IBIS CROWNED TOP FLIGHT CHAMPIONS
Ibis were crowned Division One champions in the Kendal and District Table Tennis League following 7-3 victories against Glaxo A and B teams, leaving rivals Glaxo A twelve points behind with only one match to play.
In their first victory of the week against Glaxo B, Ibis never looked in danger of losing, as they raced into a 4-1 lead courtesy of James McGrath and Steve Dixon’s triumphs over Keith Mallinson. Tony Whitehouse offered Glaxo’s only response with an 11-4, 11-4, 11-9 victory against Trevor Nicholson. Moving into the second period, the Kendal champions extended their lead to 6-1 after wins for Nicholson and Dixon against Mallinson and Whitehouse respectively. Whitehouse was Glaxo’s driving force and continued to cause problems for Ibis as he edged past McGrath 9-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7, having being two sets down. Despite a late win for Glaxo’s Whitehouse and Mallinson against McGrath and Dixon in the doubles, Ibis went on to win the tie 7-3.
In their second crunch match of the week, Ibis faced rivals Glaxo A in a must win game for the second placed Ulverston side. Ibis once again took the wind out of their opponent’s sails early on after building a formidable 4-1 lead. Ibis won the two tight matches with James McGrath and Trevor Nicholson edging out Alan Turner and Keith Dymond 11-9 and 14-12 respectively, in thrilling four setters. Ibis went further ahead at 6-1 following wins for McGrath against Callum Dymond and Nicholson’s 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-6 success against Turner. Glaxo rallied late on to win the doubles adding to Keith Dymond’s straight sets victory against McGrath. It was however to be Ibis’ night as Steve Dixon’s three victories, which included an 11-1 defeat of Callum Dymond in a dramatic final set, confirmed their 7-3 win and with it the division one title. Glaxo A finish in second place, while club mates Glaxo B confirmed a fifth position finish, with Burton A looking likely to take fourth.
Natland A bagged third place in the table with a narrow 6-4 triumph against club mates Natland B. The A team’s Harry Carter was in fine form, inspiring him to all three victories including 11-7 and 11-9 victories in the deciding set against Luke Biggins and Roger Pimblett respectively. Biggins and Pimblett won two matches apiece against Mark Ashburn and John Fearon. The narrow defeat leaves Natland B with a seventh place finish.
At the opposite end of the table Natland C and Dallam B’s relegation to division two has been confirmed. Natland C lost their final league match of the season 9-1 to Burton B, with Burton’s Peter Baxendale and Graeme Wheelhouse winning all three matches. Natland’s solitary moment of joy came when Pete Taylor scraped past Stephen Baxendale 7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-8, having hauled back a two set deficit. The win leaves Burton B finishing in sixth place.
Dallam B were relegated alongside Natland C and will now finish rock bottom after losing their penultimate match 10-0 also against Burton B. In other division one placings, Crook A finished in eighth after 6-4 defeats against Glaxo B and Burton A respectively and Dallam A avoided relegation and will finish in ninth spot, despite losing their final two matches 6-4 and 7-3 against Burton A and Glaxo A respectively.