Herald Report February 2nd

Henley A enjoyed successive 7 - 3 victories against two of the lower placed teams. They began by playing host to Shottery C for what proved to be a very enjoyable evening's table tennis. The three closest sets all involved the visitors talisman Rob Poole who managed to overcome both Geoff Shephard and Peter Quince over four games. It was even closer when he took on Mike Evetts as the games alternated until Poole finally claimed the decider 13 -11, although his opponent took some satisfaction from the fact that he actually won the most points over the course of their encounter. Chris Bowles and Gordon Round both performed well for Shottery C without being able to get on the card, although Round took an early two game lead against Quince before losing out over the distance.

Henley A were unable to call upon Evetts when they took on their own second string. However Shephard and Quince both notched trebles, but the former was another who had to overturn a two game disadvantage before he could overcome Rob McCluskey. Dave Hatcher, Gordon Trinder and McCluskey each earned lone successes for the B team but it was not enough to register their first league victory.

Henley B were even closer to that elusive prize in their fixture at Shottery C. McCluskey chalked up a brace while Trinder and Hatcher added further sets. However they were powerless to prevent Poole recording another unbeaten display. Bowles added a pair and the two Shottery players successfully combined to secure the crucial doubles thereby ensuring a 6 - 4 final scoreline.

Shottery A inflicted the whitewash on a Royal Mail team who were without their captain Nello Mauri. Going into the ninth set of the match the league leaders had not dropped a game, but Richard Dalrymple then delivered a brilliant performance for the Postmen smashing ball after ball past an incredulous Stephen Foster. Unfortunately he was unable to sustain it throughout the entire set and Foster contrived to pull through. The clash naturally took its toll on the Shottery player as, in last encounter of the evening, he and Gary Stewart managed to waste a two game lead in the doubles before eventually winning at the wire.

Foster didn't arrive until the half-time kettle was boiling when his team visited FISSC which meant he had to feature in four of the last five sets. He took time to get going against his first opponent Malcolm Smith but, once he found his range, went on to record a treble along with team mates Stewart and Graham Poole to achieve maximum points and further strengthen Shottery A's title challenge.

Author: via Stratford-upon-Avon Table Tennis League
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