The Rotherham Table Tennis League 2016-17 season began competition last week. In the top division the two Clifton teams met each other for an in house clash. Clifton A turned out Tony Linggard, Russ Drayton and Jim Pugh whilst the, supposedly inferior B team, were Jim Pugh Gary Sides and Matt Bacon. Bacon and Pugh had arrived with a determined aura about them as they proceeded to notch up hat-tricks each whilst Sides had a bad night losing all three. Team effort though as they beat their A team by 7-3. A good start to the season.
Scorpions C got off to a flying start with two 8-2 back to back victories. The first against Swallownest MW represented by Steve Needham, Pete Morgan and Dave Kirkup. Morgan struggling after a return from injury still managed to overcome Alex Bland, playing in his first Division One match. But Harry Saxton and Alan Battye scored hat-tricks along with an excellent win by Bland over Kirkup to seal win one. In the more recent match against Clifton B James Grayson shone for Scorpions with a maximum but Gary sides was the star of the night taking two excellent wins over Bland and Battye.
L.S.M. A started their campaign off with an emphatic win over Phoenix B. Glen Carson got the home team off to a good start defeating Mick Foster but James Houghton and Mick Brooks both hit back with victories over Cliff Glaves and Mick Large respectively. Foster added another with his first win. Carson stopped the rot as he saw off Brooks but that was it for the home team as L.S.M. sailed through the next five sets and took the match 8-2.
Meanwhile Scorpions B were away to Phoenix A. Craig Straw beat Malcom Manuel in the first set and Edmund Lau had a great win versus Mick Bell in the next just pipping it 11-9 in the fifth game. The match alternated all the way to the eighth set leaving it poised on 4-4 after Bell had to concede his last due to injury. Mick Jarvis showed his experience as he took Manuel apart to make it 5-4 to the home side. Could teenager Lau seal a hat-trick and take a point? Straw was having none of it and brushed him aside in three easy games to take the win.
In Division Two Scorpions D hunted down Stag A at the latter’s venue. Dennis E. Green, Pete Smith and 11 year old Lewis Ellams looking for a quick kill. Father and son due Pete and Rob Eyre put a firm hand on the evening as they won their first matches. Ellams hit back with his first win in this division beating Pete Webster in four games. Two more sets to Stag though as they took a 5-1 lead, but doubles to Scorpions and another great win for EllamsS this time against Rob Eyre. Last two sets to Stag as they won 7-3 but the man of the match has to be young Ellams with two fantastic wins in his first ever match in Division Two.