Henley Pasties have one hand on the league trophy after a comprehensive demolition of Shottery B. Sam Henderson, Mike Credland and Tom Shortley swept past their opponents without the loss of a single game. As the season enters its final stages Pasties trail Shottery A by 13 points but with two matches in hand.
Shottery A themselves defeated their own third string 9-1. Graham Poole was in excellent form to regain the family bragging rights by overcoming son Rob 16-14 in the fifth game. He and Gary Stewart went home with trebles, with Stephen Foster adding a brace. However Foster had no answer to the attack of Kevin Taylor, who secured Shottery C’s lone success, in the only other contest to go the full distance.
The clash between West Warwicks and Tanworth Taipans also finished 9-1 after maximums from Andy Rowland and Alison Stewart, although they were taken to the wire by Ben Rycroft-Stanley and Mick Welsh respectively. Peter Rodwell earned their other two points, but was unable to overcome Welsh who thereby ensured his team avoided the whitewash.
Ashorne were only able to field two players when they entertained Blazing Paddles, but were unlucky not to gain a share of the spoils. Although the first five sets went to the visitors three of these victories were achieved in the decider, with Steve Bolton narrowly losing out to both Harry Azima and Wilf Chan. Bolton then enjoyed a reversal of fortune by overcoming a two game deficit to defeat Dave Fordham and combining with Jim Jack to claim the doubles in yet another marathon.
It also finished 8-2 when Henley A met their old rivals FISSC. The match began with Malcolm Smith taking a two game advantage against Peter Quince and looking odds on to give the Farmers’ the early advantage after leading 7-2 in the third. However Quince then hit a rich vein of form which saw him win the set. He repeated that performance against Mark Jones by again putting aside loss of the first two games before claiming victory and going on to complete his treble. Jones did gain the upper hand over both Geoff Shepherd and Don McAdam, but his two successes were all his team were able to muster.
Henley B continued their run of good form with a 7-3 victory over Veterans. The evening began with an epic encounter between Dave Milton and George Mudie who recovered from loss of the first two games only to be defeated in the decider. Milton and Robert McCluskey achieved perfect singles performances before combining to secure the doubles, while Dave Hatcher was unlucky not to add to the hosts’ tally after losing five of his eleven games at deuce.
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.