ABC ARBORISTS SCORE A ‘TREEMENDOUS’ WIN OVER THE LEAGUE LEADERS
A minutes applause followed by poignant words of tribute from Matt Harvey from Victory Roll Saints and Tim Baker on behalf of the IOMTTA marked the passing of Rob Campbell who sadly is no longer with us. Such tragedies tend to put life’s troubles into perspective but we know from the bright and positive attitude that Rob always displayed that he would not want us to become maudlin.
In the First Division of the DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League the defending champions Copy Shop A lost their first game of the season 4-5 to second placed ABC Arborists. Zurich Spinners escaped the relegation zone by beating Breakaway 5-4 and are now two points clear of Travellers A and six ahead of bottom placed Foxdale.
Travellers B extended their lead in Division Two as Copy Shop B fielded two substitutes and were held to a draw by seventh-placed Travellers C. At the bottom Travellers D are still in the relegation zone but they have drawn level with Peel B who had a rest night.
In the Third Division Surestrike Ramsey C are now 13 points clear of Victory Roll Saints who fortuitously did not have a match scheduled this week. The Junior Development squad remains at the bottom but encouragingly they registered their second draw of the season.
ABC Arborists (5) Copy Shop A (4)
Island Champion Ronan McDonnell playing just his fourth game since September was in excellent form for top of the table Copy Shop. However, his hat-trick was not enough to stop second-placed Arborists from storming to victory. John Magnall and Mike Tamarov both beat Sean Drewry and Jane Kneale. Then Drewry levelled the score with a narrow 17/15, 11/6, 8/11, 7/11, 11/7 win over Sam Bailey who concluded a dramatic return from being based in China by beating Kneale to take the decisive winning point. It was Copy Shop’s first defeat of the season and the Arborists are now 16 points behind with a game in hand.
Strathallan A (9) Travellers A (0)
Third-placed Strathy moved to within six points of the Arborists with this white-wash over Travellers who dropped back into the relegation zone. Hadyn McLarney came back from 1-2 down in sets to beat substitute Paul Nelson 11/9 in the decider. Similarly, Andy Patterson took five sets to knobble Nelson 12/10. By contrast Strathy’s captain Julian Briercliffe dropped just one set against Nelson and none against the two Stuarts, Douglas and Mason who could not turn perspiration to points.
Breakaway A (4) Zurich Spinners (5)
Paul Corran stood aside to allow the youngsters to represent fifth-placed Breakaway and this helped the Zurich Spinners to clock-up their third win of the season. Nigel Beattie’s hat-trick came in straight sets whereas Tommy Cowin had to fight for his two wins particularly against Keeran Chan. However, Cowin came unstuck against Ben Christian who won 5/11, 11/8, 9/11, 11/7, 12/10. Chan, Christian and Aaron Faragher beat Colin Barron, but with this narrow win the Spinners moved out of the relegation zone two points clear of Travellers.
Tower A (5) Foxdale A (4)
A Paul Kozlowski hat-trick and one apiece from Graham McFarlane and Mike Bayley against Andy McLarney was enough for fourth-placed Tower to secure their seventh win of the season. In response Will Bayley and Ken Mitchell both bagged a brace for bottom-placed Foxdale including Will’s 11/5, 8/11, 11/7, 4/11, 11/3 victory over his father Mike.
Travellers B (10) Tower C (0)
In this top versus bottom clash just three matches made into to a fourth leg. Margaret Forsyth took sets off Paul Nelson and Juan Moore Jnr but Mike Chapman came closest, just losing 11/13, 14/12, 5/11, 11/13 against substitute Moore. Heather Kennett and her colleagues found it hard to win any points against the ever steady Colin Brown. Travellers B are now 13 points ahead of Copy Shop B and have two matches in hand which might be crucial later in the season.
Tower B (6) Travellers D (4)
The doubles plus a Steve Curtis hat-trick and two points from Simon Radcliffe helped eighth-placed Tower to their sixth win of the season. Juan Moore Jnr, David Buck and his son Alex all beat Yanchun Wang and Moore grabbed Travellers’ final point in a closely fought attacking encounter 11/6, 9/11, 11//5, 7/11,11/7 against Radcliffe.
Peel A (7) Surestrike Ramsey B (3)
Tim Baker secured his 15th consecutive hat-trick in this league but Mattie Evans, Les Wilson and Malc Lewis each bagged a brace by beating Carl Blatcher and Kerenza Baker from fifth-placed Surestrike Ramsey B. The doubles also went to Peel who moved up to third place and stand 12 points behind Copy Shop B but with a game in hand.
Copy Shop B (5) Travellers C (5)
Adam Davies secured his hat-trick but second-placed Copy Shop had to rely on two substitutes and were subsequently held to a draw by seventh-placed Travellers C. Pedro Cardoso narrowly lost all his matches and Max Walker had to play exceptionally well to beat Alan Harding. Adrian Tinkler and Maurice Campbell both beat Cardoso and Walker but Davies stepped back in to deliver the doubles with Walker.
Copy Shop D (1) Surestrike Ramsey C (9)
Zac Walker beat Frank Feeney 11/7, 11/5, 6/11, 11/9 to register fourth-placed Copy Shop’s only point against the league leaders Surestrike Ramsey C. Copy Shop had to forfeit three points by not fielding a third player but Feeney, Billy Cain and Kerenza Baker all beat Billy Coulter to take the remaining points in the singles. Walker and Coulter nearly grabbed a second point in the doubles but they were edged out 11/4, 6/11, 11/9, 9/11, 9/11 by Cain and Baker.
Copy Shop E (4) Peel C (6)
An 11/3, 2/11, 12/14, 13/11, 12/10 narrow win over Pat Halliwell for Corin Haddock earned him his hat-trick and helped seventh-placed Peel to victory. Copy Shop’s Freya Melvin supported Libby Quaggin to victory in the doubles but was injured part way through her singles matches, so Tom Noble and Mason Prince had walk-overs against her. Quaggin enjoyed a straight sets win over Noble and then Halliwell added two more for Copy Shop by beating Noble and Prince.
Breakaway B (6) Surestrike Ramsey E (4)
Jack Christian played brilliantly to remain unbeaten for third-placed Breakaway. Joe Walters added two points with wins over Matthew Emison and Fin Hill. Hill hit back for fifth-placed Surestrike by disappointing Kieran Lane 12/10, 10/12, 8/11, 11/9, 12/10. Lane beat Emison over five sets but lost to Ramsey’s Tyler Hannay who also rallied well to defeat Walters 12/10 in their final frame. Hannay then dovetailed well with Hill to win the doubles 11/7 in the last leg against Lane and Walters.
Surestrike Ramsey D (5) Junior Development (5)
Jack Yardley hit his hat-trick for eighth-placed Surestrike Ramsey D who scrambled a draw against bottom-placed Junior Development as Alex and Dylan Yardley both beat Josh Dudley. Cameron Dudley and Tiernan Garvey won their remaining matches which put them 5-4 down with the doubles to play. Jack left his grandsons to fight it out with Josh Dudley and Garvey. It was an oscillating game that could have gone either way but on balance the Junior Development squad deserved their second draw of the season by winning 8/11, 11/8, 11/6, 8/11, 11/7.