Whistlers B moved to the top of Division 1 in the Doric Insurance Leagues this week after defeating rivals Whistlers A by a 6-4 scoreline. Josh Stacey continued his recent run of good form and made it 9 individual top division wins on the bounce by beating Matthew Casey, Ryan Gilson and twin Lawrence Stacey. He was ably backed up by teammates Mark Pipet and Ellis Tomlin who scored one win apiece while Josh Stacey and Tomlin teamed up to win the doubles in 4 games. For Whistlers A, Lawrence Stacey started the night with a narrow win against Pipet and later did well to recover from 2 games down to defeat Tomlin 12-10 in the deciding end.
That result means that Whistlers B move a point clear of their clubmates, but the result also benefits Lions A, who are breathing down the leaders' necks, one point further behind. They also claimed a narrow win, 6-4 against Lions B, led by recent Capelles Open champion Ben Foss who won his 3 singles matches. Ryan Bichard also showed his recent run of good form with his trademark backhand coming to the fore in overpowering Dan Collenette and Andre De Carteret, although he succumbed to Phil Ogier in 3 games. Perhaps the most crucial game of the evening was the final one, as Jamie Ferbrache played De Carteret in the knowledge that a win would seal maximum points for Lions A. He did well to keep his composure and come through a topsy-turvy encounter 11-2, 6-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-4.
In the other Division 1 fixture, 4th placed Lions C drew with bottom-of the table Lions D. Former island champion Josh Butler showed his return to table tennis is going well with 3 wins on the night against Liam Robilliard, Sam Clark and Corey Brouard. Surprisingly he was given most trouble against Brouard, whose slightly unorthodox style caused Butler problems before he came through 11-8 in the 5th end. He was backed up by wily left-hander Andy Gill who defeated Brouard and Clark but lost out to Robilliard 3-0. The three Lions D players all beat Charlotte Casey, while Robilliard and Clark teamed up to beat Gill and Casey 3-2 in an entertaining doubles match which was crucial in securing the draw.
There was also a top of the table clash in Division 2 as leaders Lions F took on Whistlers C and it was the Lions team who will be more satisfied with the 5-5 draw. Veteran Kay Chivers was the star of the show, winning her 3 matches, while 14-year old Ben Sharp continued his fine form with wins over Andrew Ferbrache and Caden Brouard. Brouard was involved in much of the action as he played excellently to take Sharp to a deciding game, before losing agonisingly 14-12 in the final game, but he later showed his mettle, beating Keith Opie 13-15, 11-9, 15-13, 5-11, 12-14. The closeness of the teams was evident and ultimately the key match was the last of the evening, as Chivers did exceptionally well to hand Jez Powell his first defeat of the season, winning 11-9, 11-7, 11-9.
Across the hall, Lions E could not take advantage of their rivals' draw as they surprisingly drew against bottom of the table Ravenscroft Panthers A. Albert Unden returned to form for Panthers with wins over Tim Le Page, Steve Ozanne and reserve Steve Potter. Ben Foote also defeated Potter, while Unden and Foote teamed up to claim the crucial doubles match 3-2.
Lions H maintained their grip on the Division 3 table with a 7-3 win over Ravenscroft Panthers C. Brian Ferbrache used his experience to beat Mark Windsor, Juliette Yeaman and Rob Vile, each by a 3-1 scoreline. Jonah Ingrouille and Steve Potter also defeated Windsor and Vile, but it was Yeaman who was on form for Panthers, securing good wins against Potter and Ingrouille as well as a doubles victory with Windsor.
Lions J kept within touching distance of the leaders with a 7-3 victory over St Pauls B. Carly Tucknott was instrumental for Lions, with 3 individual and a doubles win while partnering son Jayden. James Crocker also chipped in with wins against Brian Le Cras and Derek Carter
Whistlers G continue to lead Division 4 and secured a 7-3 win over 6th placed Whistlers H. Mark Bideau was star of the show for Whistlers H as he secured 3 impressive wins, including consigning averages leader Stuart Sarre to his 2nd defeat in as many weeks, beating him 3-1. With Matthew Board unavailable, junior player Alex Paul played an important part in proceedings as he stepped in for Board and secured impressive wins over Jacques Bideau and Sabato Folmi, matches which eventually proved crucial in the context of the match.
The result means that Whistlers G have a 7-point lead at the top of the table and look hot favourites for the title.