Herald Report February 9th

After sustaining back-to-back defeats in his absence Royal Mail were able to welcome back Nello Mauri when they took on Littleton. He responded with a treble which provided the backbone to his team's 6 - 4 success. Richard Dalrymple added a brace with Wilf Chan gaining the Postmen's other score. However both players lost out over the distance to the in-form Alex Gretton, while Chan was also defeated in similar manner by Derek Close. In another set to go to the wire Gretton and Close overturned an early disadvantage to claim the doubles.

In Royal Mail's next outing it was again Mauri who stamped his mark on the match with a consecutive perfect performance. His attack proved too much for the Farmers who were only able to harvest two sets from the fixture. Peter Bruce-Moore put in a determined display to get the better of Chan and Peter Florence came out on top after a hard-fought contest against Dalrymple. Closest encounter of the evening involved Dalrymple and Mark Kingham where the latter was unfortunate to lose out in the decider despite acquiring a point more than his opponent over the course of their set. The Postmen brought in Malcolm Heritage to partner Mauri in the doubles and the pair didn't have to break sweat as they ensured the final result was 8 - 2.

Honours were even when Ashorne welcomed West Warwicks. John Hunt proved man of the match with an unbeaten display for the hosts, while George Mudie added their other singles after a five game thriller against Peter Rodwell. Alison Stewart and Colin Bishop notched braces for the Solihull side with Rodwell achieving their crucial fifth win. The outcome of the match was decided by the doubles where Mudie and Brian Marston did just enough to earn their team a share of the spoils.

Because of the unavailability of Littleton's facilities they agreed to switch to their opponents' venue when they took on Henley. Despite it being minus three degrees outside the players apparently chose to turn off the heating although rumours that this was due to a shortage of 50p coins are unconfirmed! Certainly the cold meant the players gave their all in a well-contested match where, until the final doubles, there was never more than a single set between the teams. Mike Evetts delivered a scintillating performance for Henley notching a treble without being fully stretched. Geoff Shephard added a brace but was prevented from making it a perfect evening by Alex Gretton. Fortune didn't, however, look kindly on Peter Quince who failed to get on the card despite taking both Derek Close and the much improved Andrew Gretton to a decider. With the match standing at 5 - 4 the crucial doubles saw Shephard and Evetts squander a two game advantage before fighting back to win over the distance and ensure a 6 - 4 victory for Henley.

Author: via Stratford-upon-Avon Table Tennis League
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