TOP FLIGHT HIGH FLYERS CLASH IN STALEMATE
Second met third in Division One of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League when Dalton CC A clashed with Burton A this week.
It was second placed Dalton who started the brighter of the two sides, as Ryan Smith’s five set victories against Graham Coupe and Peter Baxendale, combined with Paul Ackred’s four set success against Chris Knowles, eased his side into a 3-1 advantage. Coupe and Knowles fought back for Burton, beating Ackred and Dymond respectively, while Baxendale also edged Ackred in a thrilling five setter. Dalton looked like they would snatch the tie late on when Smith and Dymond beat Knowles and Coupe 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 and 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 12-10, but Burton held on for a 5-5 draw when Coupe and Knowles triumphed in the doubles 11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8.
Burton B claimed their sixth triumph of the season after beating rock bottom Kirkby Stephen A 7-3. Dave White got Kirkby off to a flying start courtesy of his four set victory against Ian Brotherton, while Pete George stunned Martin Wakelin 11-7, 13-11, 15-13. George Pickering steadied the Burton ship thanks to his three victories, which earned him the man of the match award. Despite George and White winning the doubles, Burton sealed the 7-3 victory after Wakelin and Brotherton recovered to win two matches apiece.
In Division Two, Natland C head the table by a fourteen point margin following a comprehensive 9-1 victory against Dallam B. Andrea Jorkisch and Peter Taylor remained unbeaten for Natland, however Bernard Pickthall could only manage a brace as he was beaten 13-11 in a deciding five set classic against Sam Horrocks. The defeat leaves Dallam sixth in the table.
Second placed Burton C snatched their ninth win of the season thanks to a 9-1 victory against Grayrigg A. Burton’s trio consisting of Tony March, Graeme Wheelhouse and Ian Brotherton each won their three matches with ease. Grayrigg hauled themselves on the score-sheet when Sam Housego and Ben Littlewood teamed up in the doubles to topple March and Wheelhouse 11-9, 3-11 11-8, 4-11 12-10.
Crook B consolidated their fourth placed position courtesy of a 9-1 defeat of strugglers Kirkby Stephen B. The Eden Valley side have plummeted in recent weeks and their plight was not helped by John Wood and Bob Bagot’s excellent performances for Crook. Kirkby eventually opened their account when Mike Sunderland toppled Hugh Symmons 11-9 in the crucial fifth set.
Leaders Dallam D look overwhelming favourites to take the Division Three championship and their campaign received another boost this week as they posted a 28-6 win against Crook C. Dallam’s Stephen Gosling bagged the man of the match award thanks to his three wins and was ably supported by his team mate Stephen Troughton who also remained unbeaten.
The battle for second place is more intriguing as only twenty-four points separate Grayrigg B who currently hold that position and rivals Dent A. Grayrigg did their promotion credentials no harm by beating Natland E 20-17, while Dent beat Dallam E 21-16 and hold a match in hand over their rivals.