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 Upon Avon and District Association comprises twelve teams playing in eight venues.
The 2017-18 season has seen an increase in team numbers and the proliferation of venues in which they compete. This is an encouraging trend.
Table tennis in Stratford upon Avon may be a minority sport, however, there is ground for optimism.
There are positive signs of growth in the popularity of the sport in Stratford-upon-Avons increasingly developed and populous area.