SURESTRIKE RAMSEY C CELEBRATE PROMOTION TO THE SECOND DIVISION
It is still neck and neck at the top of the First Division of the DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League. ABC Arborists and Copy Shop A both won by the same score and the championship title is unlikely to be decided until they meet on April 15th. Bottom placed Foxdale enjoyed a narrow victory over fellow strugglers Travellers A and this enabled them to draw level on points with seventh-placed Zurich Spinners. However, Foxdale only have two matches left to play whereas their relegation rivals have three.
In the Second Division already promoted Travellers B could only field one player and this enabled their opponents Copy Shop B to move four points clear of Peel A who were in joint second place before losing 3-7 to Surestrike Ramsey A. With Travellers due to play both these teams in the closing weeks of the season they have agreed to only field one player so as not to unduly influence the promotion race. Which team will be demoted along with Tower C is unlikely to be decided until the last week of the season because Peel B are currently six points clear of Travellers D who have a game in hand.
Surestrike Ramsey C’s promotion was confirmed in Division Three and Victory Roll Saints are almost certain to come second. Both teams celebrated with 7-3 victories this week but ‘Team Yardley’ were probably more delighted as they secured their second win of the season albeit over an undermanned Peel C side.
Copy Shop A (7) Strathallan A (2)
Unbeaten but almost un-played this season Ronan McDonnell put his revision to one side in an effort to help the current champions, Copy Shop, rack up the points. His hat-trick could not be replicated by either Ewan Watterson or Sean Drewry who lost to Julian Briercliffe and Hadyn McLarney respectively. Andy Horne almost added another point for third-placed Strathy going two sets up against Watterson only to lose in a tie-break 11/3, 11/6, 9/11, 2/11, 10/12.
ABC Arborists (7) Breakaway (2)
Second-placed Arborists expected to beat Breakaway’s youngsters Aaron Faragher and Ben Christian and they did so in straight sets, but Breakaway’s captain Paul Corran was a tougher nut to crack. John Magnall climbed back from two sets down only to lose 6/11 in his last set with Corran. Mike Tamarov capitulated in straight sets after losing a tense first set tie-breaker 11/13. However, Liam Chan was looking to reverse his loss to Corran earlier in the season. With that incentive and the championship title in sight pen-holder grip Chan clung on to win 11/5, 6/11, 5/11, 11/9, 11/7.
Zurich Spinners (3) Tower A (6)
Relegation zoned Zurich Spinners can’t really afford to give away points but with only two players available they had no choice. Spinners’ captain Nigel Beattie levelled the score with a straight sets hat-trick but Colin Barron was out of luck against Paul Kozlowski, Graham McFarlane and Tower’s super substitute Steve Curtis. This result takes Tower up to fourth-place and drops the Spinners into joint bottom place but they do have a game in hand over Foxdale.
Travellers A (4) Foxdale A (5)
Starting with three walk-over points Foxdale’s Will Bayley swung the result in their favour by beating Ken Mitchell 11/7, 11/8, 8/11, 15/13 and then Andy McLarney in another close four setter. Sixth-placed Travellers would have been two players short had they not called-up Gary Shilling who cashed-in with two points against bottom-placed Foxdale. His team-mate Stu Douglas also beat McLarney and Mitchell to leave Travellers four points above their relegation rivals
Travellers B (3) Copy Shop B (7)
Travellers gained promotion last week but now the club is missing players from their A and B teams. Hence, Paul Mathieson-Nelson was left on his own to face Copy Shop B who are battling for the second promotion place along with rivals Peel A. Mathieson-Nelson beat Adam Davies 11/4, 11/6, 6/11, 11/9 and followed that up with wins over Rob Sim and Vish Patel but there was nothing he could do about the seven points already forfeited. However, Peel A and Surestrike Ramsey A will not be disadvantaged as Travellers A have agreed to field only one player against those two teams in the next few weeks.
Peel A (3) Surestrike Ramsey A (7)
Peel A were in joint second-place before this match but their opponents have been putting in a late run and this result puts Surestrike Ramsey A just six points behind them. Ramsey’s Rhys Yardley smashed his way to yet another hat-trick and Wael Kassim, his successful doubles partner, won two and came close to emulating Yardley. Kassim was edged out 11/7, 2/11, 11/6, 10/12, 11/8 by Malc Lewis who also beat Carl Blatcher. Matt Evans purloined Peel’s final point by beating Blatcher who had won his marathon match with Mulhern.
Tower C (2) Travellers C (8)
A Jackie Gill hat-trick and two points apiece from Alan Harding and Maurice Campbell plus a doubles win helped Travellers pile up the points and leap up to sixth-place. Although Tower are already demoted Margaret Forsyth was spurred on by Mike Chapman’s 14/12 fourth set victory over Alan Harding. Forsyth came back from 1-2 down in sets successfully to end her saga with Campbell 11/4, 4/11, 5/11, 11/7, 12/10. Unluckily, Heather Kennett was on the wrong end of her 13/15 tie-breaker with Campbell.
Peel B (5) Surestrike Ramsey B (5)
Draw specialists fifth-placed Surestrike Ramsey B struck up their eighth of the season following another hat-trick from Tim Baker. His daughter Kerenza added the fourth point by skittling out Harry Walters 9/11, 8/11, 12/14, 11/9, 11/7 and Jack Craik assisted Tim to take the doubles. Peel’s Nathan Evans and Sasha Thomas both beat Kerenza and Craik. In the last singles match Walters delivered the draw for ninth-placed Peel by cracking Craik in three straight sets.
Surestrike Ramsey C (7) Copy Shop D (3)
Surestrike Ramsey C celebrated winning promotion with another win over third-placed Copy Shop D. Billy Cain hit a hat-trick and Frank Feeney added two more plus the doubles. Their team-mate Matthew Emison chipped in another by beating Kyle Dodd in a wooden spoon decider. Billy Coulter responded for Copy Shop by ousting Emison 11/7, 5/11, 11/8, 11/6 but super-sub Freya Melvin went one better by also beating Feeney.
Victory Roll Saints (7) Surestrike Ramsey E (3)
Matt Harvey and Matty Kelly added the doubles to their hat-tricks against fifth-placed Surestrike E. Mind you, their 11/9, 9/11, 11/6, 10/12, 11/8 doubles win was a real photo finish. Fin Hill, Sally Green and Tyler Hannay took a point apiece against Dean Greenland who is still adjusting to league table tennis. Following this result the Saint’s are likely to finish second in the league.
Copy Shop E (6) IOM Junior Development (4)
Sixth-placed Copy Shop E’s team coach Pat Halliwell and Kitty Thomas shared the spoils in their victory over the junior league representatives. Cameron Dudley, Josh Dudley and Scott Horne all beat Sophie Sheard who was also unlucky in the doubles which she and Halliwell lost 13/11, 6/11, 10/12, 8/11 against Cameron and Horne.
Peel C (2) Surestrike Ramsey D (8)
‘Team Yardley’ recorded their second win of the season at the expense of Peel C who were a player short despite calling in late substitute Steve Haddock. Jack and his grandsons Alex and Dylan Yardley were going for a clean sweep but Haddock battered Dylan 11/6, 12/10, 11/7 and later landed the doubles with Tom Noble who had taken a token set off of Surestrike’s captain Jack.