League leaders Lions B produced a great escape during their narrow 6-4 win over Lions C this week and opened up a 3 point advantage at the top of the table in the process. The side found themselves with their backs against the wall, whilst trailing 4-1, but 5 consecutive straight game wins sealed an unlikely looking victory . Phil Ogier was again the pick of the bunch in the encounter and he had the sole victory during the opening half of the match, courtesy of his straight game win over Andre De Carteret. Alex Robinson and Joshua Butler beat reserve Matt Stubbington in straight games and Butler added a 4 game win over Paul Hainsworth. Ogier and Hainsworth came close to clinching the doubles rubber against Robinson and Butler, but the youthful pairing came through 11-6 in the deciding 5th end. The fight back commenced with a straight game win for Ogier over Robinson and he picked up another important 3-0 win over Joshua Butler in the 8th match of the evening. Hainsworth and Stubbington both got off the mark for the night due to straight game wins over De Carteret leaving the match delicately poised at 5-4 to Lions B going into the final match between Hainsworth and Robinson. On this occasion Hainsworth stepped up to the plate and came through a straight game winner to close out the result.
The other first division fixture was even closer as it resulted in a 5-5 draw between Whistlers A and Whistlers B. The tightness of the encounter is fully reflected in the statistic that none of the 10 matches were won in straight games and 5 matches needing a decider to determine the outcome. Joshua Stacey led the way for the A side with a 5 game win over Phil Hunkin and matching 4 game wins over Mark Pipet and Ben Foss. Lawrence Stacey saved a couple of match points en route to a 5 game win over Ben Foss and also came back from 2-0 down to beat Pipet in 5. He was unable to clinch the 6th win during the final match of the evening as he went down in 4 games to Hunkin. Each of the B team’s players defeated reserve Martin Sarre with Pipet needing to overcome a 2-1 deficit to win in 5. The experienced combination of Pipet and Hunkin defeated the Stacey twins in a 5 game doubles encounter.
Whistlers D maintained their single point lead at the top due to their 10-0 whitewash of Whistlers E. Jez Powell, Ryan Bichard and Albert Unden defeated Ian Fitchet, Len Bretel and reserve Charlotte Casey in singles action. Bichard and Unden teamed to beat Fitchet and Bretel 17-15 in the deciding 5th game of their doubles clash.
St Pauls A continue to chase and they earned an important 6-4 win over Lions E this week. It was Chas Elliott who was the star performer due to his singles wins over Brian Ferbrache, Luke Bichard and Cleo Rosumek. He also teamed with Maurice James to win against Bichard and Rosumek in a 4 game doubles fixture. James and Trevor Bourgaize secured wins over Rosumek to clinch the 2 points.
Lions G lost their 100% winning record after being held to a 5-5 draw by chasing 2nd placed side Lions H. Jamie Ferbrache continues to produce the goods upon his return to local table tennis and he served up singles wins over Lynn Finn, Peter Powell and Theo Lepp. Andrew Ferbrache picked up the remaining wins over Finn and Lepp to secure the draw.
Lions J are now the only side across all divisions to hold a 100% winning record and their 8-2 win over Lions K this week has opened up a 6 point cushion for them at the top. Sam Totty and Val Guilbert were bang on form in the fixture and went unbeaten throughout. They both defeated Graham Mallett, Janine Mallett and reserve Jonah Ingrouille in singles competition before combining to defeat the Mallett’s in a 4 game doubles triumph. Diane Le Page added a further win for the leaders over Ingrouille in 4 games, but was beaten by Graham and Janine in 4.