writes Peter Florence :
Stratford and District Table Tennis Association
Colebridge Pasties strengthened their position at the top of Division 1 with an 8-2 win over JLM Hussars who were only able to field two players. Tom Shortley and Mike Credland came through unscathed for the league leaders, although the latter was taken to a decider by Kevin Taylor and the pair were similarly stretched in the doubles. However both Taylor and Chris Dyson gained some reward for their efforts by overcoming Pasties’ talisman Mike Evetts.
It was a tough week for Hussars who were again below strength at second placed Snitterfield where they sustained a 9-1 defeat. The match opened with a close encounter between the two captains, where the villagers’ John Price gained an early two set advantage before Taylor raised his performance to force a decider. He then raced to a 10-6 lead only for Price to turn the tide by claiming the next six points and take the honours. In another contest to go the full distance Snitterfield’s Alison Stewart put aside loss of the first two ends to get the better of Harry Azima. Price and Clive Irwin were unbeaten for the hosts, while Taylor ensured Hussars avoided the whitewash.
Shottery A came away from JLM Cavaliers with a 7-3 victory. The last game of the match saw Cavaliers’ captain Steve Cull narrowly edge home 14-12 in the fifth end against his opposite number Gary Stewart. This enabled Cull to finish with a treble while Stewart, Graham Poole and Martyn Langston all earned braces for the visitors.
Awais Muhammed delivered yet another perfect performance for Shottery B when they entertained Colebridge Bulldogs. (although he was taken to five by talismanic Mike Evetts - Editor) However his team could only add one more score with Gareth Hepworth overturning a two set deficit to defeat Mahroof Hussain. Hepworth experienced contrasting fortunes in another five set encounter where he lost out to Mike Evetts, whilst Ron Shakesheff also fell at the final hurdle to Chris Welsh. Evetts and Welsh both went home with two successes while Hussain added their crucial fifth point.
Henley B secured all three games to be settled in the fifth set as they took another giant step toward the Division 2 title with an 8-2 win over close rivals Blazing Paddles. Richard Grover narrowly overcame Chris Dickens, Martin Clayton finally took the honours against Wilf Chan and the Henley pair also secured the doubles the hard way. Grover netted a treble with Clayton and Andy Rowland recording braces, while Dickens and Nello Mauri each earned a point for Paddles.
It also ended 8-2 as JLM Troopers took the honours at Henley A. The visitors were ably represented by ‘Team Clarke’ comprising Jim and his sons George and Henry. Jim and George were both untroubled, while Henry added a further win as well as the doubles with his father. Peter Quince and Tony Seymour both got on the card for Henley.
Tanworth Taipans were 7-3 winners at Veterans. Jason Rainey delivered a perfect performance, with Tim Lawrence adding two successes and newcomer David Hedgecox notching his maiden victory. Peter Rodwell chalked up a brace for Veterans, although he had to overturn an early deficit before defeating Lawrence over the full distance. However comeback of the evening was from Neil Mudie who put aside loss of the first two sets to clinch victory over Hedgecox with a 12-10 win in the decider.