Seemingly invincible Shottery A suffered a rare defeat at the hands of their own second string thereby throwing the league title challenge wide open. After winning the commencing doubles the seniors were probably hopeful of attaining another victory, but the B side were determined to make history! Tim Fell levelled the score by defeating Graham Poole, and Gareth Hepworth added a brace. The outcome of the match came down to the final set where Awais Muhammed took on A’s captain Gary Stewart with both players looking to complete a treble. Muhammed claimed the first two games 11-9 and 12-10, but only managed to gain a single point in the third before rallying to win the fourth and ensure Shottery B’s first ever success over their higher ranking stablemates.
Shottery A were back to winning ways when they entertained Henley B. They brought in John Price and he and Stewart were unbeaten but, in the only set to go the distance, Poole was defeated by Dave Milton who thereby prevented the whitewash. However the Shottery player can consider himself unlucky as, after being two games behind, he levelled the score only to lose at deuce in the fifth.
In the battle of the Knights Lane tenants Veterans got the better of FISSC. John Hunt enjoyed a perfect evening winning all his singles and securing the doubles with George Mudie 17-15 in the decider. All three of the Farmers’ wins also came after five games as Mark Kingham took the honours against both Mudie and Brian Marston, with the latter also just losing out to Malcolm Smith.
FISSC were only able to field two players against Blazing Paddles. Peter Florence earned the Farmers’ scores by overcoming Wilf Chan and Dave Lamb, but sustained a narrow defeat to Nello Mauri with three of their four games being settled at deuce.
Henley A were similarly understrength when they met West Warwicks for whom Alison Stewart and Mike Evetts, who was playing against his former team-mates, was undefeated. However Evetts initially found himself two games down to Peter Quince before recovering to take the set. Quince and Don McAdam got the better of Peter Rodwell but it wasn’t enough to prevent Henley A losing out 8-2.
Henley Pasties enjoyed an 8-2 win at Tanworth Taipans in a match which illustrated both the considerable promise of the hosts’ Worcestershire cadet Ben Rycroft-Stanley and the powerful forehand of the visitors’ Bromsgrove division one player Tom Shortley who, together with Evetts, went home with a treble. Rycroft-Stanley and Mick Welsh each narrowly defeated Jason Rainey for the Taipans’ successes.
Shottery C’s new recruit Kevin Taylor overturned a two-game deficit to overcome Tony Remes when they entertained their own B team. Unfortunately that was all the hosts could muster as Tim Fell and Gareth Hepworth were untroubled.
Author: Mike Evetts via Stratford-upon-Avon Table Tennis League
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The Stratford Table Tennis League continues to swell, with 15 registered teams competing in the Winter 19/20 season. Sadly, Covid19 has forced the cancellation of the 3 a side league competition this year. On a positive note , Stratford upon Avon Tennis Club has created a socially distanced 2 a side league , which begins this week ( October 19th 2020 ). Hopefully , this encouraging development will be the foreshadow of a return to a full league programme, once it becomes safe to do so.
Stratford upon Avon Table Tennis Club open sessions at the towns centrally located leisure centre are proving to be enormously popular , there is every reason to believe that there is huge potential for further growth of this most accessible of sports.