Sussex over sixties team perform great escape

Sussex went into the second weekend at Milton Keynes with only one point from the first three matches and were second from bottom of the Premier Division.

In the first match against Lincolnshire John Clarke,Barrie Gilbert and Robin Stace each won one singles and Sheila King won hers also,Clarke and Gilbert won the Mens Doubles and Sheila King won both mixed with Robin and John.Gilbert and Clarke lost narrowly to Brian Hill who was runner up in the World championships over 70s in New Zealand.A good start 7-3 to Sussex.

Against a strong Lancashire side Johnny Clarke turned in a brilliant performance to defeat Phil Bowen and Brian Clements both top ranked players and combined with Barrie Gilbert to win the Mens Doubles,Robin Stace,Barrie and Sheila won a singles each.Both mixed were lost narrowly,6-4 to Sussex but still not safe.

Sussex needed a draw against Hertfordshire but things did not look good at two nil down with Barrie Gilbert and John Clarke still to play Derek Balding whom neither had beaten,Gilbert beat Balding as did Clarke later in the match,Sheila won her singles,Barrie won his other singles and both mixed were won,6-4 to Sussex and relegation avoided.

In the final match against Gloucstershire Andy Meads came in for John Clarke,Sussex benefitted due to an injury to Dave Adamson which meant he conceded both his singles and one mixed doubles,Sheila won her singles to complete an unbeaten weekend and her and Barrie Gilbert came from two games down to win in five,A 5-5 draw.  

The three wins and a draw pushed Sussex up the table to a highly respectable third place finish behind runners up Yorkshire and worthy winners Essex.

Author: via Crawley and Horsham Table Tennis League
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