Table tennis report week 16 by Colin Brown
Bottom club Travellers shock Championship contenders Ramsey
This week’s fixtures in the Isle of Man Table Tennis League provided an opportunity for Ramsey A to close the gap on Copy Shop A at the top of the First Division. On paper, Copy Shop had the much harder match as they were playing third in the table Strathallan while Ramsey were up again the bottom club, Travellers A.
In the event, Travellers did not play ball and extracted four vital points from Ramsey. Strathallan also took four points from Copy Shop so both matches ended 6-4 and Copy Shop retained their seven points lead. Main interest in the Second Division centres around who occupies the promotion play-off position at the end of the season behind Copy Shop B and, at the moment, Travellers B lead Foxdale B by four points. However, Travellers play champions-elect Copy Shop B in their last match.
The Third Division is the most open of all with Peel C holding onto a narrow two points lead over their B team.
Ronan McDonnell made sure Copy Shop came out on top against a much improved Strathallan with three singles wins, dropping only one game all night which came in a four game battle with Andy Horne. Strathallan’s Haydn McLarney will be well pleased with his victory over Brian Crellin at 13-11 in the fifth but Brian went on to win his other two singles. This fixture also saw one of the longest individual games of the season with Andy Patterson beating Brian 20-18 in the third game, only to lose in four.
Ramsey A will be disappointed to drop four points to Travellers, but it could have been even worse as Ramsey won two of their matches in five games. Divisional Champion Adam Teare maintained his recent good form to win three singles for Ramsey while Malcolm Cummings was best for Travellers with two good victories. The score in the fluctuating Darren Smethurst v Paul Nelson match is worthy of note with Paul eventually winning 11-2 15-13 11-13 5-11 11-9.
Arbory decided to revert to their A team after slipping into the relegation scrap and Mike Tamarov’s three singles wins helped them to an 8-2 victory over the team just above them, Foxdale A. For the latter, Will Bayley won two including an 11-9 fifth game win over John Magnall. Mid-table teams Breakaway A and Tower A fought out a 5-5 draw, Paul Corran starring for Breakaway with three wins – all in straight games. John Callow and Tim Baker each won two for Tower.
While Copy Shop B were ploughing even further ahead at the top with a 10-0 win over Travellers C the two teams vying for the promotion play-off spot – Travellers B and Foxdale B – were recording similar results.
Stu Douglas showed his Travellers team-mates the way as he won all three singles – two of them in five games – against Salmon River Spinners, helping them to a 7-3 victory. He seemed on the verge of defeat when he trailed Colin Barron 2-5 in the fifth game but then reeled off nine successive points. Foxdale had to largely thank Mike Bayley for their 6-4 victory over Peel as he won all three, but was taken to 11-5 in the fifth by Malcolm Lewis.
The local derby between Tower’s B and C teams resulted in a comfortable 8-2 win for the A, Dave Callow winning the two points for the C. Tower C’s number one player, Paul Callow, was absent as his daughter was born on the morning of the match so its congratulations to Paul and Emma. Little Lucy Amelia weighed in at 7lbs 9 ozs. Grandfather Dave almost managed to claim a 100% singles tally on the day she was born but was beaten in four by Graham McFarlane.
Peel C will have been happy with their 8-2 win over third placed Breakaway B as nearest rivals Peel B were only slightly better, at 9-1, against bottom team Peel D. This means that Peel C now lead by two points, although they must have feared that Breakaway would have run them much closer.
The Peel C v Breakaway encounter saw a repeat of the Divisional final between Chris Holmes and Ben Christian. Chris won the Divisional contest in straight games but had to fight much harder this time and was taken to five. Ben won the first two games but Chris fought back to take the next two and then won the decider 11-7. Chris was unbeaten on the night and Ben won his other two singles.
Copy Shop C didn’t hang about in their contest with Peel E winning 10-0 although Ollie Cain and Chris Aspden each required a fifth game in one of their matches. Fortress had to play two short against Ramsey B, because of holidays, but Pat Halliwell kept the flag flying and earned them a point.
Division One: Ramsey A 6(A. Teare 3, M. McLarney 2, D. Smethurst 1) Travellers A 4 (M. Cummings 2, P. Nelson 1, doubles; Strathallan 4 (A. Horne 1, A. Patterson 1, H. McLarney 1, doubles) Copy Shop A 6 (R. McDonnell 3, B. Crellin 2, J. Coulthurst 1); Foxdale A 2 (W. Bayley 2) Arbory 8 (M. Tamarov 3, J. Magnall 2, J. Quirk 2, doubles); Breakaway A 5 (P. Corran 3, S. O’Hare 1, C. Kewley 1) Tower A 5 (J. Callow 2, T. Baker 2, doubles)
Division Two: Travellers C 0 Copy Shop B 10(D. Hamill 3, S. Drewry 3, A. Davies 3, doubles); Peel A 4 (M. Lewis 2, L. Wilson 1, doubles) Foxdale B 6 (M. Bayley 3, K. Mitchell 2, A. McLarney 1); Salmon River Spinners 3 (N. Beattie 2, doubles) Travellers B 7 (S. Douglas 3, S. Ellis-Pearson 2, S. Mason 2); Tower B 8 (G. McFarlane 2, S. Curtis 1, D. Stevenson 1, doubles, 3 walkovers) Tower C 2 (D. Callow 2.)
Division Three: Peel D 1(E. Mulhern 1) Peel B 9 (M. Evans 3, A. Gutzold 3, W. Cross 2, doubles); Peel C 8 (C. Holmes 3, A. Reid 2, S. Cassidy 2, doubles) Breakaway B 2 (B. Christian 2); Ramsey B 9 (C. Grills 1, M. Forrest 1, 7 walkovers) Fortress 1 (P. Halliwell 1); Peel E 0 Copy Shop C 10 (O. Cain 3, K. Drewry 3, C. Aspden 3, doubles.)