NATLAND B REIGN IN DIVISIONAL SHIELD THRILLER
Natland B were crowned Division One shield winners at Dallam School sports centre on Sunday, after snatching a thrilling one point victory against Burton B in a dramatic final. Natland progressed through to the showpiece final thanks to a narrow six point success against Crook A after having lost their opening tie against Dallam A by a three point margin in the group stages. In the opposite half of the draw, Burton B fought through to the final after dispatching Natland’s A and C teams in the previous rounds.
The final started brightly for Natland B, who quickly ate into the thirty point handicap deficit thanks to Luke Biggins and Mark Ashburn’s big wins against Tony March. Burton’s Peter Baxendale stopped the rot and displayed outstanding form to produce straight sets victories against Biggins and Ashburn to forge a fifteen point Burton lead going into the crucial doubles. Natland snatched a thrilling victory thanks to Biggins and Ashburn’s 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 triumph in the doubles to triumph by a solitary point.
In the Division Two shield event, Kirkby Stephen B’s Dan Stringer and Andrew Leach beat Burton D’s George Pickering and James Burton by a narrow two point margin in the final to take the title out of a strong field of six teams. In the Division Three competition, Burton E’s Aidan Branch and Dave Salmon beat Dallam E’s Stephen Troughton and Bradley Varey by a tight nine point cushion to take home the silverware.
Meanwhile the Kendal and District League held its annual junior tournament at Burton Memorial Hall this week. In the Under 10s section, Will Owen from Crosscrake School beat Milnthorpe Primary School’s Leigh Green, while in the Under 12s event, Archie Catnach of Natland triumphed over Torin Malkin. Queen Katherine School pupil James Neal beat Stephen Troughton to snatch the honours in the Cadet Singles event, though Troughton made up for this disappointment to win the junior doubles with partner Bradley Varey as James Neal and Kyle Jeffery were beaten into runners up spot.
The Jugend von Kendal- a handicapped junior table tennis tournament for players in the Kendal League- attracted an impressive entry of twenty-four participants which was won by Dallam’s Anna Parkinson, who finished as runner up in last year’s event. Parkinson, who plays for Dallam, beat club mate James Neal 15-5, 15-9 in an impressive final to take the title.