DIVISION 1 HEAVYWEIGHTS CLASH IN THRILLING DUEL
First met second in Division One of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League, as table topping Ibis took on rivals Glaxo A in what was billed as a championship decider.
Ibis arrived at the match having preserved a fourteen match winning streak, with Glaxo A trailing twenty points behind, holding two games in hand.
Glaxo set their stall out from the outset, forging a shock 4-1 lead thanks to Callum Dymond’s four set victories against Trevor Nicholson and James McGrath. Keith Dymond chipped in with a marathon 11-8 victory in a tense five set win against McGrath, while Alan Turner eclipsed Nicholson with ease 11-3, 11-9, 14-12. Steve Dixon produced Ibis’ only response in a nightmare first period, as he eased past Turner 11-4, 11-8, 11-5.
With Ibis seemingly dead and buried, the Kendal side produced an inspired second period as Dixon edged past Keith Dymond 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7, McGrath swept aside Turner in three sets and Nicholson beat Keith Dymond 11-6 in the fourth set. That set up the final and crucial match of the night when Callum Dymond faced Dixon. Dymond took the first two sets 12-10, 11-6, but Dixon levelled by winning the next two 11-8, 11-9. Miraculously, Dixon snatched the final set in a thrilling 12-10 victory leaving Ibis 5-4 ahead with only the doubles to play. In the doubles, Glaxo grabbed a late 5-5 draw when the Dymonds toppled Dixon and McGrath 11-6, 11-13, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5. The result leaves Ibis twenty points ahead, having played two games more than Glaxo.
Natland B claimed their seventh victory of the season in a narrow 6-4 success against Burton A. Roger Pimblett got Natland off to a flying start with a straight sets victory against Alan Holt and an exhausting 11-5 fifth set victory against Peter Baxendale. 11-2 and 13-11 triumphs in the final set for Peter Baxendale and Holt against Luke Biggins and Bernard Pickthall respectively, saw Burton snatch an early 3-2 advantage. Natland stepped up a gear in the second period and finally edged the tie 6-4 thanks to Biggins’ 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 and four set victories against Chris Knowles and Holt respectively. The win lifts Natland into fifth place.
Dallam D have returned to the summit of Division Two having claimed their twelfth success of the season 6-4 against Burton D. Burton’s Bryan Rhodes won all three matches including a nerve wracking 11-7 victory in the fifth set against Mick Jackson. The table topping Milnthorpe side ground out the win courtesy of Jackson and Matt Neal’s two wins apiece against Shelley Rhodes and George Pickering.
Natland D remain in second place, eleven points behind the leaders following a 7-3 triumph over Grayrigg A. Jon Cooper was Grayrigg’s star player with three wins, while Natland’s road to victory was forged by two wins apiece for Richard San Jose, Mick Taylor and Andrew Hudson.
Burton C look still in the hunt for a promotion place, eight points behind second placed Natland, after beating Kirkby Stephen B 8-2. Tony March and Graeme Wheelhouse inspired Burton’s eleventh success of the season with three wins apiece with team mate James Burton chipping in a win against Chris Horn. Kirkby’s points came courtesy of Gerald Baines and Eric Robinson’s wins against Burton.
In Division Three, Crook C suffered their first defeat of the season 14-25 at the hands of Natland E. Crook’s defeat allowed Natland F’s Glen Allen, Ed and George Pickthall to take over top spot momentarily, with Natland E close behind.