Lions C continue to lead the top flight of local table tennis despite dropping points for the 2nd consecutive week.
The first round of fixtures in the first Division were completed this week and the Lions side lead the way on games ratio over Lions A, with 4 rounds remaining in the season.
Having lost to their A side last week, the leaders were surprisingly held to a 5-5 draw by the side that sits at the foot of the table, Whistlers B. Joshua Stacey was instrumental in the result for the Whistlers outfit due to his strong performances on the night, which included a trio of straight game singles wins over Phil Ogier, Paul Hainsworth and Andre De Carteret. Ogier and Hainsworth were comfortable straight game winners over Joseph Bourgaize and reserve Ian Fitchet and they also combined strongly to win the important doubles clash over Stacey and Bourgaize, also without loss. Fitchet came back from a game down to De Carteret to secure an excellent 4 game win and the key match rested between De Carteret and junior Bourgaize. The youngster has competed for Guernsey in the Senior British league for the Island this season and he started excellently by opening up a 2 game advantage. De Carteret fought back well in the 3rd and held a game point at 10-9 in the 4th. It was at this stage that Bourgaize enjoyed a massive slice of fortune with an irretrievable thin edge. This was pivotal in the outcome of the game and match and he held his nerve to take the following 2 points and match.
Lions A had a tough clash themselves this week but they managed to edge past Lions B 6-4. Joshua Butler deputised last week during the clash with the leaders and once more he was the key man of the fixture. He cruised past junior brothers Ryan and Luke Bichard in straight games but left his best for the final match of the night against fellow Green trophy player, Olly Langlois. Butler was in complete control of the encounter and cruised through in straight games to seal the win for his side. Ben Foss added straight game wins over Ryan and Luke, however it was the doubles match that proved to be key in the outcome of the match. Langlois teamed with Luke and they did well to force a decider having trailed 2-1, however Butler and Foss made a strong start and came through 11-5.
Whistlers A and Whistlers C are tied in 5th position in the league with the exact same games ratio and this status quo was also the case in their match this week, with the sides unable to be separated during the 5-5 stalemate. Garry Dodd is one of just 3 players across all 4 Divisions with a 100% singles record intact and he maintained this record with 3 more wins. His first match against Lawrence Stacey may have been won in straight games, but it could have been a lot trickier, with the left hander showing true grit to fight back from 6-10 to clinch it 14-12. His other wins came against Albert Unden in straight games and Matthew Casey in 4. His night's work was completed when he teamed with Mark Pipet to earn a straight game doubles win over Stacey and Casey. Pipet himself added a crucial singles win over Unden in straight games. Stacey beat Pipet in 4 and Ryan Gilson in straight games, whilst Unden battled through against Gilson in 5. Casey overcame fellow junior Gilson in 4, but his best performance of the night came when he beat Pipet in straight games, an excellent scalp to add to his previous win over Dawn Morgan.
Lions E moved back to the top of the table on games difference after their D side's ghost week. They made no mistakes during their comprehensive 10-0 whitewash of Lions H. Luke Le Tissier, Carl Le Tissier and Mike Lucas all overcame Dave Finn, Rob Vile and Ken Tucknott in singles action, with Finn the only player to provide any real resistance, having lost in 4 to Lucas and 5 to Carl. Lucas and Luke ran out comfortable straight game winners over Tucknott and Vile in the doubles encounter.
Such is the dominance of the 2 leading Lions sides in the Division, they each already hold a 5 point lead ahead of their nearest opposition, with just 7 matches having been played thus far.
The 3rd Division is proving to be a competitive Division, however it is Ravenscroft Panthers C that currently lead the way by a single point from St Pauls B and Whistlers G. This week they put in a very strong showing during a 9-1 win over Lions I. Mark Windsor and Mick Ingrouille were undefeated in the clash and each beat Lynn Finn, Lionel Jones and Jenny Powell in singles competition. They also teamed to beat Finn and Jones over the course of 4 games in the doubles. Nick Windsor beat Priest and Finn, but he lost out to Jones over 5 ends in the final match of the evening, despite having held a 2-0 lead.