Stratford Herald Week Beginning December 16th

Peter Florence , capturing the prevailing zeitgeist once again : 

Second placed Colebridge Pasties drafted in young England squad member Nathaniel Saunders for their much anticipated clash with league leaders Stratford A. He began the encounter by putting aside loss of the opening set to inflict the first defeat of the campaign upon Pete Barrow. Saunders added a second win, whilst Rod Lewis produced a brace and Bernard Oliver a further victory to give their team a 5-0 lead at the break. However Kannan Nithi was unlucky not to have made an early impact for the visitors after twice losing out in the deciders.

In a match of two halves Stratford A turned the tables by winning four of the remaining five games, although they were unable to prevent Saunders completing his treble. Barrow chalked up a brace after overturning a two set disadvantage to defeat Lewis over the distance. In another contest to go to the wire Richard Grover then took the honours against Oliver before successfully partnering Barrow in the concluding doubles. Despite narrowly losing the thrilling contest 6-4 Stratford A  went into the festive break with a two point lead over their opponents.

However Shottery A, who sit in third place with a match in hand, may have slipped under the radar. They welcomed Graham Poole back from his holiday for their fixture with JLM Kingfishers and he responded with a treble without conceding an end. Gary Stewart and Stephen Foster also posted maximums, although Foster let slip a two set lead against Jim Clarke before securing their encounter in the decider. 

Stratford C captain Rob Bartkowski maintained his run of good form by winning both his games without the loss of a set againstHenley who were represented only by two players. Peter Florence was also unbeaten but, in the only contest to go the full distance, was made to work hard by Geoff Shephard. Florence secured the first two ends only to be taken to decider where he edged home 11-8. The two Stratford players also combined to secure the doubles which gave their team a second successive victory with an 8-2 scoreline.

Meanwhile, on the adjacent table, Stratford D were put to the sword by the Colebridge Bulldogs trio of Rod Lewis, Chris Welsh and John Swinburne .

It also finished 10-0 when Ashorne entertained Veterans. Andy Coonan, Mark Bridgeman and Roger Pye all put in perfect performances, although the latter had to overcome a two set deficit before taking the honours against Neil Mudie.

Stratford B faced just two opponents when they travelled to Shottery B. Kevin Taylor and Michael Klein were both untroubled, with Harry Azima adding their other victory. However Azima was unable to get the better of Nello Mauri who thereby ensured the hosts didn't finish empty-handed.  
Author: via Stratford-upon-Avon Table Tennis League
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