There were more important matches this week in the Isle of Man Table Tennis League which could have a major bearing on the championship and promotion issues in both Divisions One and Two.
So the results:
BREAKAWAY A 2, COPY SHOP A 8
Third placed Breakaway needed a good result to keep them in the title hunt but they found the leaders Copy Shop in dominant form. Malcolm Cummings was on target for both of Breakaway's wins but Ronan McDonnell didn't drop a game all night while Sean Drewry and Jane Kneale only lost once. Both Drewry and Kneale played particularly well to beat Paul Corran but the highlight was a real nail-biter which Kneale won 16/14 in the fifth set. Aaron Faragher played up for Breakaway and nearly stole a set by reaching deuce before losing 10/12 to Drewry.
ARBORY 10, FOXDALE B 0
Arbory now seem to be Copy Shop's main rivals for the championship. They were never in any danger against Foxdale B with no matches needing a decider and Liam Chan, Mike Tamarov and Jason Quirk quickly mopped up the points against the demotion candidates Mike Bayley, Andy McLarney and Ken Mitchell.
STRATHALLAN 8, FOXDALE A 2
These teams stay in fourth and fifth position after this result. David Lovelady and Marc Townsend were Foxdale's point scorers with wins over Andy Patterson and Hadyn McLarney respectively. Julian Briercliffe hit back with three wins for Strathy while McLarney and Patterson weighed in with two each as they both beat the luckless Neil Quane.
TOWER A 9, TRAVELLERS A 1
Paul Nelson was again Travellers' sole winner, defeating Dave Parsons in straight games, but Parsons, Tim Baker and Paul Kozlowski won everything else against Nelson, Stu Mason and David Stevenson who was making a rare appearance for Travellers.
COPY SHOP C 2, TRAVELLERS B 8
Stu Douglas had a particularly successful night for Travellers winning his matches in straight sets. Copy Shop were a player short and had to work hard for their two points against the league leaders. Adam Davies beat Stu Mason 11/9 in the fifth set and he and Rob Sim came from two games down to claim the doubles. Colin Brown dispatch Davies in four sets but was taken to a fifth set by Sim who had earlier lost 11/13 in the fourth set of his encounter with Mason.
BREAKAWAY B 2, ZURICH SPINNERS 8
This was the match between the teams in third and second positions and - like their first team - Breakaway B now have it all to do if they are to have a say in the championship and promotion battles. Chris Kewley and Ben Christian each picked up a point for Breakaway by beating Colin Barron. It was never going to be enough as Spinners took the doubles and Nigel Beattie won all his three singles three while Tommy Cowin contributed another two with wins Ben Christian and the luckless Aaron Faragher who had earlier lost 17/19 in the wooden spoon decider against Barron.
SURESTRIKE RAMSEY A, 4 TOWER B 6
This was a really close match and it was Steve Curtis's 13/11 victory in the fifth set over Wael Kassim which denied Ramsey an equal share of the points. Graham McFarlane was unbeaten for Tower with Steve Curtis only losing once. The pair then teamed up to take the doubles. Rhys Yardley had two wins for Ramsey with Wael Kassim and Carl Blatcher each adding one more to the score by beating Heather Kennett.
PEEL B 3 COPY SHOP B 7
Two-man Peel B fought hard with Vishal Patel recording two good wins and Ashley Reid converted one more 11/6 in the final frame against Chris Aspden. Pedro Cardoso did well to come back from two sets down to squeak past Reid 11/13, 7/11, 15/13, 11/8, 11/9 whereas, Keeran Chan continued his impressive form and finished the night unbeaten for Copy Shop who now move two places up the league table after this victory.
TRAVELLERS C 2, Peel A 8
Alan Harding opened Travellers’ account defeating Mattie Evans 11/5 in the fifth set and Peel responded with Mal Lewis beating Maurice Campbell in straight sets. However, there was an unfortunate end to this match when Travellers’ Jackie Gill stumbled backwards, had a nasty fall and was taken to hospital with a badly broken wrist. She had been match-point up against Maggie Mulhern when it happened and Mulhern sportingly conceded the match. The fixture was then abandoned with Travellers conceding the remainder thus moving Peel up to third position. I'm sure we all wish Jackie a speedy recovery and hope she will be back playing table tennis soon.
COPY SHOP E 0, Peel C 10
Peel's Harry Walters, Nathan Evans and Sasha Thomas only dropped one game between them to go back to the top of the division. Never-the-less Copy Shop’s Pat Halliwell, Kitty Thomas and Sophie Sheard seemed to enjoy the evening judging from the peals of laughter emanating from their table.
BREAKAWAY C 1, TRAVELLERS D 9
Travellers climb up to second position thanks to three wins each from Juan Moore Jnr and Alex Buck plus two from Jack Nelson. Jack Christian and Kieran Lane tried hard but the closest match of the night saw Joe Walters getting one back for Breakaway by defeating Nelson 11/7 in the fifth set.
SURESTRIKE RAMSEY C 9, JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT 1
Maximums from Billy Coulter and Billy Cain saw Ramsey C home in style although Junior Development’s Corin Haddock, Tom Noble and Kyle Dodd weren't far away in quite a few games. However, Olly Brew will count himself extremely unlucky in not making it a clean sweep for Surestrike as he came back from two sets down only to lose 12/14, 9/11, 11/9, 11/9, 11/13 to the hard working Haddock.
So to sum up the league positions. Copy Shop A lead Division One by 12 points from Arbory who have a game in hand; Travellers B lead Division Two by 11 points from Zurich Spinners while Peel C are four points ahead of Travellers D in Division Three.