CLEAN SWEEP SEES NATLAND GO TOP
Natland E and F occupy the top two places in Division 3 of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League, with third placed Crook C chasing close behind.
Natland E hit the summit of the table, following a 30-0 demolition of Grayrigg B. Rinaldo Colombi and Gavin Lowe hardly broke sweat, as both players swept aside each of their three opponents in three straight sets. Natland’s Tim Marris was made to work for his hat-trick of wins, after scraping past an unfortunate Olly Philpott-Smith 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10, having fought back from two sets down.
Mid table sides Dallam E and Burton E played out a sensational 19-19 draw. Burton raced into an early advantage after Mark Stitch and Brian Gourlay defeated Anna Parkinson. Burton went further in front when Lynne Herd edged out Nina Duxbury 11-8 in a frenetic deciding set. The young Milnthorpe side battled tirelessly and were rewarded with three wins for an impressive James Neal- including a pulsating four set victory over Stitch-to secure a well deserved draw.
Crook B opened up a ten point cushion at the top of Division 2 following a 10-0 whitewash over Kirkby Stephen B. Crook’s Colin Pratt and John Wood looked decisive throughout. Team mate Tony Cousins received a major scare against Gerry Baines when he was forced to retrieve a 2-0 deficit to win 3-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8. The defeat leaves Kirkby in ninth place, one point above the relegation zone.
Dallam D climbed into second place with a game in hand over Crook B, after sweeping aside Burton D 10-0. Dallam’s Mike Jackson, Matt Neal and Stuart Allan were hardly troubled in a routine night.
Mid table Dent A and Kirkby Stephen A played out a thrilling encounter, with the Eden Valley side eventually edging it 6-4. Pete George and Dave White propelled Kirkby into a 2-0 lead, with victories against Steve Hawley and Eddie Smith respectively, while Wayne Gardner and Hawley’s successes against Tom Walton ensured Dent entered the second period only 3-2 down. Kirkby Stephen took control of the tie when White and George completed their three victories, though Dent pinched the doubles 11-6 in a last-gasp final set.
Grayrigg A’s first taste of victory was cruelly taken away from them as they were narrowly defeated 6-4 by Burton C. Grayrigg had Jon Cooper to thank for keeping them in the tie early on, as he recorded impressive wins against Daniel Herd and Tony March. Burton’s class shone through as the encounter moved into the second period, as Graeme Wheelhouse defeated Kevin Hunter and Doug Baxter in three sets. Despite Cooper’s three wins, Burton made it a triumphant night when March and Herd beat Hunter late on, adding to a four set success in the doubles.
Meanwhile in Division 1, Glaxo A head the pack by eight points, courtesy of a 10-0 triumph over Natland C.
The top flight’s surprise package are Burton B, who hauled themselves into second position thanks to a 10-0 whitewash of Dallam A. Dallam’s John Fitzgerald and Craig James both lost out in the deciding fifth set to Ian Brotherton and Peter Baxendale 13-11 and 11-9 respectively.
Defending champions Ibis made it four wins from four games, as they annihilated Natland A 9-1. Steve Dixon and Trevor Nicholson remained unbeaten, while Natland’s solitary point came courtesy of Harry Carter’s four set success against a disgruntled James McGrath.