Z. Kabrna Scrap Book - Cuttings Article 7: They Make TT History Tonight



Tonight can make local sports history. It can bring to our indoor sports scene the flavour of international-standard table tennis—and not just as an isolated event but as a regular feature of the game locally.

Tonight can mean this: that Nelson intertown team will be promoted to Lancashire and Cheshire First Division status.
Tonight can mean that next season, Pickles, Kabrna, Polyak, Carradice and company of Nelson will be playing against England men like Benny Casofsky, Ronnie Alcock, Ron Baker, Ken Stanley and John Ingber (of Manchester), Cliff Booth and Derek Ellison (of Bolton), Bill Pierce and Ronnie Rumjahn (of Liverpool). Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton and Nelson! High company. Casofsky, Allcock, Baker. And now Pickles!

Tonight will decide. For if Nelson can beat Blackpool in a vital second division match at Clifford House tonight then promotion is assured. If Blackpool win then they achieve the higher status and Nelson stay put for another season.

What are the chances of success? They must be considered good. The local selection—Zdenek Kabrna, Roy Pickles and Karoly Polyak—are playing better than ever before. They have a 6-4 success at Blackpool to their credit already. This was gained at Blackpool last Saturday when, with the last game coming up, the score stood at 5-4 for Nelson. A win in the final game meant a great deal to both sides. Roy Pickles (he was described by many as “the brains of the Nelson team”) faced C. Lowe, dropped immediately into form, and, playing steadily, ran out a two-straight winner, 21/19, 21/17. Nelson had won.

Blackpool had taken the first game through N. Groom, who beat Pickles 21/12, 22/24, 21/13. Then came the big-hitting Kabrna. He was on top form and comfortably accounted for R. Bickerstaffe in straight games, 21/11, 21/16, to level the match scores. Polyak continued the good work by beating C. Lowe 18/21, 21/14, 21/18.

Pickles then beat Bickerstaffe 17/21, 21/6, 21/10 to make it 3-1 before Polyak went down to Groom 11/21, 19/21. In the doubles Pickles and Polyak won 21/18, 12/21, 21/17 to make it 4-2.

Nelson were made clear favourites by Kab’s three-game victory over C. Lowe by 21/17, 18/21, 21/16, which made the score 5-2. Only one more success was required. But the sea-siders fought back, Bickerstaffe beating Polyak and Groom accounting for Kabrna until the score stood at 5-4. Then came Pickles’ deciding win, . . . and Nelson were through after one of the most interesting games on record.

Everything is set, therefore, for a vital ding-dong top-interest tussle tonight.