It's all change at the top of the Isle of Man Table Tennis league. Division One leaders Copy Shop A weren't playing this week and the two teams below them took full advantage to move ahead of the reigning champions. Arbory and Breakaway A defeated the two bottom teams 10-0 so the position now, after seven matches, is that Arbory head the division on 53 points followed by Breakaway on 52 and Copy Shop with 49. We are now about a third of the way through the league season.
Arbory 10, Travellers A 0
The new leaders didn't have it entirely all their own way as two matches required a fifth game. Travellers lost the doubles 11/5 in the decider while Gary Shilling lost to John Magnall by the same score. However, Magnall, Liam Chan and Mike Tamarov all got the better of Shilling, Paul Nelson and Brenton Hanson to top the table.
Breakaway A 10, Foxdale B 0
Andy McLarney was the only one of the Foxdale team to stretch their opponents to a fourth game so Mark Johnson, Paul Corran and Darren Smethurst had an early night at the expense of McLarney, Neil Quane and Ken Mitchell.
Tower A 5, Foxdale A 5
The teams in fifth and sixth positions battled out a 5-5 draw. Tim Baker had three good wins for Tower and Paul Kozlowski defeated Marc Townsend 12/10 in the fifth for another point. Tower then won the doubles in straight games to earn the draw. Will Bayley and David Lovelady each won two for Foxdale with Townsend adding the fifth by defeating Dave Parsons in their wooden spoon decider.
Travellers B 9, Copy Shop B 1
Copy Shop had to wait until the very last match to get on the scoreboard, Malcolm Lambert defeating Stu Mason in four sets. Both Chris Aspden and Pedro Cardoso took a set off Mason but Travellers increased their lead at the top of the division as neither Stu Douglas nor Colin Brown lost a set all night.
Breakaway B 7, Surestrike Ramsey A 3
Breakaway are now just one point behind second placed Zurich Spinners after this win. Chris Kewley led the way with three victories, backed up by Ben Christian with two and Aaron Faragher, one, a thriller against Carl Blatcher. Rhys Yardley pulled two back for Ramsey with Wael Kassim adding a third by beating Faragher 11/6, 11/13, 8/11, 6/11, 11/8.
Copy Shop C 7, Tower C 3
Rob Sim dropped only one set in winning all his singles while George Melvin contributed two more and Henry Hyde another. Mike Chapman had a good night for Tower with two wins while Dave Callow picked up their third point. The doubles provided one of the best encounters of the night with Copy Shop taking it 11/7 in the fifth, so unfortunately Tower’s Margaret Forsyth went home pointless.
Peel A 8, Tower B 2
Peel arrested their decent with this stunning victory over fourth placed Tower. Les Wilson and Malcolm Lewis were unbeaten in the singles while Maggie Mulhern beat both Steve Curtis and Yan Wang. Graham McFarlane was Tower's only singles winner and finished on a high note by taking the doubles with Curtis. Interestingly, three matches went the distance and all finished 11/8 to Peel.
Breakaway C 0, Peel C 10
Peel maintained their one point lead at the top with all bar one of the matches being over in straight sets. The exception was a five set thriller which resulted in Nathan Evans just edging out Joe Walters. Sasha Thomas and Harry Walters got to nine points in a few sets but Joe Walters, Jack Christian and Kieran Lane played with the confidence which comes from success.
Surestrike Ramsey B 10, Junior Development 0
Ramsey's team of Marcus and Calvin Koske plus Kerenza Baker stay close on the heels of leaders Peel C with this comfortable win, but they face a big game next week when they take on third placed Travellers D. JD’s Corin Haddock and Tom Noble are hoping that they can field a third player when they play their next match in two weeks time.
Surestrike Ramsey C 1, Travellers D 9
Juan Moore and Alex Buck with three wins each, and Jack Nelson with two kept Travellers in the promotion hunt. Billy Cain fought back from two games down to win 11/7 in the fifth against Nelson and put Ramsey's only point on the board. Liam Cooper won a set in every match but Olly Brew found points hard to come by against his more experienced opposition.
Copy Shop E 1, Copy Shop D 9
Pat Halliwell came back from 2-1 down in sets to beat Zac Walker 11/8 in the fifth for the Copy Shop girls' only point. Kitty Thomas came closest to converting another point with two 10/12 sets against Walker who went on to beat Sophie Sheard. Max Walker and Kevin Drewry finished unbeaten for the D team who stay fourth place in the league.