League leaders Shottery A were unhindered by the absence of captain Gary Stewart as they inflicted the whitewash upon Ashorne without the loss of a game. Rob Poole was called up from their third string and, together with his father Graham and Stephen Foster, was able to make the local hostelry for their traditional celebration in record time.
Henley Pasties almost matched that performance when they travelled to Blazing Paddles. However Dave Fordham ensured that the hosts were able to gain a single consolation game but couldn’t prevent Mike Evetts, Tom Shortley and Mike Credland all going home with trebles.
West Warwicks pair Alison Stewart and Andy Rowland proved too strong for FISSC by gaining all their successes in a 7-3 victory. However Rowland was made to work hard by Mark Kingham in the only contest to go to a decider. The Farmer also shared a pulsating game with Peter Rodwell in which he emerged victorious 19-17. Despite battling hard in all his three sets the unlucky Rodwell couldn’t make the breakthrough and lost out to Kingham, Peter Florence and Mark Jones.
Stewart was again in fine form as West Warwicks won by the same score at Shottery C. She recorded another unbeaten performance, although had to overturn an early deficit against Rob Poole and was taken the distance by Kevin Taylor before clinching the decider 14-12. Rowland added a brace, including a five game win over Poole, but was unable to get the better of Taylor, while Don McAdam earned their other singles as well as the doubles with Stewart.
Shottery C enjoyed a reversal of fortune against Henley A. Taylor was their form player conceding just a single game, whilst Poole had to fight for his treble with two of his sets going to the wire. He battled back from a two game deficit to defeat Peter Quince, but then let a two game advantage slip against Geoff Shepherd before clinching the decider. David Lincoln-Lewis added their other singles and maintained his successful doubles partnership with Poole.
Veterans’ Brian Marston defeated Shottery B’s Ron Shakesheff, but that was the only success his team were able to register in their 9-1 defeat away at Alderminster. Gareth Hepworth and Tim Fell gained trebles for the Villagers, although the latter was tested by John Hunt. After losing the first game the Shottery captain fought hard to lead 9-5 in the fifth game, only for Hunt to draw level before Fell closed out the set by winning the last two points.
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.