It did not take long for action in the Doric Insurance sponsored table tennis leagues to get underway this year, with matches from Division 1 and Division 3 taking place on the 2nd day of 2019.
The top flight saw a surprise result which has resulted in the leaders switching. Whistlers B regain the helm of the Division after defending champions and previous league leaders Lions A's slip-up against Lions C.
The victory for the C side has seen them move up into 4th position, but their narrow 6-4 win was highly unexpected and also came with them 3-1 down going into the doubles encounter. The C side's pairing of Paul Hainsworth and Andy Gill won this clash against Ryan Bichard and Jamie Ferbrache in straight sets and the duo also won 4 of the following 5 singles rubbers to complete the surprise result. Hainsworth followed up on his good form from the end of 2018 by recording a trio of straight sets wins over Bichard, Ferbrache and second division reserve Steve Ozanne, whilst Andy Gill excelled in the second half of the match where he earned an excellent 5 sets win over Bichard and a comprehensive straight sets win over Ozanne. Corey Brouard came very close to extending the margin of victory as he was narrowly edged out in 5 sets by both Bichard and Ozanne and lost out to Ferbrache in 4 sets in the final game of the night. Ferbrache earned the other win for the defeated side due to his straight sets win over Gill.
Whistlers B took full advantage on the night due to their 7-3 win over Whistlers C. Lawrence Stacey was the difference in the fixture due to an unbeaten evening. He beat twin Josh, Mark Pipet and reserve Ian Fitchet in singles action, but it was his clash against Josh which was the best result. Josh led 2-0, but Lawrence battled hard to come through in 5 sets, with the 4th end outcome of 12-10 being the toughest end of the fightback. Ryan Gilson added straight set wins over Pipet and Fitchet and just narrowly fell short against Josh in 5 sets. Matthew Casey added a straight sets win over Fitchet to make sure of the win and also teamed with Lawrence to defeat Josh and Fitchet in the doubles in straight sets.
Lions B are just 4 points behind the leaders and 2 behind their A side after they cruised to a 9-1 win over bottom placed side Whistlers A. Phil Ogier and Dan Collenette each went unbeaten due to wins over Sam Clark and reserves Martin Sarre and Paula Le Ber. Andre De Carteret added wins over Clark and Le Ber, but he was defeated in straight sets by Sarre, which prevented the whitewash. Ogier and De Carteret won the doubles clash over Sarre and Clark in straight sets.
The status of the title chasers remains the same following victories for all 3 contenders.
Leaders Whistlers D won 7-3 against St Pauls A despite each of the St Pauls players defeating Ben Sharp. Kay Chivers and Keith Opie won all of their matches to ensure the win was theirs.
Lions E won 7-3 against Lions G in a match where Jez Powell was unbeaten. Caden Brouard won twice and Jonah Ingrouille once. Nye Matthew provide the greatest resistance by beating both Brouard and Ingrouille, each in 5 sets and from a 2-0 deficit. Dave Finn added a straight sets win over Ingrouille.
Lions D overcame Ravenscroft Panthers A 7-3 in a match where Carl Le Tissier was the star performer. He defeated Albert Unden, Billy Ogier and Ben Foote in singles action. Tim Le Page added wins over Unden and Foote, whilst Steve Ozanne overcame Billy Ogier. Le Page and Ozanne won the doubles over Ogier and Foote in 5 sets.
St Pauls B remain 3 points clear at the top following a 8-2 win over Whistlers G. Craig Dunning and John Wills each overcame James Crocker, Matthew Board and Robert Naftel in singles action and also won the doubles over Naftel and Board in straight sets. Brian Le Cras added a straight sets win over Naftel, but was defeated by Crocker and Board.
Lions K are 4 points clear at the top following their 10-0 whitewash of Whistlers K. Val Guilbert, James Le Tissier and reserve Erin Bisson all overcame Jacques Bideau, Jack Garbutt and reserve Peter Walters in singles action on the night. Guilbert and Le Tissier also won the doubles over Garbutt and Bideau in straight sets.