MATCH REPORT 25 MARCH 2015
PEEL B PULL CLEAR IN SECOND DIVISION DEMOTION DECIDER
Copy Shop A are now nine points clear in the First Division of the DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League but second-placed ABC Arborists had no fixture. The two teams meet immediately after Easter and the Arborists won their last encounter plus they have a game in hand. Bottom-placed Foxdale had a rest week and Zurich Spinners are only two points above them. However, the writing may be on the wall for both of these teams as Travellers A now have a five points cushion and there are only two games left to be played.
In the Second Division Travellers B are confirmed as champions but they lost again as two key players were unavailable. The race for the second promotion spot has crystallised down to second-placed Peel A and Copy Shop B who have a game in hand and are only three points behind. The team to be demoted along with Tower C looks to have been decided. Peel B beat fellow strugglers Travellers D 10-0 to create a 16 points gap, although Travellers do have a game in hand.
A 7-3 win over third-placed Breakaway B ensured that Surestrike Ramsey C will be promoted as champions in Division Three and the school teachers from St Ninian’s secured second place and promotion in their inaugural season playing as Victory Roll Saints.
Breakaway A (0) Copy Shop A (9)
Breakaway were without their captain Paul Corran so the result was probably to be expected. Keeran Chan did well to take a set off top seed Ronan McDonnell but 4/11, 4/11, 11/9, 9/11 was the closest his fifth-placed team came to winning a point. Aaron Faragher lost in a third set tie-breaker to Ewan Watterson but Ben Christian had a torrid time trying to take points off Top 12 title holder Sean Drewry. Copy Shop are now nine points clear of second-placed ABC Arborists who have a vital have a game in hand.
Strathallan A (7) Zurich Spinners (2)
Third-placed Strathy’s Julian Briercliffe, Hadyn McLarney and Andy Patterson all took points off of Tommy Cowin and Colin Barron. Nigel Beattie inched the Spinners out of joint bottom place by beating Patterson in four sets and then McLarney 11/6, 3/11, 12/10, 8/11, 11/5. However, Briercliffe won the hat-trick decider with Beattie in straight sets.
Tower A (6) Travellers A (3)
Relegation zoned Travellers A called-up Garry Shilling from their B team and still had to donate three points to their fourth-placed opponents for want of a third player. Shilling bobbed about, taking points from Graham McFarlane and Dave Parsons but he was short-changed by Mike Bayley who also beat Traveller’s captain Stu Douglas. Parsons also edged past Douglas 8/11, 11/1, 11/5, 12/10 but McFarlane failed to fathom Douglas who defended well with his confusing pimples out rubber.
Surestrike Ramsey A (6) Travellers B (4)
New champions Travellers B were expected to start with just one player but Paul Mathieson-Nelson called upon his son Jack and also the Travellers D captain David Buck to keep him company. Mathieson-Nelson duly delivered his habitual hat-trick whilst young Jack could catch no sprats, but David bucked the downward trend. If Surestrike Ramsey thought to bowl him over Buck had other ideas. Although he lost to Wael Kassim in a tie-break Buck won the next one 11/6, 11/7, 14/12 against Carl Blatcher. Surestrike picked-off the spare point in the doubles but their win was much narrower than was anticipated.
Tower B (3) Peel A (7)
Les Wilson led the charge back to second-place with a lightning fast hat-trick for Peel A. His team-mates all beat Yanchun Wang but Matt Evans was toppled by Tower’s Steve Curtis although he beat Simon Radcliffe who had halted Maggie Mulhern’s hat-trick hopes. Eighth-placed Tower B finished in style with Curtis and Radcliffe dictating the doubles 11/8, 12/10, 11/3.
Peel B (10) Travellers D (0)
This match was effectively a demotion decider so the result probably consigns Travellers D to the Third Division. There are now 16 points between them and although Travellers D have a game in hand there are only two matches to play. Nathan Evans, Sasha Thomas and Harry Walters wasted little time in clocking-up their win over David Buck, Alex Buck and young Jack Mathieson- Nelson. Alex was the only Travellers player to steal a set, losing 4/11, 7/11, 11/8, 8/11 to Evans.
Copy Shop C (8) Tower C (2)
Hat-tricks from Copy Shop’s George Melvin and Malcolm Lambert were not replicated by Max Walker who had comfortably beaten Heather Kennett and Margaret Forsyth. Walker went wayward in four sets to Mike Chapman who nearly caught-out Lambert in their five sets slog. Chapman had hardly got his breath back before partnering Forsyth to show Copy Shop’s youngsters how to play tactical doubles. Tower’s tricky duo won 11/5, 11/6, 7/11, 11/7 to finish on a winning note.
Travellers C (5) Surestrike Ramsey B (5)
Draw specialists fifth-placed Surestrike Ramsey B notched-up their ninth of the season following an inevitable hat-trick from Tim Baker. Jackie Gill and Maurice Campbell clawed back two points apiece for sixth-placed Travellers by both beating Jack Craik and Billy Cain. Alan Harding ensured the draw with his win over Craik but then ran out of steam losing 11/2, 9/11, 7/11, 9/11 to Cain who later combined with Baker to harvest the doubles.
Surestrike Ramsey C (7) Breakaway B (3)
With this win top-placed Surestrike Ramsey C confirmed promotion as champions. Billy Cain celebrated with a hat-trick and the doubles with Frank Feeney who added another two points with wins over Jack Christian and Joe Walters. The latter also narrowly lost to Matthew Emison 10/12, 10/12, 13/11, 11/5, 11/9. Steve Walters took two for fourth-placed Breakaway and Christian converted their final point at Emison’s expense.
Victory Roll Saints (6) Copy Shop D (4)
A Matt Harvey hat-trick helped VRS over the line as far as promotion is concerned but their narrow win concluded their championship hopes. Phil Hennessy and Andrew Simpson disappointed Dodd but Billy Coulter and super-substitute Freya Melvin both did the double over these two St Ninian’s teachers in the singles. Harvey and Hennessy served-up the doubles in straight sets 11/7, 11/5, 11/4 over the two lads from third-placed Copy Shop D.
Copy Shop E (5) Surestrike Ramsey D (5)
Pat Halliwell’s 11/8, 4/11, 11/8, 11/8 victory over Jack Yardley reversed the result of their last encounter and led to Halliwell’s hat-trick. Libby Quaggin beat Yardley’s grandsons, Alex and Dylan, to ensure the draw for sixth-placed Copy Shop E. However, Jack got two back for team Yardley with wins over Quaggin and Sophie Sheard who also lost Alex and Dylan. The team captains left it to the youngsters to contest the doubles which went Ramsey’s way.
Peel C (6) IOM Junior Development (4)
A triple from Tiernan Garvey and one from Leo Doyle over Corin Haddock meant that two-man JD actually won more games than their seventh-placed opponents. However, with a 3-0 start Steve Haddock and Tom Noble only had to beat Doyle to take the lead. At 0-2 in sets Garvey and Doyle were floundering in the doubles but the Haddocks nearly let them off the hook before reeling them in 11/9, 11/4, 9/11, 10/12, 11/7.