DIVISION TWO CHAMPIONSHIP GOES DOWN TO THE WIRE
With one game to go in Division Two of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League, Dallam D and Natland D secured their promotion places this week, although the championship winners spot is still up for grabs. Dallam D currently hold pole position with a seven point cushion over their rivals Natland D following a 7-3 triumph over Dent A, their thirteenth of the campaign. Mick Jackson was the star player for Dallam winning all three matches including 11-1 and 11-9 victories in the fifth set against Wayne Gardner and Steve Hawley respectively. Matt Neal won two for Dallam, securing victories against Gardner and Ross Sedgwick.
Second placed Natland D can still overhaul leaders Dallam D, but require a massive win next week as they could only manage a 6-4 victory against Burton D. Mick Taylor and Andrew Hudson won two matches each, while team mate Liam Hogan chipped in with an ice cool 12-10 success in the tense fifth set against Shelley Rhodes. Bryan Rhodes was the night’s star performer as he won all three games. The result leaves Burton D in eighth place.
At the opposite end of the table, Grayrigg A’s Jon Cooper, Doug Baxter and Kevin Hunter remain in the relegation places, five points from safety after a 7-3 defeat against Kirkby Stephen B, while Dent B are virtually condemned to relegation, as they lie sixteen points from safety in last place with only two matches to play.
Crook C were crowned as Division Three champions, as hefty back to back wins against Grayrigg B helped the newly elected champions lift the title.
Crook opened the week with a 30-3 success against Grayrigg B, with the Crook trio of Paul Metsers, Ben Metsers and Chris Mowat winning all of their three games in style. Olly Philipott-Smith came closest to opening the Grayrigg account as he narrowly lost out 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-13 to a fortunate Paul Metsers. Crook followed up this triumph with another impressive victory over Grayrigg B this time earning a 29-9 success. Ben Littlewood was unlucky not to get Grayrigg off the mark in the night’s opening game as he lost out 11-8 in the fifth set against Chris Mowat. Grayrigg had to wait until the penultimate match for a victory when Littlewood beat Paul Metsers 8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9. Crook’s Andy Gilchrist and Chris Mowat remained unbeaten while Metsers won two games against Jay Hunter and Sam Housego. The defeat means Grayrigg B finished rooted to the foot of the table.
Natland F’s George Pickthall, Ed Pickthall and Glen Allen secured second place and a promotion spot after edging beyond Burton E 22-21. Allen and George Pickthall won two games apiece for Natland, while the man of the match award was reserved for Mark Stitch who won all three matches, including 11-7 and 11-8 victories in breath-taking fifth setters against Allen and Ed Pickthall respectively.