Stratford Herald Week Beginning January 26th

Ping Pong perspicacity from Peter Florence :


Stratford A returned to the top of the league table after a hard-fought 6-4 victory at previously undefeated Snitterfield. They made an ideal start to the match by racing into a 5-1 lead, only for their hosts to stage a recovery by claiming three of the remaining four games. Alex Boyd led the way for Stratford with an impressive treble, although he was made to work hard by Steve Cull before eventually securing the decider. Cull did have the satisfaction of winning the only other contest to go the full distance when, despite facing game point in the fourth set, he narrowly took the honours against Kannan Nithi. However Nithi claimed both his other contests in straight sets, whilst Richard Grover earned Stratford's crucial sixth point. Cull went home with a brace for Snitterfield and John Price added a further victory with the pair also achieving success in the doubles. 

Stratford C captain Rob Bartkowski maintained his recent run of fine form by overcoming both Tim Fell and Tony Remes when his team entertained Shottery B. However the hosts were unable to add to his haul enabling the visitors to take the honours 8-2. Gareth Hepworth delivered a perfect performance for Shottery, with Fell and Remes contributing braces. 
Stratford D were unable to break down an experienced Ashorne trio of Mark Bridgeman, Andy Coonan and Roger Pye who imposed the whitewash.
When JLM Kingfishers travelled to Henley the highlight of the match was between the consistent attack of the visitors' captain Jim Clarke and the resilient defence of Nigel Payne. Their fourth set produced a series of high quality rallies before Clarke edged home 16-14 to take the contest. He finished the evening with a treble, and added the doubles in partnership with his son Henry who earned a further victory, with Piotr Penczkowski providing Kingfishers' other two scores. Payne earned a brace for Henley and Peter Quince their third point.
Blazing Paddles lost 6-4 at Colebridge Bulldogs despite a treble from Chris Dickens as they were only able to add one further success from Nello Mauri. Dickens featured in the only clash to go to a decider where, after three sets had been settled at deuce, he finally overcame Dean Hicks 11-9 in the fifth. Hicks and Andy Rowland both went home with braces for Bulldogs, with John Swinburne adding a further win as well as claiming the doubles with Rowland.
Veterans made the perfect start to their encounter with Tanworth Taipans by claiming the first four games, only for their opponents to launch a comeback to ensure the match finished with honours even. George Mudie and his son Neil each registered two wins for Veterans, with Peter Rodwell earning their crucial fifth score. Tim Lawrence notched a brace for the villagers, whilst debutants Robert Parkes and David Hedgecox each marked the occasion with a win, and Hedgecox also shared doubles success with Lawrence.
Author: via Stratford-upon-Avon Table Tennis League
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