Yesterday was the clash between the first two teams in the group. Both teams did not show up in their strongest formation, which led to some interesting matches. Before the match de Brug had a 2 point advantage left. After two matches they had a perfect score of 20 points and Thibats had to chase them. For Thibats were playing Xin, Martijn and Derek tonight. On the other side of the table stood Jan, Dick and Sander.
Xin and Jan opened the match with a first set on a high pace. Every opportunity to use their strong forehands was being taken. Jan won the first game and Xin changed his serving game a bit to gain more control over the rallies. This seemed to be very effective since Xin could finish every third ball in the next sets. A final score of 3-1 voor Xin. Marijn played against Dick, who he had never beaten before. In the longer rallies Martijn was afraid to use his forehand, and he didn't get close to winning a game against the solid Dick. Derek fought off Sander in the third match. Given their history (2-2) it could go either way, but Sander didn't really get into the match and Derek won with 3-0. The doubles had been good so far this season (3/4 won), but Xin and Derek had never played a double before. Against Jan and Sander it became a strange match. In two out of three games the Thibats duo screwed up a hughe lead in the game, resulting in a close 0-3 loss. A tough loss for how the game went, but enough room for improvement of this double in the future.
Afer the doubles Martijn played against Jan, and in the first 2 games he couldn't deliver his forehand topspin. Starting with 0-2 down Martijn started playing better and with more confidence, resulting in two comfortable 11-7 wins in a row. Marijn his track record of 5th games has not been great lately, and unfortuneatly Martijn lost the deciding set with 11-4. For the first time in the match Thibats was behind. However this didn't stand for too long. Xin and Derek played good in their next singles matches, both winning with 3-0 against Sander and Dick. In the mean time, Sander showed up to support his teammates.
Martijn his final match was against Sander. The reporter didn't see the first game, but it turned out that Martijn had lost 0-11. When the reporter got back, Martijn was leading 10-9 and had a game point at own serve. Martijn lost the set with 10-12 and things where looking bad. Similar to the game against Jan, Martijn played more confident and better when he was 2-0 down in sets. With again two very good games he pulled himself back and forced again a 5th set. Also this deciding set, Martijn was behind pretty much the whole game. Despite fighting back against two times, there was no victory for him. In the final two matches, Derek and Xin had more trouble with their opponents. Although Derek lost his first singles game of the day, he won with 3-1. Xin was being down in the first set against Dick, but proceeded to play his best table tennis of the evening. With some amazing points Xin got his hattrick as well.
Thibats 1 - De Brug 2: 6-4
Xin 3, Derek 3, Martijn 0, Xin/Derek 0.
Standings promotieklasse, group A:
Thibats 1: 5-33
De Brug 2: 5-33
Swift (D) 3: 5-25
Blauw-Wit 2: 5-25
Effekt '74: 5-25
Vitesse '35: 5-9
After half of the competition things have turned around. After the intitial advantage for the Brug, Thibats had fought back to the first spot in the group. Thibats is the only team that is yet to lose a match in this group. So far, 4 matches have been won and 1 time was a draw. From the current standings it looks like de Brug and Thibats will fight for the championships, Blauw-Wit, Effekt and Swift are playing for places 3-5 and Vitesse is going to play 1st class next season.