DIVISION 3 TITLE GOES TO THE WIRE
With only one match to play in Division Three of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League, the battle for title honours looks set to go to the wire.
One of the three sides in contention for the title is Kirkby Stephen C who currently lie in second place, four points behind the leaders with a game in hand. This week the Eden Valley side installed themselves as favourites for the title after a 30-0 drubbing of Natland F. Kirkby’s John Metcalfe, Mike Sunderland and Chris Horn clearly demonstrated their title winning credentials, triumphing each encounter against their opponents in three sets.
Current leaders Burton E ended their season with a 25-13 success against Crook C, but require a miracle if they are to hang onto their slender four point advantage at the summit. Aidan Branch won all three matches for Burton, including an excellent 11-7, 11-2, 10-12, 11-8 victory against Andy Gilchrist, who won two matches for Crook. Dave Salmon provided Branch with steady support, as he beat Chris Mowat and Paul Metsers.
Last week’s leaders Grayrigg A have slipped into third position, six points behind Kirkby Stephen C despite winning their penultimate game of the season 25-12 against Crook C. Grayrigg now need to score seven more points than Kirkby Stephen in their final game to pip their rivals to the title.
In Division One, Natland A require only seven points in their final match of the season to secure the title, as they eclipsed Burton A 10-0. Chris Knowles was unfortunate not to haul Burton onto the scoresheet, as he lost two five setters 11-6 and 12-10 in the deciding set against Harry Carter and Roger Pimblett respectively. Natland’s John Fearon was more at ease, strolling to three comfortable victories.
Second placed Ibis’s chances of defending their title were extinguished as they could only manage an 8-2 victory against lowly Burton B. Ibis master Steve Dixon consolidated his position at the top of the averages with three comfortable victories, while team mate Trevor Nicholson also chipped in with a hat-trick of wins. Alan Holt and Peter Baxendale scored Burton’s points after they beat a lacklustre Pete Rushton 6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 and 7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7.
Third placed Dalton CC A are the only side who can stop Natland claiming the title, but have a mountainous task on their hands. The Furness based side are twenty-four points behind the leaders Natland with only a possible thirty to play for as they have three games in hand.
A 5-5 draw against Crook A has put Dalton CC B in fourth place ahead of Burton A who have now slipped to fifth. Dalton’s Gareth Brunton won all three matches, while team mate Keith Mallinson chipped in with a four set success against Mike Taylor. Crook rallied late on to salvage a draw thanks to two wins apiece for Crook veterans Phil Swift and John Howarth.