THE TOP TWO TOWER TEAMS COULD SWAP DIVISIONS
There were no changes at the top of three DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League. Both Arbory and Copy Shop A won by the same score in Division One and so are still separated by three points. Strathallan remain in third-spot after narrowly beating fourth-placed Travellers A who in turn remain comfortably ahead of Surestrike Ramsey A. Bottom-placed Tower A who could well be destined to swap places with their B team who consolidated their lead at the top of Division Two.
Peel A and Travellers B both moved into joint second-place in Division Two where the recently promoted teams, St Ninian’s and Surestrike Ramsey C look likely to boomerang back if their don’t begin converting perspiration to points.
Top-placed Kings have a game in hand over Copy Shop D in Division Three but their lead has been temporarily cut to just one point. Third-placed Tower C did themselves no favours by only fielding two players. They now find themselves seven points adrift in their bid to regain Division Two status. Near the bottom, Junior Development A lost but four points enabled them to leap above Peel C who had a rest night.
Surestrike Ramsey A (3) Copy Shop A (6)
Paul Corran was in imperious form for second-placed Copy Shop and he quickly carved out a straight sets hat-trick. Adam Teare had got relegation zoned Ramsey off to a tremendous start by out-smashing Sean Drewry 11/3, 11/6, 9/11, 11/9. Teare later lashed another point by overpowering Adam Davies who also lost to the fast improving Wael Kassim. Drewry was altogether too tricky for Kassim and Rhys Yardley who was then disappointed by Davies in their five sets thriller.
Travellers A (3) Arbory (6)
Liam Chan, the current Greystone LLC sponsored Island Close Championship Men’s Singles title holder added another hat-trick to his tally for Travellers. His former team-mates Jason Quirk, Keeran Chan and John Magnall ensured Arbory retained top-spot by each defeating Stuart Douglas and Colin Brown in straight sets. Only one match reached the fourth as Magnall fell 3/11, 11/8, 6/11, 10/12 against his old sparring partner Liam.
Tower A (4) Strathallan A (5)
Paul Kozlowski won a final frame thriller 16/14 against Julian Briercliffe and went on to earn a tremendous treble for bottom-placed Tower. Graham McFarlane hauled himself back from two sets down to take Tower’s final point with a tactical 7/11, 1/11, 11/6, 13/11, 11/9 victory over Ian Kelly. Third-placed Strathy responded with two apiece from Andy Patterson and Briercliffe although, perhaps, their most valuable point came from Kelly’s last gasp win over Tower’s substitute Steve Curtis.
Peel B (1) Tower B (9)
The youngsters from Peel B fell from second-place and into fourth following this reality check by the old campaigners from top-placed Tower B. Never-the-less, Sasha Thomas did exceptionally well to defeat the wily Dario Mazzotta 11/5, 12/10, 9/11, 11/3. In the other matches Simon Radcliffe, Steve Curtis and Mazzotta proved that experience counts but Thomas, Nathan Evans and Harry Walters do have time on their side.
Peel A (7) Travellers D (3)
Mike Dunning muscled his way to a lonely hat-trick for sixth-placed Travellers D although he nearly blew a two sets lead before beating Malc Lewis 11/6, 11/6, 4/11, 3/11, 11/8. Maggie Mulhern, Matty Evans and Lewis each beat David Buck and Jack Nelson to make it six wins out of seven for Peel A who leapt into joint second-place after also delivering the doubles.
Copy Shop C (3) Travellers B (7)
Juan Moore’s hat-trick included a 14/12, 9/11, 11/5, 9/11, 11/6 battle with Ben Christian. Tommy Cowin added two more for fourth-placed Travellers B who moved up to joint second as Colin Barron beat Joe Walters in their wooden spoon decider. Copy Shop’s Christian converted two points his way and Max Walker went the long way round to rob Barron after being two sets down. However, Cowin and Barron then paired-up to produce another point in the doubles.
Surestrike Ramsey B (6) Copy Shop B (4)
A Tim Baker hat-trick was built upon by Jack Craik and Kerenza Baker who both flummoxed Freya Melvin from fifth-placed Copy Shop B. Kevin Drewry and Malcolm Lambert did the double by skittling out the Surestrike youngsters but they failed to pick-off the vital spare point in the actual doubles. Tim and Kerenza talked tactics and rallied back to secure seventh-placed Surestrike’s first win of the season 11/7, 8/11, 7/11, 11/5, 11/9.
Travellers C (10) St Ninian’s (0)
Maurice Campbell, Jackie Gill and Alan Harding moved eighth-placed Travellers C up a position by dismissing the school teachers from St Ninian’s who were absent a player. The closest Matt Harvey and Matty Kelly came to posting a point was their 8/11, 11/8, 7/11, 11/7, 9/11 narrow defeat to Harding and Gill. Perhaps relegation zoned St Ninian’s end of term report will read, ‘Must try harder’.
Tower C (4) Copy Shop D (6)
Mike Chapman was once again a hat-trick hero for third-placed Tower. Unfortunately, his three points were cancelled out as they failed to field a third player. This helped second-placed Copy Shop D to move seven points clear of their closest rivals for the second promotion place. After straight sets defeats to Zac Walker and Billy Coulter, Heather Kennett enjoyed an epic end by edging out Kyle Dodd 9/11, 11/7, 11/9, 8/11, 12/10. Walker and Coulter then returned to win the decisive doubles which gave them the win.
Junior Development B (0) Surestrike Ramsey E (10)
Sally Green, Tyler Hannay and Liam Cooper kept Surestrike E in fourth-place with this landslide winner over the league debutants from JD. Sadly, Sam Preece and Lauren Allwright didn’t even get a breather because they were a player short. Consequently, their performance tailed off as the evening went on, but their positive attitude remained undiminished.
Copy Shop F (4) Copy Shop E (6)
Kitty Thomas and Libby Quaggin were both hat-trick heroines for fifth-placed Copy Shop E. Leo Doyle, Scott Horne and Josh Dudley all purloined a point apiece from their sixth-placed F team colleagues; Sophie Sheard being the unlucky loser. As an example, Dudley did it 8/11, 12/10, 9/11, 11/7, 11/9 and even when Copy Shop’s captain, Pat Halliwell, joined Sheard in the doubles, Dudley and Doyle disappointed them 11/8 in the final frame.
Junior Development A (4) Surestrike Ramsey D (6)
Seventh-placed Surestrike’s Jack Yardley secured his hat-trick and then concentrated on coaching his grandsons to their second win of the season. Alex Yardley survived a three tie-break marathon 8/11, 10/12, 13/11, 14/12, 11/8 against Louis Faragher. Then he and his younger brother, Dylan, beat JD’s Dillon Dowson to ensure the victory. Callan Reed responded with two wins and then after Faragher had defeated Dylan the two JD youngsters took the final point in the doubles which helped move them up to eighth-place.