BURTON SMASH AND GRAB BUT GRAYRIGG REMAIN TOP
Grayrigg A lead Division Three of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League by a narrow three point margin, despite losing to second placed rivals Burton E 20-19 in a nail-biting clash of the titans.
Sam Housego and Kevin Hunter’s 4-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8 and 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 victories against Brian Gourlay, combined with Ben Littlewood’s five set defeat of Dave Salmon, helped Grayrigg forge an early 11-10 lead. Aidan Branch provided some welcome resistance for Burton, dispatching Housego and Littlewood in four sets. The match continued to be finely poised moving into the second period as Hunter and Littlewood beat Salmon and Gourlay, while Branch and Salmon responded immediately with wins against Housego and Hunter to leave the match at 19-17 in Grayrigg’s favour with only the doubles to play. Burton snatched a smash and grab victory when Branch and Salmon teamed up in the doubles to take the spoils 11-3, 11-9, 11-6 and an overall 20-19 success.
Crook C have been cut sixteen points adrift of second placed Burton E as they were beaten 28-13 by Dallam E. Dallam’s Bradley Varey scooped the man of the match award courtesy of his three wins, though team mates Bruce Carnaffin and Stephen Troughton played an instrumental part in the success with two triumphs apiece.
Fourth placed Kirkby Stephen C earned their twelfth victory of the campaign with a 23-12 success over Dallam F. Dallam’s Norman Philbey accepted the man of the match award after his three victories, which included an 11-4 triumph over Chris Ellis in a pulsating deciding set. Kirkby fully deserved victory though as John Metcalfe, Mike Sunderland and Ellis contributed two wins apiece to the Kirkby collection to seal victory.
In Division Two, Dent gave themselves a fighting chance of survival as they sneaked beyond Burton C 6-4. Steve Hawley and Wayne Gardner’s two wins apiece early on eased Dent into a marvellous 4-1 lead. Daniel Herd and Peter Hunt stopped the rot for Burton as they dispatched Ben Smith. Dent hung on though for only their second win of the season when Hawley beat Herd 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 and Smith beat Shelley Rhodes 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 12-10 to earn a memorable 6-4 victory.
Natland D piled more misery on their E team with a comprehensive 10-0 whitewash against their club mates. George Pickthall was bitterly unfortunate not to get Natland E on the score sheet, losing out narrowly 11-5 in the fifth set against a relieved Rinaldo Colombi. The result leaves Natland E rooted firmly to the foot of the table with only five points, while their D team lie in sixth one point behind Burton C.
In Division One, Ibis have a slender one point lead at the summit of the table, having played one more game than second placed rivals Natland A, while third placed Dalton CC A have now been cut five points adrift of Natland.