MATCH REPORT 21 October 2015
KINGS STAY ON TRACK TO EMULATE ST NINIAN'S
The new season of the DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League is in full swing. Nearly a third of the way through the scheduled matches a familiar pattern is developing in Division One at least. Last season’s runners-up Arbory have edged three points clear of the reigning champions Copy Shop A. Strathallan, who finished third last season, are just one point back. Travellers A remain in mid table while Tower A are yet to register a win and now find themselves five points adrift of newly promoted Surestrike Ramsey A. With just six teams in the division they will all meet three times to decide the championship.
Division Two has increased in size to eleven teams and the current champions Travellers B had a rest week. Consequently, they have been knocked off top spot by Tower B. Peel A, who were lying second, lost unexpectedly and now find themselves three points behind their jubilant B team who took all the points against Surestrike Ramsey C who gained promotion in April.
Top of the ten teams in the Third Division is new club ‘Kings’ who have only dropped six points to date. Their squad of five players are all connected to King William’s College and they look destined to emulate the PE teachers from St Ninian's who also gained promotion in their inaugural season. Copy Shop D who finished third last season occupy second-spot and are now five points ahead of Tower C who are seeking a swift return to Division Two.
Surestrike Ramsey A (4) Travellers A (5)
Liam Chan, the current Greystone LLC sponsored Island Close Championship Men’s Singles title holder has transferred from Arbory to Travellers and once again he made short work of the opposition. His playing partners Stu Douglas and the Glyn Gilbert Trophy holder Colin Brown picked-up their point apiece at the expense of young Wael Kassim who has the potential to become a future champion. It was good to see that Adam ‘Trigger’ Teare has returned to the league. He and Ramsey’s Rhys Yardley both bagged a brace by beating Brown and Douglas.
Tower A (1) Arbory (8)
Arbory leap-frogged Copy Shop to regain top-spot with this emphatic win over bottom-placed Tower for whom Paul Kozlowski purloined a point 11/9, 4/11, 11/9, 11/7 by making less mistakes than pen-holder Mike Tamarov. Otherwise, Tamarov, Jason Quirk and John Magnall wasted little time in piling on the points against Kozlowski, Graham McFarlane and Tower’s substitute Mike Chapman. Only two matches reached the fourth set.
Peel B (10) Surestrike Ramsey C (0)
It was hat-tricks all round for Nathan Evans, Harry Walters and Sasha Thomas as they moved up to second-place after skittling-out bottom-placed Surestrike C who were Division Three champions last season. Although they lost, Nathan Walker took the first and third sets off Walters; Frank Feeney earned a tie-breaker and won a set while Matthew Emison demonstrated some resolute defence.
Travellers C (3) Copy Shop B (7)
Malcolm Lambert returned from his travels to become a successful substitute for fifth-placed Copy Shop B. His doubles partner Kevin Drewry also hit a hat-trick although it was touch-and-go in his oscillating 9/11, 11/8, 11/6, 9/11, 12/10 encounter with Alan Harding which ended with a tense tie-breaker. Young Freya Melvin showed plenty of promise particularly when attacking Harding, Jackie Gill and Adrian Tinkler who remain in seventh-place.
Surestrike Ramsey B (5) Travellers D (5)
Draw specialists Surestrike B gained their third of the season against Travellers D who have only lost two of their six matches. Top seed Tim Baker maintained his unbeaten run for Surestrike while his daughter Kerenza and Jack Craik both proved to be too tricky for young Jack Nelson. Mike Dunning and David Buck won the remaining singles for the Travellers and then combined to harvest the doubles 5/11, 11/6, 11/4, 9/11, 11/5 against Tim and Kerenza.
Tower B (10) St Ninian’s (0)
It was an early night for all involved as only one match made it to a fourth set. Steve Curtis, Simon Radcliffe and Dario Mazzotta took Tower into top spot with this whitewash over newly promoted St Ninian’s who remain in tenth-place. Matty Kelly played the long game in an effort to tire out Mazzotta. It was a good tactic but taxi driver Mazzotta motored on to win 19/17, 11/5, 4/11, 11/6. Matt Harvey went out on a high point, losing to a tie break in his final set with Radcliffe. Unfortunately, Andrew Simpson found points hard to come by.
Copy Shop C (6) Peel A (4)
Ninth-placed Copy Shop C notched-up a notable first win of the season against their second placed opponents thanks to fine performances by Ben Christian (3) and Max Walker (2) who also dovetailed to deliver the doubles and the victory 9/11, 11/9, 11/6, 7/11, 14/12. Peel’s points were purloined at the expense of young Joe Walters who was overpowered by Maggie Mulhern, Sasha Thomas and Matt Evans who also outpaced Walker.
Surestrike Ramsey E (1) Kings (9)
Fourth-placed Surestrike E retained that position despite this heavy loss to the league leaders who introduced King William’s College grounds-man Christian Hawthorn to their squad. He duly obliged with three straight sets wins and so joins Matt Crabtree (Head of Boys Games) at the top of the averages. PE teacher Stephen Jelly gained his third hat-trick of the season but was stretched by Sally Green, Tyler Hannay and Liam Cooper who supplied Surestrike’s sole point 11/8, 11/2, 3/11, 11/9 against his namesake Mark Cooper (no relation).
Surestrike Ramsey D (3) Tower C (7)
Mike Chapman was the anchorman for third-placed Tower. His three points was added to by Margaret Forsyth with two and Heather Kennett prevailed 11/3, 7/11, 11/8, 6/11, 11/5 against young Dylan Yardley. Captain Jack Yardley who had lost two tie-breaks in his narrow defeat to Chapman rebounded to win his remaining matches for Surestrike. His grandson Alex Yardley took five sets to conquer Kennett but Tower was just too steady for Alex and his brother in the doubles.
Copy Shop E (5) Junior Development A (5)
A Libby Quaggin hat-trick and two points for Gordon Baker Trophy holder Pat Halliwell denied Junior Development their very first victory of the season. Callan Reed got the youngsters off to a great start by beating the super-vet Halliwell over five sets and then he, Dillon Dowson and Louis Faragher played cautiously to beat the exuberant Sophie Sheard. It took a tie-breaker in the final set to decide the outcome of the decisive doubles which went to the jubilant Junior Development squad 11/5, 6/11, 9/11, 11/8, 12/10.
Peel C (5) Copy Shop F (5)
The lead changed several times in this close fought match that featured four tie-breakers and two five-setters. Cameron Dudley was Copy Shop’s hat-trick hero with Scott Horne and Josh Dudley ensuring a draw by beating Hadyn Waddington. Tiernan Garvey and Archie Walter were responsible for all Peel’s points as they won two points apiece and then levelled the match by delivering the doubles 11/2, 12/10, 11/8.
Copy Shop D (10) Junior Development B (0)
Billy Coulter, Jack Christian and Kyle Dodd from second-placed Copy Shop D demonstrated their determination not to miss out on promotion this season by dropping just two sets against the youngsters experiencing their first season in the senior league. Sam Preece, Lauren Allwright and Nathan Jones all acquitted themselves well and their enthusiasm for the game was obvious.