THE North Cornwall Table Tennis League divisions got underway again last week following a month’s break.
The last round of fixtures were played on the week commencing December 12, as the David Viggers Tournament was held before Christmas.
A fortnight ago saw the opening round of the Handicap Knockout Cup, but last week was back to the bread and butter of league action.
In Division One there was only one match played, with Torridge, led by the in-form Pete Freeburn, edging out struggling Crackington A by six games to four at Crackington Institute.
Freeburn was in top form all night, dropping just one set as he marched to three comfortable victories. Bob Montague also chipped in, collecting two points for his team.
Frank Barnes was also in good form for Crackington, winning two matches in three straight sets.
The clash between league leaders Helland A and Budehaven A was postponed and is being played tonight at Helland Village Hall.
There was a full fixture list in Division Two with comfortable victories for the top two.
It’s shaping up to be a dream season for Helland Table Tennis Club as the B team look set to join their A team in Division One.
They proved far too strong for Crackington B as they romped to a 9-1 win with the home side only avoiding a whitewash in the doubles.
David MacLennan made it 12 wins from 12 this term, while George Wright, making his first appearance of the season, and David Hughes both enjoyed excellent evenings.
Budehaven C just about remain on Helland’s coat tails after a 7-3 victory at North Hill B.
It looked like it was going to be a tough evening when the home side went 2-1 up after the first round of singles, but from there on in the visitors dropped just one more point.
Owen Salisbury won three from three including withstanding a stirring comeback from Michael Kinger, while David Sillifant also won two out of three, despite losing eight straight points in a final set decider with Trevor Luckhurst who went on to win 12-10.
Luckhurst then came from two sets down to win a classic with Adam Osborne in the final match of the night, eventually scraping home by the same scoreline as he did against Sillifant.
The other match in the evening saw Launceston earn their first win of the season as they edged out Budehaven B at the Royal British Legion.
Steve Parsons, who by his own usual high standards has struggled this term, came back into form winning all three matches while Karen Horrell also added two more successes.
Visiting captain Anthony Ward enjoyed two comfortable victories for Budehaven who have a crunch clash with Crackington tonight.
As a result of Launceston’s win, things are extremely tight at the bottom as Launceston are now one point clear of Crackington who move to the bottom of the pile, while Budehaven C are just four points above Launceston.
There were two matches played in Division Three with comfortable 4-1 wins for the home teams.
North Hill D easily dispatched of Budehaven D with Dominic Pipe pulling off a surprise straight sets victory over Nathan Jukes in a perfect evenings work.
Jukes, who had previously lost just one game all season in Division Three, did manage to win his other outing.
Bridgerule B stay third after grinding out a victory over Helland C in a contest which saw four of the five matches go to five sets.
Nick Brewer was in fine form for the home team, winning both of his matches, while Harry Tinker earned Helland their solitary point.
There is a full set of fixtures scheduled for this week.
Blisland who have dropped in recent weeks due to inactivity will be confident of beating Crackington A in Division One, while North Hill, who are firmly in the title mix, host a Torridge side who look solid in mid-table. League leaders Helland A host last years champions Budehaven who have a couple of games in hand on most of the teams above them.
The match of the week in Division Two will be at Altarnun as they take on league leaders Helland B.
The home side, who are third and had a bye last week, are 14 points behind their opponents but have played a game less, meaning a comfortable victory will keep them in contention.
While Budehaven C will hope that Altarnun can do them a favour, they’ll take on Launceston at Budehaven Leisure Centre.
There is also a big match on one of the other tables at Budehaven as the B team take on Crackington B with just five points separating them.
In Division Three, league leaders North Hill C return to action after the Christmas break with a home game against Helland C while their nearest challengers, Bridgerule A take on their B team.
The other match in the division sees the bottom two square off at Budehaven as Bridgerule C make the trip to Budehaven D.