Colebridge teams latest progress in the affairs of Divsion Two continues with this latest piece from the sharpened quill of Neil Wheatley..
Colebridge Giants 4, Colebridge Chiefs 6
The previous meeting between Chiefs and Giants was a much closer match than the 9-1 in favour of Chiefs would suggest. With the out of practice Luke Taylor deputising for Mike Credland, Sam Henderson recovering from a severe cold and some interesting clashes of style, last week’s second encounter looked likely to be a lot closer – and so it turned out.
Chiefs opened up a 3-0 lead. Sam just edged out Mark Hadley in the first two games of their opening set, but finished in style. Neil Wheatley then found Chris Allen in splendid attacking form and needed all his defensive skills to claim an 11-7 final game victory. Luke then surprised himself ,and everyone else, with a fine display of attacking table tennis against Mick Bere, to turn round a 2-1 deficit with 11-3, 11-7 final games.
Chris immediately sparked a Giants revival when, after narrowly losing the opening two games against Sam, he sailed through the next 3, to record a rare defeat on the young individual title contender. Another 5 game doubles looked like going either way, until the more experienced Giants pair, Chris and Mike, completely bamboozled Neil and Sam in the final game, whereupon, Mark resisted Luke’s attempts to hit him off, with 3 winning games, to level the match score.
Set 7, saw Mick looking to complete a double over Neil, which he almost did, Neil having to save a match point in game 4, before finally scraping home 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-7., but Giants levelled once more when Chris beat Luke 3-0.
Mick’s wily switches of direction had Sam all at sea in the opening game of set 9, but the youngster dug in and managed to scrape home with a 12-10, 11-8, and 13-11 finish. A splendid 42 game match then came to a conclusion in similar fashion, Mark taking the first game against Neil 11-9, but then succumbing to his opponent’s mix of attack and defence in the next 3.
Without the experienced Credland for two matches, Chiefs will not be unhappy with 6 points, but with their nearest rivals, Dinosaurs and Eagles recording maximums in the other all Colebridge clashes last week, the Division 2 championship title is still wide open, albeit with 3 Colebridge teams leading the way.
Thanks, once again, to Pat Oliver, who, bless her, provided cakes for all 4 teams that night.