The Isle of Man Table Tennis League resumed on Wednesday after the Christmas and New Year break. Division One saw the leaders and champions Copy Shop A move further ahead, but not without a few scares, while the second and third placed teams - Breakaway A and Arbory - fought out a 5-5 draw in one of the matches of the season. This was also the score when those teams met in October.
TOWER A 1, COPY SHOP A 9
It's an old sports cliche that the result could have been a lot closer but it was certainly the case here. Ronan McDonnell had to come from two sets down to defeat Paul Kozlowski in five and retain his unbeaten record. McDonnell eventually won 7/11, 9/11, 12/10, 12/10, 11/5. Elsewhere, Tim Baker had match points against Sean Drewry and then Baker and Kozlowski led by two sets and 10/6 in the third set of the doubles but, again, lost in five. David Parsons battled hard but couldn’t win a set for Tower whose only point came from Baker's win over Jane Kneale.
ARBORY 5, BREAKAWAY A 5
What a match! Five encounters needed a decider, four others went to four sets and only one was over in straight sets. Mike Tamarov and Jason Quirk won two each for Arbory and Liam Chan added a fifth by beating Darren Smethurst. Malcolm Cummings was on top form for Breakaway with three wins. Paul Corran took one more and then with Smethurst Breakaway pinched the doubles 11/8 in the fifth to earn the draw.
FOXDALE A 9, TRAVELLERS A 1
Foxdale A cemented fourth place with this comprehensive win, Marc Townsend and Will Bayley coming through unscathed. Paul Nelson put Travellers' only point on the board with a good win over David Lovelady at 11/9 in the fifth. Neither Stuart Douglas nor Juan Moore Jnr won a set, but substitute Moore was undaunted by stepping up two divisions and was involved in some excellent rallies.
STRATHALLAN 10, FOXDALE B 0
Messrs Horne, Briercliffe and Patterson wrapped up things very early on for Strathy with nine of the encounters being completed in three sets. The only exception was Andy Patterson's win over Ken Mitchell which went to four. Andy McLarney did get to deuce against Briercliffe but Neil Quane peaked at seven.
PEEL B 2, TRAVELLERS B 8
Bottom v’s top with the expected result. Vishal Patel and Ashley Reid ensured Peel didn't go home empty handed with wins over Travellers' reserve Brent Hanson who was making his debut in Division Two, deputising for the injured Stu Mason. However, Hanson broke his duck with a win over Fraser Dorling. Travellers hoovered up everything else in straight sets.
SURE STRIKE RAMSEYA 2, ZURICH SPINNERS 8
Spinners move into second place on their own with Tommy Cowin and Nigel Beattie winning three apiece and Colin Barron two after beating Carl Blatchley and Wael Kassim. Rhys Yardley got one back for Ramsey and then he and Kassim took the doubles as well.
BREAKAWAY B 5, PEEL A 5
A long match saw the teams in third and fourth positions share the points. Chris Kewley was unbeaten for Breakaway, although he was taken to 11/8 in the fifth by Mal Lewis. Aaron Faragher won one more and Breakaway then, with Kewley claimed the doubles at 12/10 in the fifth. Mal Lewis and Les Wilson won two each for Peel and Mattie Evans edged past Ben Christian to ensure the draw for Peel.
COPY SHOP C 4, TRAVELLERS C 6
This was apparently a good win for Travellers. I say apparently because the scorecard has gone missing, so would the players please search their bags to see if they have taken it home with them by mistake. If so, can they send it to Tim Baker as soon as possible. It appears that Adam Davies featured in all Copy Shop's wins while the Travellers' trio of Alan Harding, Adrian Tinkler and Maurice Campbell each won two with wins over Henry Hyde and George Melvin.
TOWER C 3, COPY SHOP B 7
Copy Shop came out on top in the match between two of the relegation-threatened teams and now move away from immediate danger. Keeran Chan was undefeated in the singles for them with Pedro Cardoso and Chris Aspden only tasting defeat once. Margaret Forsyth was ahead in all her matches until the Copy Shop youngsters paid heed to their coach’s advice on how best to beat her. Mike Chapman and Dave Callow won one singles each and then teamed up to take the doubles in five games for Tower.
COPY SHOP D 6, TRAVELLERS D 4
This was a match between the division's in-form teams and as a result of this win Copy Shop move to the top, taking over from Peel C who had a night off. Kevin Drewry didn't drop a game all night with Max Walker winning two more singles - one of them at 13/11 in the fifth against Juan Moore Jnr. Juan Moore Snr won two for Travellers and Juan Moore junior and Alex Buck one each by beating Zac Walker. Travellers needed the doubles for the draw but the Copy Shop pair were untroubled and required only three games to do the business.
COPY SHOP E 9, JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT 1
The Copy Shop girls move up one place in the table after this win, Pat Halliwell and Kitty Thomas winning three each and Libby Quaggin two. Corin Haddock got a consolation for JD. Tom Noble did well to take a set off both Halliwell and Quaggin and encouragingly, Kyle Dodd got deuce in one of his matches.
BREAKAWAY C 2, SURE STRIKE RAMSEY B 8
Calvin and Marcus Koske won all their matches in straight games for Ramsey with Kerenza Baker adding another with a four sets win over Kieran Lane. Jack Christian and Joe Walters picked up two for Breakaway but Ramsey B maintain their third position in this very tight division which sees only ten points covering the top four teams.