Warwickshire Over 60's 1, having missed out on promotion to the County Championships Premier Division by the narrowest of margins for the last two seasons after finishing runners up in the northern based Division 1A, currently lie second after their first four matches in the southern based Division 1B this season following a restructuring of the County Over 60's divisions by Table Tennis England due to a substantial increase in team entries.
Warwickshire 1 began their fixtures by winning 8-2 in a testing match against Warwickshire 2, who led 2-0 after Steve Taylor and Nuneaton's Bob Whittaker gained impressive wins over Alan Cotton and Paul Calloway respectively. Ron Vose then survived a five set battle against John Taylor to avoid a further setback for Warwickshire 1, who then ran out comfortable winners with Diane St. Ledger remaining unbeaten in singles and both mixed doubles.
In their next match, Warwickshire 1 overpowered Worcestershire 9-1, with Vose, Cotton, Calloway. and St. Ledger all in top form against difficult opponents. Eric Hardman overcame Cotton in five sets to gain a late consolation for Worcestershire.
However, the going was set to get tough in the latest two matches for Warwickshire 1 played at Cippenham TTC in Slough. Firstly, they were indebted to a fine deciding set triumph from Diane St. Ledger and Ron Vose in the second mixed doubles in the last game of the match to secure a hard fought 5-5 draw against a strong Buckinghamshire side. This completed another excellent unbeaten performance in singles and doubles from St. Ledger, whilst Vose and Alan Cotton both added crucial singles wins to keep Warwickshire 1 in the hunt, with Cotton eclipsing Buckingham no. 3 Nick Hansell 11-9 in the fifth set. Buckingham no. 1 Alan Cherry won both his singles and the mens doubles with Hansell.
In their second match at Cippenham, Warwickshire 1 slipped to a 2-8 defeat against promotion contenders Gloucestershire after losing no less than five out of six five set encounters in what was a really well contested match. Steve Taylor, standing in at no.3 for the absent Paul Calloway, did exceptionally well to recover from two sets down to pip Gloucester no.3 Gordon Shaw 11-9 in the fifth set and Diane St.Ledger teamed up with Alan Cotton to win the first mixed doubles in straight sets to keep Warwickshire 1 on level terms at 2-2. However, Dave Harvey and Dave Adamson both remained unbeaten in singles and doubles to steer Gloucestershire clear, and Warwickshire must have sensed it wasn't their day when Diane St. Ledger was pipped 11-13 in the deciding set by Christine Williams to suffer a rare singles loss.
Warwickshire 2 are bottom in the same division after losing their first four matches, but were unfortunate to lose 4-6 to fellow strugglers Dorset after a tight encounter in their second match at Cippenham. Terry Cooper and Bob Whittaker each won a singles and combined for an 11-9 deciding set doubles success, and debutant Rob Watts also added a further singles to keep Warwickshire 2 on level terms at 4-4. However, Dorset finished strongly with no.1 Brian Bickel recovering a two set deficit to overhaul Cooper in the penultimate game before Reinhard Lindner and Jane Foster secured the final mixed doubles against Whittaker and Rugby's Jenny Ferguson, who was making her first appearance at this level, to earn their side victory.
County Championships Over 60's Division 1B - league table 28/12/18
P W D L F A Pts
Bedfordshire 3 3 0 0 22 8 6
Warwickshire 1 4 2 1 1 24 16 5
Worcestershire 4 2 1 1 21 19 5
Buckinghamshire 4 1 2 1 24 16 4
Gloucestershire 3 2 1 1 20 10 4
Dorset 4 1 0 3 10 30 2
Warwickshire 2 4 0 0 4 9 31 0
Remaining fixtures at Cippenham in March:
Warwickshire 1 play Bedfordshire and Dorset
Warwickshire 2 play Buckinghamshire and Gloucestershire