Rotherham Advertiser Report Week Sixteen

The first major upset in Division 3 occurred last week in the Rother Valley Table Tennis
League. The current leaders, Phoenix F, had played 14 and won 14 up to this
point. And most of those had been easy victories. However, Scorpions F decided
to have their say and managed to pinch the first point off the division
leaders. Chris Johnson beat Maurice Druce in the first set of the night
followed by Steve Richardson returning the favour against Lewis Robinson in
four close games. Emily Walker had a good win over Mick Riley to make it 2 – 1
to the home team. With a win from Robinson and another from Johnson Scorpions
took an early 4 – 1 lead and it looked like Phoenix might not only drop a point
but might lose the match. However Richardson hit back and Phoenix also took the
doubles. Robinson won a second to give Scorpions a point and Druce held his
nerve to leave the last point decided on the final set, Johnson against
Richardson. Despite a fierce battle, Johnson could not convert and Richardson
showed his mettle coming out the winner in the deciding game. So points shared
and the door has been left slightly ajar for the second place team, Scorpions G,
three points behind with a game in hand, to increase the pressure on the title
challenge.

In Division 1 there was a top of the League clash between Scorpions A and second place
Mason Arms A. Masons started the evening two points behind Scorpions having
only lost one match, to the former in their first meeting. Now the return match
could make a vast difference to the title race. James Houghton faced Jamie Hudd
in the first clash of the evening. This turned out to be a real battle going to
the decider where Hudd just edged Houghton to give Scorpions the first blood.
Alan Battye then beat Mick Foster and Mark Johnson also overcame Mick Brookes
to give Scorpions a 3-0 lead. The match slipped away from Masons as the
Scorpion players took an unassailable 6-1 lead by the end of the doubles.
Houghton ended the evening with a well earned brace but the two vital points
went Scorpions way to give them a four point advantage at the top of the table
at this stage of the season. Hudd was the star of the evening with a hat-trick
of wins. The two teams will have to face each other once more later on so the fight
for the title is not over by a long way. 

In the middle division Clifton B were at home to Phoenix C. Russell Drayton defeated
Stuart Element easily to get Clifton off to a flyer. Alan Joyce hit back to
beat Gary sides and then a titanic battle between Mick Whitehead and Alan
Redfern saw Whitehead just sneak out the winner in the deciding fifth game. By
the end of the doubles Clifton had managed to hold a 4 – 3 advantage and then
Sides saw off Redfern to take the first point. Element picked up another win to
take it to the last match where Drayton had little trouble clinching the two
points and completing his hat-trick by beating Joyce. Final score 6 – 4 to
Clifton which puts a serious dent in Phoenix’ title challenge and leaves them
level with the leader Clifton C but the latter has two matches in hand.


Author: via Rotherham Table Tennis League
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