IBIS HOLD NATLAND IN TABLE TOP THRILLER
Natland A’s one hundred percent winning start to the season came to an abrupt halt when championship rivals Ibis held the league leaders to a 5-5 draw in Division One of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League.
Natland started where they left off before Christmas, amassing a formidable 4-1 lead thanks to Roger Pimblett and John Fearon’s straight sets victories against Trevor Nicholson. Harry Carter kept the Natland steam train rolling as he edged a fiery James McGrath 11-7, 11-13, 11-5, 11-13, 11-0, while Pimblett also disposed of McGrath in more comfortable fashion 11-9, 11-3, 11-9. Steve Dixon kept Ibis afloat after his three set wins against Fearon and Pimblett. Dixon eventually completed his hat-trick of wins after Carter pushed the Ibis maestro all the way in a classic five setter which Dixon edged 11-2 in the decider. Ibis salvaged a 5-5 draw late on thanks to Nicholson’s shock defeat of Carter and a 15-13, 11-7, 11-8 success in the doubles.
Crook A pulled four points clear of the relegation zone courtesy of a crucial 6-4 triumph against fellow strugglers Dallam A. Mike Taylor scooped the man of the match award thanks to his three victories, while team mate Bob Bagot chipped in with wins against John Fitzgerald and Paul Gosling. Dallam replacement James Neal made the transition from the second division look easy as he sensationally beat Phil Swift 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6 and then went on to topple Bagot 11-9, 12-10, 12-10. Despite a defeat in the doubles, Crook earned their fourth victory of the season 6-4.
Natland C momentarily head the Division Two table by six points following a 7-3 success against Crook B. Natland’s Andrea Jorkisch won her three matches including a 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9 triumph against the highly rated Bob Bagot. Team mate Bernard Pickthall contributed a brace of wins to the Natland haul by beating Bagot and Hugh Symmons, while Pete Taylor also triumphed over Symmons 11-0, 11-5, 11-7. Crook’s points came in the shape of John Wood’s two victories against Pickthall and Taylor and Bagot’s win also against Taylor.
Kirkby Stephen B and C teams played out a pulsating derby encounter which the C team triumphed 7-3. The C team’s Eric Robinson remained unbeaten courtesy of his three wins, which included an exhausting 11-9 victory in the fifth set against Dan Stringer. Stringer was Kirkby Stephen B’s driving force with his two victories 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 and 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 against Chris Horn and Gerry Baines respectively.
Elsewhere, Dallam C edged further away from the relegation zone despite losing 6-4 to Burton D.
In Division Three, Dallam D hold a massive forty-three point cushion at the table summit, having played one game more than rivals Grayrigg B, while Dent A lie eight points off a promotion place.