This week's matches in the Isle of Man Table Tennis League may well have provided a defining moment in this season's competition. The current champions Copy Shop A are now ten points clear in Division One, the lead for Travellers B in Division Two is down to just three points, while Peel C and Travellers D are slowly starting to pull away from the opposition in Division Three.
There is no league table tennis next week - schools' half term - but there is a come and try it session at the NSC on Wednesday between 7 and 10pm so anyone 14 and over can come along to see if table tennis appeals to them.
TRAVELLERS A 0, COPY SHOP A 10
Travellers fought hard to try and take at least a point, with one match needing a decider and two others going to four sets, but in the end Sean Drewry, Brian Crellin and Ronan McDonnell came through unscathed against Paul Nelson, and substitutes Brent Hanson and Colin Brown.
STRATHALLAN 5, ARBORY 5
This was an excellent result for fourth placed Strathy and it put a dent in Arbory's championship hopes. Julian Briercliffe and Hadyn McLarney won two each for Strathy with Andy Patterson adding another by beating Mike Tamarov who was on for a hat-trick up until then. Jason Quirk and John Magnall took a point apiece from Patterson and Arbory bagged the doubles in four sets to salvage a draw.
FOXDALE A 4, BREAKAWAY A 6
It looks like Breakaway will have to settle for third place this year but three singles wins for Malcolm Cummings, two from Paul Corran and then a straight sets doubles victory saw them over the finishing line. Will Bayley pulled two back for Foxdale and only just lost 11/9 in the fifth set to Cummings. Marc Townsend and David Lovelady were Foxdale's other winners when they beat Breakaway’s reserve Aaron Faragher.
ZURICH SPINNERS 7, PEEL A 3
This was the longest match of the night in any division with four needing a fifth set. Malcolm Lewis won two singles for fourth placed Peel and almost inflicted only the second defeat of the season on Nigel Beattie. Lewis had three match points but eventually lost 14/12 in the decider. However, Spinners have their eye firmly on the title and three wins from Beattie together with two from Colin Barron and one from Tommy Cowin gave them some vital points. Mattie Evans was Peel's other winner although Maggie Mulhern came close when losing 11/8, 18/16, 9/11, 10/12, 13/15 in a real nail-biter with Barron.
TOWER C 8, PEEL B 2
Second from bottom Tower C have been given a fighting chance of avoiding relegation with this win and are now only seven points behind Travellers C. Vishal Patel fought hard for two man Peel and picked up both their points, only losing to Mike Chapman. Peel’s Ashley Reid lost in straight sets to Chapman and Dave Callow but left before playing either the doubles or his final singles game against Margaret Forsyth so in the end Tower had been gifted five of their eight points.
COPY SHOP B 10 TRAVELLERS C 0
Travellers are now left looking over their shoulders in the battle to avoid relegation. Three matches went the distance but Copy Shop took them all; one at 16/14 in the fifth when Pedro Cardoso clung on to disappoint Alan Harding and later came back from two sets down to defeat Maurice Campbell. Adrian Tinkler took a token set off Malcolm Lambert, Keeran Chan and Cardoso but with this win Copy Shop should finish the season in a comfortable mid-table position.
TOWER B 5, COPY SHOP C 5
This was another long match with three games requiring a decider. Tower won the doubles 11/9 in the final frame to earn a draw. Apart from that Steve Curtis won two for them and Simon Radcliffe and Graham McFarlane one each with wins over young Henry Hyde. Adam Davies was unbeaten in singles for Copy Shop while Rob Sim lost only once.
PEEL C 6, SURESTRIKE RAMSEY B 4
Peel C kept their noses ahead at the top of the division but they had to work hard against fourth placed Ramsey. Sasha Thomas and Harry Walters won two each for Peel with Nathan Evans contributing another by beating Kerenza Baker. Peel then took the doubles in five games for the victory. Calvin Koske dropped only one game in winning all his singles for Ramsey while Marcus Koske brought their total up to four at Evans’ expense.
TRAVELLERS D 10, JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT 0
Jack Nelson, Juan Moore Sr and Juan Moore Jr didn't concede a single game as they closed to within two points of Peel C at the top of the table. To give them their due Corin Haddock, Tom Noble and Kyle Dodd took defeat in good spirits and seemed to enjoy the encounter against their more experienced opponents.
COPY SHOP D 7, SURESTRIKE RAMSEY C 3
This was a good result for third placed Copy Shop considering they were playing two reserves. Kevin Drewry won all three singles but reserves Pat Halliwell and Kitty Thomas contributed two and one point respectively. Thomas also took the doubles with Drewry. Billy Cain was best for Ramsey with two wins, Liam Cooper adding one more 11/8, 11/6, 7/11, 7/11, 11/9 in an exciting match with Thomas who was also taken to five sets by Olly Brew in their wooden spoon decider.
COPY SHOP E 3, BREAKAWAY C 7
Breakaway delivered against the team just ahead of them in the table. Joe Walters won all three for them while Kieran Lane with two and Jack Christian, one, added to their score. Pat Halliwell got two back for the Copy Shop girls, Libby Quaggin weighing in with another. Sophie Sheard took Christian to a fourth set and lost 10/12 in the third set against Lane.COLIN BROWN