SQUAD STRENGTH WORKS WONDERS FOR TRAVELLERS
At the top of the First Division of the DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League another clean sweep for ABC Arborists helped them climb closer to Copy Shop A who dropped a vital point in beating bottom placed Foxdale. Third-placed under-manned Strathallan lost to fourth-placed Breakaway and in the relegation zone squad strength enabled Travellers A to move six points clear of Zurich Spinners who they beat 6-3.
Travellers B extended their lead in Division Two to 30 points over Peel A who were held to a draw by Copy Shop C. Third-placed Copy Shop B took nine points off Tower B and are now just two points behind Peel. Travellers D moved four points clear of Peel B in the relegation zone with a 9-1 victory over bottom-placed Tower C.
In the Third Division Surestrike Ramsey C skittled out their E team to move 13 points ahead of second-placed Victory Roll Saints. The Saints sinned by only fielding two players against eighth-placed ‘Team Yardley’. Copy Shop D had a rest week but stay third as fourth-placed Breakaway B dropped four points to the girls from Copy Shop E.
ABC Arborists (9) Tower A (0)
Sam Bailey and Liam Chan dropped a set against fifth-placed Tower’s Paul Kozlowski, but Mike Bayley and Graham McFarlane missed the opportunity to take a token set. McFarlane came closest, losing a tie-breaker 13/11 against John Magnall. Hence, Magnall and his merry men logged the Arborists’ fourth 9-0 win in a row to take them to just two points behind top-placed Copy Shop A.
Copy Shop A (8) Foxdale A (1)
Ewan Watterson made a welcome reappearance for Copy Shop and his hat-trick was replicated by Sean Drewry although he had to rely on a photo finish to beat Will Bayley 11/5, 3/11, 8/11, 14/12, 16/14. Jane Kneale beat Andy McLarney in straight sets and then was forced to five by Ken Mitchell but having won that 11/7 her luck ran out against Bayley who edged her out 9/11 in their final frame.
Breakaway A (5) Strathallan A (4)
For the second week running fourth-placed Breakaway had a 3-0 start and with captain Paul Corran’s two wins they managed to take the scalp of Strathy, 29 points ahead of them in the league. Andy Patterson and Andy Horne’s hopes of quickly regaining four points from Breakaway’s youngsters Aaron Faragher and Keeran Chan were nearly thwarted. All went to plan until Patterson played Faragher. It turned into a marvellous marathon match, easily the longest of the season. Eventually, Faragher was pipped by Patty 11/8, 10/12, 16/18, 11/9, 22/20.
Zurich Spinners (3) Travellers A (6)
With both teams in the relegation zone this match was effectively a double pointer but squad strength and selection problems played their part. The Spinners secured the services of Paul Callow who, although somewhat rusty, picked up a point by beating David Buck from Travellers D. However, Buck surprised himself by beating Colin Barron. Travellers were able to call-up their B team captain Colin Brown who caught out Callow and also beat Barron. Tommy Cowin bagged a brace for the Spinners by beating Buck and Brown but came unstuck against Travellers’ hat-trick hero Stu Douglas.
Travellers B (10) Travellers C (0)
Travellers B are now 30 points clear following the demolition of their C team colleagues. Juan Moore Jr from Travellers D was deputising for Colin Brown and he didn’t disappoint. Paul Mathieson-Nelson and Gary Shilling cashed-in against Adrian Tinkler, Maurice Campbell and Alan Harding who came closest to stopping the rot in a thrilling four setter which he lost 7/11, 8/11, 11/9, 11/13 against Shilling.
Tower C (1) Travellers D (9)
These teams were at the foot of the division but with this emphatic win Travellers D escaped and are now four points clear of Peel B who had no fixture. Mike Chapman outfoxed the young cub Alex Buck 10/12, 11/9, 6/11, 11/9, 11/6 to put Tower temporarily in the lead. Buck bounced back to beat Margaret Forsyth and Heather Kennett and he was heavily involved in Traveller’s last gasp doubles win. Alex’s father David and Juan Moore Jr were also busy boys, they hit hat-tricks and then substituted for their A and B teams respectively.
Tower B (1) Copy Shop B (9)
Copy Shop B looked likely to white-wash sixth-placed Tower B after Vish Patel and Adam Davies had hit their hat-tricks. Rob Sim slammed past Yanchun Wang and John Atherton but surrendered a two sets lead to lose 11/8, 11/9, 6/11, 6/11, 5/11 against Simon Radcliffe. With Copy Shop B chasing the second promotion spot every point counts and with their doubles win it helped move them to just two points behind Peel A who were held to a draw by Copy Shop C.
Copy Shop C (5) Peel A (5)
Malcolm Lambert went home nursing a bad back and left the Copy Shop C youngsters to assist their promotion chasing B team by holding second-placed Peel A to a surprise draw. Pedro Cardoso and Max Walker did the damage, both bagging a brace and then winning the doubles. Their team-mate George Melvin had missed a few matches and so was edged out by Malc Lewis, Nathan Evans and his older brother Matt. Peel’s other points were purloined by Matt who walloped Walker whilst Lewis scraped past Cardoso with three tie-breaks 13/11, 12/10, 12/10.
Surestrike Ramsey D (4) Victory Roll Saints (6)
Second-placed Victory Roll Saints were a player short so ‘team Yardley’ were three points to the good from the start. In the opening match Jack Yardley had a Titanic tussle with Matt Harvey but was eventually sunk 8/11, 13/11, 5/11, 11/8, 7/11 and his grandsons Alex and Dylan were made to flounder by Harvey, Matty Kelly and their guest player Billy Coulter borrowed from Copy Shop D.
The youngsters also lost the decisive doubles after captain Jack had resurfaced to scupper Kelly and Coulter’s hat-trick hopes.
Copy Shop E (4) Breakaway B (6)
Steve Walters’ 7/11, 11/7, 11/8, 6/11, 11/4 win over Pat Halliwell was a hat-trick decider and it eventually brought victory for fourth-placed Breakaway over their sixth-placed opponents. Halliwell had beaten Breakaway’s youngsters Jack Christian and Kieran Lane whilst her young team-mates Freya Melvin and Kitty Thomas left Lane pointless. However, Christian evened the score by beating both girls.
Surestrike Ramsey E (0) Surestrike Ramsey C (10)
It was hat-tricks all round for top of the table Surestrike C against their E team colleagues who occupy fifth-place. However, only two points will be credited to the averages for Tyler Hannay, Frank Feeney and Billy Cain because Tiernan Garvey from Junior Development was playing as a guest, and didn’t he do well! Garvey took both Feeney and Cain to a fifth set whereas his temporary team-mates, Sally Green and Fin Hill, only took the odd set.
Peel C (6) Junior Development (4)
Seventh-placed Peel C were chased all the way by the junior league representatives and the outcome was unclear until the doubles which Peel purloined. Cameron Dudley did well winning two matches for JD and he came close against Peel’s hat-trick hero Mason Price. Corin Haddock provided another two points for Peel by beating Scott Horne and Josh Dudley who had left Tom Noble with nothing show for his efforts.