BATTLE FOR TOP FLIGHT SURVIVAL HOTS UP
The battle to remain in Division 1 of the Kendal and District League is materialising, with two teams from three contenders facing the drop.
Natland C currently lie a meagre two points above the relegation zone after a crushing 10-0 defeat at the hands of Glaxo B. Louisa Bevan came closest to earning a solitary point for Natland as she narrowly lost out to Keith Mallinson 11-7, 11-5, 4-11, 9-11, 4-11 having being up 2-0 in sets. Tony Whitehouse and Gareth Brunton looked more comfortable for Glaxo as they swept Natland aside with ease, earning their seventh victory in ten games.
Dallam B are still awaiting their first win of the season following a twelfth consecutive loss 10-0 at the hands of Crook A. Dallam’s Tom Jackson, Tom Parkinson and George Pearson never looked in the tie, as none of their matches even reached the fifth set. In contrast, Crook’s Mike Taylor, Phil Swift and John Howarth commanded the tie from the outset and are now up to eighth in the table.
Dallam A prop up the table in last place, but have three games in hand over their rivals. In their latest match against Burton A the Milnthorpe side narrowly missed out in a 6-4 defeat. Dallam welcomed Cambridge University student Johnny Hyman back into the side and he made an immediate impact, edging out Ian Brotherton 11-3 in a thrilling final set. Burton responded with wins for Julie Stitch against Craig James and Paul Gosling and one victory apiece for Martin Wakelin and Brotherton, helping Burton into a 4-1 lead. In the second period, Dallam’s tenacity paid dividends when Hyman beat Wakelin in four sets and Gosling swept aside Brotherton 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 to get them back to 4-3. Burton pulled away at the end to score their fifth victory of the season thanks to a five set success for Wakelin against James in addition to Stitch’s four set victory over Hyman.
In Division 2, Dent A gave their survival hopes a boost when they held Burton D to a creditable 5-5 draw. Burton’s Bryan Rhodes scooped the man of the match award thanks to his hat-trick of wins, while Steve Hawley and Ben Smith held Dent afloat with two victories apiece against Shelley Rhodes and Dave Salmon. Dent are now positioned in ninth place, two points above the relegation zone.
Grayrigg A remain in the bottom two, despite salvaging three points in a 7-3 defeat against table toppers Dallam D. Dallam’s trio of Matt Neal, Mick Jackson and Stuart Allan won two matches apiece, while a man of the match winning performance came from Grayrigg’s unstoppable Jon Cooper who won all three games including a thrilling 14-12 win against Jackson in the fifth and final set.
In Division 3, Natland E’s Rinaldo Colombi, Tim Marris and Adrian Turpin have taken a slender one point lead at the summit of the table thanks to a 25-13 victory over Dallam E. Colombi was unbeaten in a skilful display of attacking table tennis, while Marris and Turpin chipped in with two victories apiece. Dallam’s points came from young James Neal’s victories against Turpin and Marris. Natland E’s club mates Natland F are following closely behind in second position despite losing 20-21 to Burton E. George Pickthall won two games, while Glen Allen won one for Natland. The man of the match was Burton’s Mark Stitch who inspired the win with his three victories including two five set thrillers.
Crook C’s promotion prospects received a boost as they crushed Grayrigg B 30-0. Crook’s Ben and Paul Metsers and Chris Mowat were merciless en route to their eleventh win of the season. Crook now lie in third place, two points away from an all important promotion position.