Whistlers B continue to lead the way in the top flight of the Doric Insurance sponsored senior leagues following a strong victory over one of their main title rivals.
The victory in question was obtained against 3rd placed side Lions A, who are now 8 points adrift. The Lions side were bolstered by the return of their leading player Ben Foss, who was competing for the first time since the start of November. The Lions side looked in pole position to reduce the arrears to 4 points when leading 4-2, but a miraculous comeback inspired largely by Ryan Gilson saw the leaders clinch a narrow 6-4 victory. Lawrence Stacey proved to be the best performer on the night however and he defeated Foss, Ryan Bichard and Jamie Ferbrache in singles action. The former victory was obtained despite facing a deficit of 2-0, with the Whistlers player battling through the final games 11-8, 11-8, 11-9. With his side trailing 4-2, it was Gilson who sparked the revival during his clash with Bichard. The Lions player led 2-0, but Gilson battled strongly to complete an excellent comeback, winning the final 3 ends 11-9, 15-13, 11-9. The next result was even more of a surprise as it saw Casey pick up his sole victory of the night against none other than Foss, as he too edged through over 5 sets, 14-12 the score. With Stacey overcoming Bichard in straight sets, it left the final match of the evening between Gilson and Ferbrache. Ferbrache had played well in the match so far and had defeated Casey in 4 sets as well as teaming with Foss to win the doubles over Stacey and Gilson in 4 sets and he was looking strong whilst leading 2-1. But as Gilson had done in his previous victory over Bichard, he dug deep and saved his best table tennis for the latter stages of the match, firmly winning the deciding 2 ends 11-2, 11-6 to complete the comeback victory for his team. The key to the outcome of the match were the 5 set clashes and the leaders won all 4 of these, 3 of them also coming from a losing position.
Lions B remain in touching distance of the leaders and trail by just 2 points. This week they closed the gap on the games ratio by virtue of their 7-3 win over Whistlers C. Phil Ogier, Dan Collenette and Andre De Carteret all defeated Mark Pipet and Charlotte Casey in singles action. Ogier and Collenette also won the doubles encounter against Josh Stacey and Casey in straight sets. Stacey himself went unbeaten in singles action due to his trio of singles wins over the Lions players, dropping just the single end to Ogier in the process.
Lions C moved up into 4th position despite dropping a point during a 5-5 draw with a Whistlers A side absent of a third player. Paul Hainsworth defeated Ellis Tomlin in straight sets and also combined with Corey Brouard to win the doubles over Dawn Morgan and Tomlin in straight sets. For the Whistlers side, Morgan strongly defeated Hainsworth, Gill and Brouard upon her return to league action and Tomlin overcame both Gill and Brouard in straight sets.
Lions D remain 1 point clear at the top of the 2nd Division and with a game in hand on their title rivals Whistlers D. The Lions side faced a potential banana skin against 4th placed side Whistlers F this week as they had inflicted a defeat on their D side last week. The leaders made no mistakes on this occasion however and cruised to a comfortable 8-2 win. Carl Le Tissier was the man of the match due to his singles wins over Martin Sarre, Paula Le Ber and Callum Gilson. Tim Le Page and Steve Ozanne each overcame Sarre and Gilson in singles action and also edged the doubles clash against Sarre and Le Ber in 5 sets. Le Ber prevented the whitewash due to her excellent singles wins over Ozanne and Le Page.
St Pauls B hold a commanding 6 point advantage at the top of the 3rd Division and they ran out convincing 8-2 winners over Lions J this time out. Craig Dunning once more went unbeaten and did not drop an end during his wins over Mike Brehaut, Graham Mallett and reserve Janine Mallett. He also won the doubles alongside Derek Carter over Graham and Brehaut in straight sets. Carter and Brian Le Cras defeated the Mallett's in singles action to make sure of the points. Brehaut prevented the brush due to his wins over Carter and Le Cras.