TRAVELLERS B CELEBRATE EARLY PROMOTION
Another big win for ABC Arborists moved them into joint top position with Copy Shop A in the First Division of the DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League. With just four league matches left the title will likely be decided when the two teams meet again on April 15th. Bottom placed Foxdale’s 6-3 victory over fellow strugglers Zurich Spinners may prove to be decisive as just five points now separate the bottom three teams. Sixth-placed Travellers A look particularly vulnerable as a golf tour will deprive them of two players and B team super-sub Colin Brown will also be unavailable.
In the Second Division Travellers B celebrated early promotion following their sixth 10-0 win of the season. They are now 34 points clear of Peel A and Copy Shop B who will battle it out for the other promotion spot. However, fast improving Surestrike Ramsey A are only ten points behind and could also feature. Unfortunately, Tower C’s demotion was confirmed this week but with just one point separating Travellers D and Peel B it is far from clear which of these two teams will join Tower in the Third Division.
With Rob Campbell’s memorial service taking place at St Ninian’s only two Third Division matches could be organised. As third-placed Breakaway B lost to Copy Shop D it is now clear that Rob’s team - Victory Roll Saints – will be promoted in their inaugural season which is a fitting tribute from his team-mates who vowed to carry on competing.
Strathallan A (1) ABC Arborists (8)
Second-placed Arborists had beaten third-placed Strathy 6-3 and 7-2 earlier in the season so will be delighted with this 8-1 score-line which speaks volumes for their commitment to catching Copy Shop. However, the result was much closer than the score suggests. Julian Briercliffe came back from two sets down only to lose 7/11 in his final set with Liam Chan. Andy Patterson surrendered a two sets lead to Sam Bailey and then did the same in losing 11/7, 11/9, 8/11, 9/11, 9/11 to Mike Tamarov. On the plus side Andy Horne had three tie-breaks in his narrow four sets win over Tamarov for Strathy’s solitary success.
Tower A (3) Copy Shop A (6)
Ewan Watterson and Sean Drewry dropped just one set each on their way to hat-tricks for top-placed Copy Shop. With every point vital Jane Kneale, who is in the NatWest Island Games squad, will be disappointed that she could not add any more against Paul Kozlowski, Mike Bayley and Graham McFarlane from fifth-placed Tower A.
Foxdale A (6) Zurich Spinners (3)
Bottom-placed Foxdale registered their third win of the season by defeating fellow relegation candidates Zurich Spinners who beat them 8-1 last time out. However, with Will Bayley available Foxdale quickly established a 3-0 lead and Andy McLarney ensured a draw by beating Colin Barron and then Tommy Cowin, narrowly, 11/6, 11/8, 7/11, 9/11, 11/9. Spinners’ captain Nigel Beattie struck back with emphatic wins over McLarney and Ken Mitchell who had earlier robbed Barron to move Foxdale closer to salvation.
Copy Shop B (6) Peel A (4)
Third-placed Copy Shop did the double over second-placed Peel and in doing so moved level on points in the race for promotion. Adam Davies and Rob Sim were Copy Shop’s triple takers so Peel’s Matt Evans, Malcolm Lewis and Les Wilson had to be content with a point apiece against Vish Patel who was 2-1 up in sets before being out-smashed 11/9, 7/11, 8/11, 11/3, 11/8 by the whacking Wilson. Evans and Lewis landed the doubles which kept things level in the league table.
Copy Shop C (0) Travellers B (10)
Copy Shop’s youngsters Pedro Cardoso, George Melvin and Max Walker put up a good fight against the run-away league leaders but couldn’t convert perspiration to points. Cardoso took Paul Mathieson-Nelson to a fifth set and lost 11/13, 16/14, 8/11, 10/12 to Gary Shilling. Melvin managed to manoeuvre Colin Brown to a final frame but lost that 5/11 and although Walker never went the distance he landed some lovely blows against his more experienced opponents.
Travellers D (5) Surestrike Ramsey B (5)
Travellers’ Juan Moore Jnr and Alex Buck both bagged a brace by beating Jack Craik and Kerenza Baker from sixth-placed Surestrike. David Buck ensured the draw for relegation zoned Travellers by taking the tie-break to disappoint Kerenza. In response Tim Baker registered his fifteenth grand slam of the season and joined his daughter to deliver the doubles and the draw after Craik had bounced back to beat Buck Snr 3/11, 4/11, 11/7, 11/9, 11/8.
Peel B (10) Tower C (0)
Nathan Evans, Sasha Thomas and Harry Walters racked up Peel’s third win of the season with a clean sweep against bottom-placed Tower C who are doomed to drop out of the division. Mike Chapman was exceedingly unlucky losing 9/11 in the fifth set of each of his matches. Heather Kennett was also misfortunate losing 11/13 in the fourth set against Evans. Owen Cutajar playing in just his third league match found the pace hard to adjust to. Peel’s powerful performance puts them one point ahead of fellow strugglers Travellers D in the dash to avoid demotion.
Surestrike Ramsey A (9) Tower B (1)
Rhys Yardley and Wael Kassim were Surestrike’s hat-trick heroes. Tower’s Heather Kennett and Yanchun Wang were unable to take a token set in the singles against their top-spinning opponents. A lone win for Mike Chapman over Carl Blatcher was all fifth-placed Tower could salvage against the team just one place above them in the league. Chapman almost captured a second point in his match with Wael Kassim but two tie-breaks went against him. However, the doubles was the longest and closest match 11/13, 11/2, 8/11, 11/6, 11/3 to Yardley and Kassim over the hardworking Tower substitutes Chapman and Kennett.
Breakaway B (4) Copy Shop D (6)
Another hat-trick for Zac Walker and two points from Billy Coulter helped third-placed Copy Shop D move seven points clear of their fourth-placed opponents. Coulter was caught by Jack Christian who, along with Steve Walters and Kieran Lane, got Breakaway to four points by defeating Kyle Dodd who had the last laugh as he and Walker won the doubles 12/10, 8/11, 11/5, 9/11, 11/1 against Christian and Lane.
Surestrike Ramsey E (6) Copy Shop E (4)
Tyler Hannay’s hat-trick for fifth-placed Surestrike was built upon by Fin Hill who added two to Sally Green’s one point. Freya Melvin responded with two for sixth-placed Copy Shop and Libby Quaggin’s hard-earned 12/10, 8/11, 12/10, 9/11, 12/10 last gasp victory over Green got them to three. Sophie Sheard failed to make it four points losing 9/11 in the last leg against Hill. However, Copy Shop’s coach Pat Halliwell combined with Melvin to harvest the doubles in another thrilling five setter which was won 11/9, 14/12, 8/11, 7/11, 12/10.