This week's matches in the Isle of Man Table Tennis League saw the gap widening at the top of Division One, the gap closing at the top of Division Two and the picture in Division Three becoming a little clearer.
COPY SHOP A 10, FOXDALE B 0
This was a top v’s bottom confrontation and the Copy Shop trio of Sean Drewry, Ewan Watterson and Brian Crellin extended the champion’s lead in the league to five points. Foxdale didn't let them have things entirely their own way as Ken Mitchell took a set off both Watterson and Crellin whilst Mike Bayley and Andy McLarney took the first set for Foxdale in the doubles.
ARBORY 7, FOXDALE A 3
Second placed Arbory slipped further behind Copy Shop but are fairly comfortable in second place. John Magnall, Mike Tamarov and Jason Quirk each won two singles for Arbory, Quirk having a tremendous battle with David Lovelady and winning 15/13 in the final frame. Will Bayley pulled two back for Foxdale with wins over Quirk and Tamarov while Marc Townsend beat John Magnall 11/9, 15/13, 3/11, 11/7 for their third point.
BREAKAWAY A 10, TRAVELLERS A 0
Breakaway returned to full strength this week, Mark Johnson, Paul Corran and Malcolm Cummings quickly wrapping up the points. For Travellers, neither Brent Hanson nor substitute David Buck gained a frame, but Paul Nelson came back from two sets down to take Johnson to a fifth set which Johnson polished off 11/5.
TOWER A 3, STRATHALLAN 7
There were some long matches here with three needing a decider. Strathallan took the win thanks to three victories from Andrew Horne, two from Julian Briercliffe and one from Haydn McLarney. The Tower contingent of Paul Kozlowski, Tim Baker and Dave Parsons won one each. Kozlowski was involved in two matches which ended at 12/10 in the fifth frame. The first he won against Briercliffe but his luck ran out when McLarney won 4/11, 13/11, 11/8, 3/11, 12/10.
TRAVELLERS C 1, ZURICH SPINNERS 9
This was a case of what might have been for Travellers C as three matches went the distance, two of them ending 11/9. Adrian Tinkler came back from two sets down against Colin Barron who clung on in the end, and the even unluckier Maurice Campbell squandered a match point in the penultimate set of his encounter with Barron. Nigel Beattie and Tommy Cowin were undefeated for the Spinners but Alan Harding experimented by taking off his glasses to beat Barron. The match result means that Spinners are now only ten points behind leaders Travellers B.
PEEL PA 4, TRAVELLERS B 6
Leaders Travellers were sitting pretty at one stage with a 6-1 advantage but Malc Lewis (2), Les Wilson (1) and Mattie Evans roared back to take the last three matches of the night including the doubles in five sets. Come the end of the season Colin Brown (3), Stu Douglas (2) and Stu Mason (1) may well rue those last three games when the Division Two honours are handed out.
BREAKAWAY B 4, TOWER B 6
This defeat seems to have put paid to Breakaway's promotion hopes. Chris Kewley was best for Breakaway with two wins while Aaron Faragher and Ben Christian both beat Graham McFarlane. Steve Curtis and Simon Radcliffe won two each for Tower B with McFarlane adding one more with a notable win over Breakaway’s top seed Kewley who he also beat earlier in the season. Radcliffe triumphed over Faragher after an epic battle 12/10, 12/10, 5/11, 8/11, 14/12. Breakaway needed to win the doubles to claim a draw but Curtis and McFarlane prevailed in three swift sets.
COPY SHOP C 3 COPY SHOP B 7
This was an exact reversal of the score when the teams met earlier in the season. Keeran Chan was again in spectacular form, winning all three for the B team. Malcolm Lambert and Chris Aspden both beat George Melvin and Rob Sim to secure the win. Adam Davies was the C team's only singles winner, notching up two victories, and then joined Rob Sim take the doubles against Chan who was partnered by Pedro Cardoso.
SURESTRIKE RAMSEY A 7, TOWER C 3
With Peel B seemingly consigned to relegation it seems to be between Tower C and Travellers C as to who will join them. Tower did themselves a bit of good by taking three points in this encounter with one win each from Dave Callow and Mike Chapman, the same players combining to take the doubles. However, it wasn't enough for overall victory as Rhys Yardley won three for Ramsey with Wael Kassim and Carl Blatcher adding two more each to their total with wins over Heather Kennett and then Chapman and Callow respectively.
SURESTRIKE RAMSEY B 2, TRAVELLERS D 8
This was the big match in Division Three involving the teams in third and second position but it turned out to be a comfortable night for second placed Travellers. Marcus Koske won two for Ramsey then Travellers ran through the rest thanks to three wins from Juan Moore and two each from David Buck and Alex Buck. Travellers remain in second position but Ramsey drop to fourth after Calvin Koske and Kerenza Baker failed to rise on this occasion.
SURESTRIKE RAMSEY C 0, PEEL C 10
Top of the table Peel C extended their lead to six points as Harry Walters, Nathan Evans and Sasha Thomas kept them on course for promotion – and perhaps the championship – by winning everything in straight games. Liam Cooper lost all his games 4/11, Billy Coulter had set points against Evans but lost 14/16 while Billy Cain and Cooper had two tie breakers in their 4/11, 10/12, 10/12 doubles defeat against Evans and Walters.
BREAKAWAY C 1, COPY SHOP D 9
Copy Shop move up to third as Max Walker, Zac Walker and Kevin Drewry dropped only one point. Kieran Lane and Jack Christian didn’t get beyond three sets; however, Breakaway's sole victory was an excellent one with Joe Walters inflicting a rare defeat on Kevin Drewry at 11/9 in the fifth.