DEFENDING CHAMPS GET OFF TO A FLYER
Defending Kendal and District Table Tennis League’s Division One champions Natland A launched their campaign for back to back titles in clinical fashion following a 10-0 whitewash against Crook A.
Natland, who have managed to maintain their championship conquering trio from last season, flew out of the starting blocks against Crook, opening up an unassailable 5-0 lead. The closest Crook came to hauling themselves on the score sheet was in the sixth singles match when Phil Swift let a 2-1 sets lead slip against Harry Carter finally succumbing 11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 11-13, 2-11. From this point onwards it was plain sailing for Natland as Carter and team mates John Fearon and Roger Pimblett remained unbeaten to set up the perfect start.
Title contenders Dalton CC A opened their account with a commanding 9-1 victory against Burton B. Dalton raced to an early 2-0 advantage thanks to victories for Ryan Smith and Keith Dymond against Phil Goymer and George Pickering respectively, only for Alan Holt to sensationally peg Dalton back with a 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 12-14, 11-9 success against Paul Ackred. This set back revived Dalton as they took the remaining seven matches including a narrow 13-11, 6-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 win for Smith against an in-form Holt.
In Division Two, Burton C made it two wins from as many matches as they triumphed 7-3 against Natland D. Burton’s Graeme Wheelhouse secured the man of the match award following his three victories, while team mates Tony March and Aidan Branch chipped in with two victories apiece. Natland fought doggedly throughout and were rewarded with wins for Mick Taylor against Branch and March. Liam Hogan’s 11-7 victory in the fifth set also against March provided some meagre consolation for Natland late on.
Crook B and Natland C played out an exhausting 5-5 draw in which neither side could be separated. Crook looked to be running away with the encounter after chalking up a 4-1 advantage, however Natland responded with victories Pete Taylor and Howard Pimblett against Andy Gilchrist. Natland salvaged a draw when Taylor eclipsed Wood 11-3, 11-8, 11-2 and then teamed up with team mate Bernard Pickthall to win the doubles in similar fashion 11-8, 11-6, 11-9.
Burton D maintained a one hundred percent record after beating Dallam C 7-3, while Grayrigg A still await a win after a 10-0 mauling at the hands of Dallam B.
In Division Three, Grayrigg B have stormed out of the starting blocks following a magnificent 22-14 victory against Burton E adding to last week’s 28-4 success. Grayrigg’s Kevin Hunter and Margaret Dixon won their three matches with ease, while Burton’s points came when their trio of Srikanth Gandavaram, Brian Gourlay and Dave Salmon beat Patrick O’Reilly.
Dallam D made it two wins from as many games courtesy of a commanding 18-15 triumph against Crook C. Dallam’s Stephen Troughton scooped the man of the match award thanks to his three wins.
Meanwhile in other news, Dallam player and Queen Katherine School pupil James Neal has qualified for Lancashire’s four man under 15s cadet team. The talented youngster also finished runner up whilst representing the North-West England side in a national junior qualifying event.