TOWER C BRING LOSING STREAK TO A WELCOME END
In the First Division of the DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League player absences affected the outcome of several matches and could prove influential in determining who is crowned champion and which teams are demoted. The defending champions Copy Shop A are now eight points clear of ABC Arborists who conceded three points to fifth-placed Breakaway and two-man Foxdale fell from sixth-place to bottom by losing heavily to Travellers A.
There were no real changes in Division Two where the runaway leaders Travellers B had a rest week but are still fifteen points ahead of Copy Shop B. However, a welcome draw for Tower C brought their losing streak to an end. It is getting tight at the top in Division Three as Victory Roll Saints won 10-0 to move just one point behind the leaders Surestrike Ramsey C who dropped two points against their D team occupying eighth-place.
Foxdale A (1) Travellers A (8)
Bottom-placed Travellers filled their boots at the expense of Foxdale who failed to field a third player and consequently now occupy bottom spot themselves. Travellers also leapfrogged above fellow relegation rivals Zurich Spinners. Super substitute Paul Nelson won his matches for the Travellers as did Stu Mason. Andy McLarney stole a set off Mason but it was Ken Mitchell who scored Foxdale’s only point in a five set thriller 9/11, 11/9, 11/9, 8/11, 11/4 with Stu Douglas.
Tower A (8) Zurich Spinners (1)
Without the services of Nigel Beattie Zurich Spinners never looked likely to win their third match in a row. Tower’s Dave Parsons and Paul Kozlowski both scored full points with wins over Colin Barron and Tommy Cowin who spared the Spinners’ blushes by beating Graham McFarlane 4/11, 11/8, 4/11, 11/7, 11/8. However, McFarlane won against Barron in straight sets, so Spinners slipped back to seventh-place, while Tower moved ahead of Breakaway into fourth-place.
Breakaway A (4) ABC Arborists (5)
Breakaway were gifted three points as their opponents were a player short. Paul Corran made it 4-0 by turning round a two sets deficit to disappoint Mike Tamarov who, along with Jason Quirk got the score back to 4-4 by beating Breakaway’s youngsters Keeran Chan and Ben Christian. In the hat-trick decider Quirk came back from 1-2 down in sets to conquer Corran 8/11, 11/8, 7/11, 12/10, 11/8 and so snatch the match for second-placed Arborists.
Strathallan A (3) Copy Shop A (6)
The island champion Ronan McDonnell made a rare appearance for top placed Copy Shop which meant that third-placed Strathy were facing an uphill battle. McDonnell duly won his three and Ewan Watterson added two more with wins over the two Andrews, Horne and Patterson. Julian Briercliffe hit back for Strathy with convincing wins over Watterson and Drewry who also lost 4/11, 11/4, 11/6, 9/11, 1/11 to Patterson. However, Drewry increased Copy Shop’s lead over the Arborists with a 12/10 fourth set victory over Horne.
Tower B (5) Tower C (5)
A Steve Curtis hat-trick looked like being enough for fifth-placed Tower B to ensure a win over their relegation bound C team. However, although Barry Jenkins beat both Margaret Forsyth and Heather Kennett the B team stalled to a draw as Mike Chapman jinxed Jenkins and then Chapman and his team-mates made it 4-5 at John Atherton’s expense. Then an 11/9 fourth set win for Chapman and Forsyth in the doubles delivered the draw which brought Tower C’s losing streak to a welcome end.
Copy Shop C (6) Peel B (4)
Pedro Cardoso dropped just one set in gaining a hat-trick for Copy Shop C. His team-mate Max Walker edged out Sasha Thomas and Nathan Evans 11/8 and 11/9 respectively in their last sets but then lost to Harry Walters in four frantic frames. Walters and Thomas both beat Kevin Drewry and took the doubles 11/9, 6/11, 6/11, 11/9, 11/9. However, Drewry had already secured the win for sixth-placed Copy Shop C with his earlier win over Evans.
Surestrike Ramsey A (4) Surestrike Ramsey B (6)
Rhys Yardley and Wael Kassim both bagged a brace for the fourth-placed Surestrike A team by beating substitute Dylan Yardley and Carl Blatcher. Surestrike A’s third player was also a substitute, Alex Yardley, who lost to his younger brother, Dylan, and also to Blatcher. Tim Baker made it 5-4 to sixth-placed Surestrike B with his eleventh consecutive hat-trick and completed the night by winning the doubles with Blatcher 4/11, 11/7, 11/9, 9/11, 11/6 against Rhys and Kassim.
Copy Shop B (8) Travellers D (2)
An Adam Davies hat-trick was augmented by two apiece from Copy Shop team-mates Vishal Patel and Rob Sim who managed to out-hit Alex Buck and Juan Moore Jnr. Their luck ran out against David Buck who beat them in two hard five setters the closest of which was 9/11, 11/8, 8/11, 14/12, 11/6 against Patel. Copy Shop B took the doubles and extended their lead over third-place Peel A to twelve points, but Peel has a game in hand.
Victory Roll Saints (10) Peel C (0)
Victory Roll Saints moved to within a point of top-placed Surestrike C with this white-wash of seventh-placed Peel C. Corin Haddock, Tom Noble and Mason Prince had some good rallies but couldn’t snatch a set against Matt Harvey, Matty Kelly and Rob Campbell in either the singles or the doubles.
Copy Shop E (4) Copy Shop D (6)
Freya Melvin had to substitute for third-placed Copy Shop D and hence play against her usual E team-mates who were placed fifth. Hence, whilst the D team was delighted with Melvin’s hat-trick her mates were miffed, particularly Kitty Thomas who lost 10/12 to Melvin in their last leg. Zac Walker also scored a hat-trick for the D team so Thomas, Pat Halliwell and Libby Quaggin were restricted to winning their points from Kyle Dodd in the singles and the doubles where he partnered Walker.
Surestrike Ramsey D (2) Surestrike Ramsey C (8)
Alex and Dylan Yardley are finding their feet in this their first season in the league, so it was no surprise that they struggled to secure even a set in the singles or doubles against their C team opponents who top the league. By contrast, their grandpa Jack Yardley has returned after many years of absence and remembered enough to beat Kerenza Baker in four sets, Frank Feeney 12/10 in their tie-breaker, but Billy Cain wore him down to win 6/11, 19/17, 11/9, 7/11, 11/2.
Breakaway B (10) Junior Development (0)
Steve Walters and Jack Christian hardly lost a set in securing their hat-tricks for fourth-placed Breakaway B. However, the match score line doesn’t do justice to the effort put in by the JD squad. Scott Horne lost 10/12 in the fourth set against Kieran Lane. Josh Dudley convincingly won the first two sets against Lane and even though he lost 9/11 in the last leg he had actually scored more points overall. Similarly, his brother Cameron Dudley lost to Lane 11/13 in their tie breaker game but also scored more points overall than his more experienced opponent.