Table tennis report by Colin Brown – Week 14
Copy Shop forge ahead in two divisions
With exactly one third of the season remaining it now looks odds on that Copy Shop A and B teams will take the main honours in the top two divisions. As a result of this week’s matches both teams stretched their lead at the top by a further point. This means that the A team leads Division One by nine points and the B team by a massive 15 points. Much of the interest surrounds the top of Division Three where Peel C are just three points ahead of their B team.
The Division One relegation play off position became more confused when Arbory lost 10-0 to Copy Shop A, a result which puts them level on points with Foxdale A who picked up four points in their encounter with Tower A. Although bottom team Travellers fought hard to obtain four points against Strathallan it looks as if they are destined to return to the Second Division.
Mike Tamarov came closest to securing a point for Arbory in their match with the leaders, just losing out 12-10 in the fifth to Jane Coulthurst. Jane, Ronan McDonnell and Brian Crellin kept Copy Shop on track for the title. Ramsey A dropped a further point behind by defeating Breakaway 9-1 but it still represented an excellent win for the northerners. Three matches went the distance with Ramsey winning all three, the closest being Mark Johnson’s win at 13-11 in the fifth over Paul Corran. Steve O’Hare gained Breakaway’s only point with a good straight-games win over Adam Teare.
Travellers A were only inches away from a creditable draw with Strathallan, Gary Shilling losing 14-12 in the fifth to Haydn McLarney after having been two games up. Malcolm Cummings won two for Travellers, only losing in five to Andy Horne. All the Strathallan team won two singles each. Tim Baker and John Callow each won two singles as Tower just edged out Foxdale A 6-4 for whom Will Bayley also won two. Ruth Bailey had a good battle with John Callow before winning the decider 11-9.
The destination of the Division Two title looks done and dusted as Ewan Watterson returned from his holiday in Lapland to win three singles and set up a 6-4 victory for leaders Copy ShopB over third placed Travellers B; however Colin Brown pushed him to five games. Travellers almost snatched a draw, just losing the doubles 11-8 in the fifth. Second placed Foxdale B suffered a surprise 7-3 defeat at the hands of Tower B for whom Graham McFarlane won all three singles – and the doubles for good measure. This result allows Travellers B to close the gap to just one point and the two main teams in contention for the play-off spot meet in the next league match.
The bottom of Division Two sees Travellers C almost certain to drop into the Third Division following a 10-0 defeat at the hands of Peel A while the two teams just above them – Tower C and Salmon River Spinners – played out a 5-5 draw which leaves Tower C in the relegation play-off position. Paul Callow was again undefeated in singles for Tower but the doubles was again the key in this match as Spinners won it 12-10 in the fifth, to secure the draw, a result which could prove important come the end of the season.
This is proving to be the most intriguing league of all. Third placed Breakaway B are still not out of contention after a 9-1 win but the championship seems to be between the Peel B and C teams. While the leaders Peel C were being held 5-5 by Ramsey A, Peel B were edging a point closer after defeating Copy Shop C 6-4 which means only three points separate the two teams.
The Peel B v Copy Shop C fixture was the last of the night to finish, with five matches requiring a decider. Peel’s Andreas Gutzold just lost 11-9 in the fifth to Chris Aspden but Matty Evans restored the balance, defeating Chris by the same score in the decider. Peel C had Chris Holmes to thank for their draw with Ramsey. He won three singles and also won three more when he played as reserve for Peel A in Division Two.
Ben Christian and Aaron Faragher were undefeated as Breakaway B served notice that they are still not out of contention in the title race when they accounted for Peel E 9-1. Two other players on form in this division were the Hassans – Mahmoud and Karen – who each won three to help Fortress defeat Peel D 8-2. Longest match here was Karen’s five game thriller with Eann Mulhern which she won 11-8 in the fifth.
Results: Division One – Breakaway A 1(S. O’Hare 1) Ramsey A 9 (M. McLarney 3, M. Johnson 3, A. Teare 2, doubles); Arbory 0 Copy Shop A 10 (J. Coulthurst 3, R. McDonnell 3, B. Crellin 3, doubles); Travellers A 4 (M. Cummings 2, G. Shilling 1, doubles) Strathallan 6 (A. Horne 2, H. McLarney 2, J. Briercliffe 2); Tower A 6 (T. Baker 2, J. Callow 2, D. Parsons 1, doubles) Foxdale A 4 (W. Bayley 2, M. Bayley 1, R. Bailey 1.)
Division Two: Copy Shop B 6(E. Watterson 3, D. Hamill 2, doubles) Travellers B 4 (C. Brown 2, S. Douglas 1, S. Ellis-Pearson 1); Tower B 7 (G. McFarlane 3, S. Curtis 2, D. Stevenson 1, doubles) Foxdale B 3 (N. Quane 1, K. Mitchell 1, A. McLarney 1); Tower C 5 (P. Callow 3, D. Callow 2) Salmon River Spinners 5 (N. Beattie 2, T. Cowin 1, C. Barron 1, doubles); Peel A 10 (M. Mulhern 3, C. Holmes 3, M. Lewis 3, doubles) Travellers C 0.
Division Three: Peel B 6 (W. Cross 2, M. Evans 2, A. Gutzold 1, doubles) Copy Shop C 4 (K. Drewry 3, C. Aspden 1); Ramsey B 5 (C. Grills 2, M. Forrest 2, doubles) Peel C 5 (C. Holmes 3, A. Reid 1, S. Cassidy 1); Breakaway B 9 (B. Christian 3, A. Faragher 3, S. Callister 2, doubles) Peel E 1 (V. Patel 1); Fortress 8 (M. Hassan 3, K. Hassan 3, P. Halliwell 1, doubles) Peel D 2 (G. Melvin 1, E. Mulhern 1.)