A Nello Mauri treble provided the backbone to Blazing Paddles 7-3 victory over Veterans. He then won the doubles in partnership with the continually improving Harry Azima who contributed two singles successes, but had no answer to the in-form Brian Marston who went home with a brace for Veterans. Dave Fordham earned Paddles’ other score, although he was unfortunate not to add to his tally after levelling a two-game deficit against John Hunt before finally being defeated in the only set of the evening to go the distance.
Ashorne were unlucky to be on the receiving end of a maximum when they visited league leaders Shottery A. Jim Jack and Roger Pye took the doubles contest to a decider only to lose 12-10, while Pye overcame loss of the first two games against Stephen Foster before falling at the final hurdle. Foster, Gary Stewart and Graham Poole all finished with their records intact, thereby boosting their hopes of retaining the title.
Henley A ’s Alan Cotton collected a treble when they entertained Shottery A which included a rare defeat for Stewart. However that was all the hosts could muster as Stewart, Poole and John Price recorded braces, despite Poole being taken to the wire by Don McAdam. They subsequently added the doubles to finish 7-3 winners.
It was a similar story when Tanworth Taipans brought in Benjamin Rycroft-Stanley for only his second appearance of the season. He responded with a ‘player of the match’ performance, but the team were unable to add to his treble as they lost 7-3 to Shottery B for whom Kevin Taylor, Tony Remes and Gareth Hepworth all secured two sets.
Shottery B won by the same score against their own third string. Awais Muhammed claimed three singles while Hepworth and Tim Fell gained braces, but neither could overcome Rob Poole who also won the doubles over the distance with Taylor.
Despite leading 4-1 at the half time break, after braces from Taylor and Poole, Shottery C couldn’t make further progress and so were defeated 6-4 by Henley A for whom Cotton recorded another treble. McAdam and Peter Quince each got on the card with the former partnering Cotton to claim the crucial doubles in the only set to be settled in the decider.
After application of the handicap adjustment Henley B defeated Blazing Paddles by eight points to reach the final of the knockout cup where they will travel to Ashorne who went through at the expense of Henley Pasties.
Author: Mike Evetts via Stratford-upon-Avon Table Tennis League
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The 2018-19 season has seen an increase in competing Stratford League team numbers to fourteen, with three teams playing out of Eveshams burgeoning JLM Academy and two from Birminghams only dedicated , single use table tennis club, Colebridge.
With JLM providing a table tennis facility in Stratford town centre on Friday evenings from the end of October , there are encouraging signs that the grass roots of this great sport are flourishing in Stratford upon Avon.