By Peter Florence :
In a match full of high quality table tennis Shottery A gained the narrowest of victories over their own second string. Stephen Foster gave the senior side an opening win before partnering Gary Stewart in the doubles where the pair increased their team's advantage. Stewart and Rob Poole each contributed two further wins although, in a continually see-sawing encounter, Foster was pipped at the final hurdle by Gareth Hepworth. However the best was saved until last as the concluding contest of the evening pitched together the only two unbeaten players Stewart and Shottery B’s Awais Muhammed. With both players delivering blistering attacking performances it was Muhammed who came through 11-9 in the fifth end to complete a hard earned treble, although it still wasn’t enough to earn his team a share of the spoils.
It was another 6-4 finish when Snitterfield entertained Colebridge Bulldogs. Captain John Price led by example recording a treble, despite having to put aside an early deficit before defeating Chris Welsh over the full distance. Clive Irwin added a brace, but was unable to get the better of Mike Evetts who took the honours in another five set encounter. Evetts was also made to work hard by Don McAdam before gaining his second success in the evening’s third marathon contest, while Bulldogs’ other scores came from Welsh and Mahroof Hussain. The final outcome of the match was decided by the concluding doubles where Irwin and Alison Stewart won in straight sets to ensure Snitterfield took the honours.
JLM Cavaliers entertained Henley B in a roller coaster which finished with honours even. The opener saw Dave Bevington acquire a two set lead for the hosts, only for his opponent Robert McCluskey to launch a comeback and claim the decider 13-11. Joe Cull was next on the table for Cavaliers and, in a carbon copy of the preceding game, secured the first two ends but Martin Clayton increased Henley’s advantage by winning over the full distance. Clayton subsequently had the reverse experience winning the first two sets before Bevington turned their encounter around to claim a hard earned victory. Clayton had a busy evening as his third singles also went to the fifth set where Steve Cull finally took the honours to complete an excellent treble. Andy Rowland and McCluskey each came away with braces for Henley although, in the fifth game to go down to the wire, McCluskey only narrowly squeezed home 12-10 in the last end against the unlucky Joe Cull. However Joe enjoyed some consolation when, in the concluding doubles, he and his father Steve gained a straight sets win to earn their team a draw.
By contrast all three of the remaining league matches finished with 10-0 scorelines, with the most convincing performance coming from Colebridge Pasties. Mike Evetts was in action for a second time during the week as he, Mike Credland and Riz Akbar inflicted the whitewash upon Henley A without the loss of a set.