Herald Report December 22nd


Shottery A enhanced their position at the top of the Stratford league with a 9 - 1 victory over West Warwicks. Their cause was greatly helped when their opponents were only able to field two players after a late call-off through illness. The Solihull side also gave a rare outing to Jim Ferguson, who initially found himself well down in all three games against Graham Poole before finishing strongly in each to take the set. This was to prove a consolation victory as Gary Stewart and Stephen Foster notched braces, although Poole did have to overcome an early deficit against Pete Rodwell before recovering to snatch the decider.

Royal Mail hosted Henley B with Nello Mauri again taking the eye accumulating a treble without the loss of a game. Malcolm Heritage was also unbeaten, although he twice had to come from behind before beating his old team mate Rob McCluskey over the distance. 

The highlight of the evening was when veterans Richard Dalrymple and Gordon Trinder met for the first time in 20 years. The match card reports that, as the set progressed, the players' stamina levels were tested and the umpire called time out. However both were clearly determined, as the encounter went to a fifth game where Trinder edged home 9 - 11. Dalrymple also took McCluskey to the wire, before losing out, but nevertheless finished on the winning side as the fixture ended 7 - 3 in the Postmen's favour. 

Henley B also pushed Ashorne all the way and were unlucky to come away on the wrong end of another 7 - 3 scoreline. With a little luck the result could have been very different as five sets went the distance with the league newcomers losing out in four. All of Trinder's singles were settled in the decider but he was only able to claim the scalp of George Mudie. Trinder took a surprise two-game lead over John Hunt before his opponent was able to press home the advantage, and he was also forced to surrender the early lead to Steve Bolton. McCluskey was another to be beaten at the post by Hunt, while Dave Hatcher found himself two games to the good against Mudie before running out of steam. McCluskey showed his experience in overcoming Mudie and Bolton as his team are starting to show that, with a little more experience, they will hold their own in the Stratford league.

Ashorne also enjoyed success in the knockout cup as they grabbed the last semi-final place at the expense of old rivals FISSC. There were 60 points between the teams at the close, with 40 being acquired by Hunt and the balance by Mudie. Mark Jones finished on parity, as did Peter Florence for the Farmers for whom the combined handicap adjustments still left them 25 short of their required total.

The semi-final draw sees Littleton entertain Henley A with Ashorne playing host to Royal Mail. The ties are due to be played in the week commencing 13th February. 

Author: via Stratford-upon-Avon Table Tennis League
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