There were some big wins this week in the Isle of Man Table Tennis League as, the way the fixtures fell, the top sides came up against those in the lower half of the table in all the divisions. One of the most significant results saw Arbory win 10-0 in Division One to close to within two points of leaders Copy Shop A who had a night off.
TRAVELLERS A 0, ARBORY 10
Dave Stevenson came closest to getting a point for Travellers, just losing out 11/7 in the fifth to John Magnall but Magnall, Mike Tamarov and Jason Quirk ensured the destination of this year's title is far from over. Coincidentally, both Paul Nelson and Brent Hanson lost 14/16 at the end of three fast and furious sets with Quirk.
FOXDALE A 4, TOWER A 6
These teams were in fifth and sixth positions before this week's encounter and they now change places after Tower's win. Tim Baker and Paul Koslowski won two each for Tower and they then took the doubles in four games. Substitute Steve Curtis added the winning point by beating Neil Quane who was playing up for Foxdale. Marc Townsend was on top form for Foxdale with three wins, but their only other point came from Will Bayley. There were some really close matches here with Tim Baker pipping Bayley 13/11 in the fifth set while Bayley triumphed by the same score in the deciding set against Curtis.
FOXDALE B 4, BREAKAWAY A 6
Breakaway were playing two young reserves and did well to come away with a win. Paul Corran led by example, finishing the night unbeaten in the singles, while Aaron Faragher notched up two wins and Ben Christian one by overcoming Andy Mitchell. However, Ken Mitchell beat both of the youngsters and after Neil Quane had blasted past Christian, with time running out, Foxdale secured the doubles which was contested over just one set.
TRAVELLERS B 10, TRAVELLERS C 0
This was not quite the easy victory it appears in this local derby. Half the matches went to a fourth game but the league leaders, Colin Brown, Stu Douglas and Stu Mason just edged them all. Alan Harding came closest to converting a point for the C team when losing 7/11, 7/11, 13/11, 10/12 to Mason. Maurice Campbell went out 9/11 in the fourth against Douglas and Adrian Tinkler was the only player to take a set off Brown.
ZURICH SPINNERS 8, COPY SHOP C 2
Spinners look destined for promotion - either as winners or runners-up - to give them their first taste of top division table tennis. Nigel Beattie and Tommy Cowin won three singles each and Colin Barron one more. Adam Davies put CopyShop's first point on the board before Rob Sim came from two games down to beat Barron in five sets and earn them another. Copy Shop’s youngsters, Henry Hyde and George Melvin, failed to land a set in either the singles or the doubles respectively.
TOWER B 10, PEEL B 0
Graham McFarlane, Simon Radcliffe and Steve Curtis rattled through all ten in style, with no match requiring a fifth game, to maintain their comfortable mid-table position. Vishal Patel took both McFarlane and Radcliffe to a fourth frame, whereas Ashley Reid and Fraser Dorling had to be content with a single set in their matches against Radcliffe and McFarlane respectively.
COPY SHOP B 4, BREAKAWAY B 6
Five of the Island's top juniors came face to face and four matches needed a decider with Breakaway narrowly taking three of them. The experienced Chris Kewley was unbeaten for Breakaway although he only just got the better of Keeran Chan winning 11/7, 7/11, 7/11, 12/10, 12/10. Chan had two match points in that encounter and it was his only singles defeat of the night. Pedro Cardoso and Chris Aspden delivered one more each for Copy Shop by beating Aaron Faragher and Ben Christian respectively. However, Christian and Faragher responded by beating Cardoso and Aspden respectively to secure at least a draw for Breakaway. Then Kewley and Christian faced Chan and Aspden in the deciding doubles which Breakaway won in four frames.
The top four teams all won 10-0 so there is no change at the top with Peel C leading by four points from Travellers D with Surestrike Ramsey B and Copy Shop D right on their tails.
PEEL C 10, BREAKAWAY C 0
The main feature of this encounter saw Harry Walters up against his brother Joe. It was also the closest match of the night with Harry winning 11/8 in the fifth set. Harry’s team mates Nathan Evans and Sasha Thomas helped Peel keep another clean sheet so Kieran Lane, Jack Christian and Joe Walters should not feel too aggrieved that they lost so comprehensively to the league leaders.
JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT 0, SURESTRIKE RAMSEY B 10
Billy Coulter was only a few points away from getting a win for Junior Development, just losing 11/7 in the fifth to Kerenza Baker but in the end Kerenza and the twins Marcus and Calvin Koske picked up all ten including their 11/6, 11/3, 11/5 win in their doubles against Tom Noble and Corin Haddock.
TRAVELLERS D 10, SURESTRIKE RAMSEY C 0
It was a similar story here with Juan Moore Jr, Alex Buck and Jack Nelson collecting all the singles points. Nelson had a tremendous battle with Liam Cooper before winning 14/12 in a five frame thriller. Billy Cain and Olly Brew teamed up in the doubles and found themselves facing the Travellers’ team captain, David Buck, who joined with Moore to secure the final point 11/9, 11/6, 11/9.
COPY SHOP D 10, COPY SHOP E 0
This division looks like going right down to the concluding matches of the season before the various promotion issues are decided as Kevin Drewry, Zac Walker and Max Walker quickly wrapped up the points for Copy Shop D to stay with the leaders. Neither Freya Melvin nor Sophie Sheard got beyond three sets but Pat Halliwell did so twice in an unsuccessful bid to put one on the board for the E team.COLIN BROWN