keeping his opponent at bay with fantastic service followed by ferocious forehand topspins which were just too consistent for the Halton player. Our team was now on fire and after beating Halton 4-2, we could now see the finish line our final match vs. the leaders Stockport B – According to the scoreboard it was 77 points to both Wigan and Stockport B with Rhyl having played their last match on 78 points it was as close as it could get – we had to win.
Frankie had his match v Goliath and put on the right performance at the right time to beat the towering player. Harvey then beat their top player Isaac in a great performance, exploiting him with consistent play and excellent serves. Then finally the last match for Cameron, an encounter which I thought he would struggle to overcome but, no, Cameron came on and played to his strengths and prevented his opponent from playing his game. Wigan with a fantastic 6-0 win!.
Even at this point to be sure the title was ours …. wait ……. announcement……..and……….yyyyesssssssss Wigan are NCL division2 champions earning the chance to play in the first division next year.
To have been behind for the last 2 meetings our team to have come out on top is a great achievement and will be one to be remembered.
The whole team, which also includes Sam, Joshua and David, have been great to work with this year and have all contributed with wins in this competition. I and the rest of my fellow coaches and parents wish the team good luck for the next year of table tennis and to get as much pratice in as possible because the next step….is a big one…..Well done again team.