Kendal and District Table Tennis League Report- 25thSeptember 2011
BURTON HOLD IBIS IN OPENING MATCH STALEMATE
The 2011-2012 Kendal and District Table Tennis League season got underway this week, as thirty-three teams spread across three divisions began their quest for title honours.
Hoping to go one better this time around are last season’s Division 1 runners up Ibis, who were held to a 5-5 draw by a highly rated Burton A side. Ibis’s inability to field three players cost them dearly in this match, as Burton seized control of the tie early on with 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4 and 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 14-12 victories for Chris Knowles and Julie Stitch respectively against Trevor Nicholson. Ibis, holding on by their fingertips, remained in the tie thanks to Steve Dixon’s 3-0 victories against Knowles and Martin Wakelin. Facing a 5-3 deficit going into the final singles match, Ibis maestro Dixon battled back from one set down to topple Stitch 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 to leave a 5-4 scoreline in Burton’s favour with only the doubles to play. The doubles encounter epitomised Ibis’s gritty determination, as Nicholson and Dixon fought back once again from a 2-1 deficit to win by the narrowest of margins 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 14-12, avoiding an opening day defeat to produce a 5-5 scoreline.
Natland B got off to a dream start in an 8-2 derby victory against their C team. Bernard Pickthall’s nail-biting 11-6 victory in the deciding set against Howard Pimblett, having being 2-0 down, adding to Roger Pimblett’s two wins against his brother Howard and Mick Taylor, eased Natland B into a healthy 4-1 advantage. Things got even worse for Natland C, as the B team increased their lead to 7-1, thanks to wins from Pickthall against Taylor and a knife edged 11-6 success in a dramatic fifth set for Luke Biggins against Louisa Bevan. Howard Pimblett momentarily stopped the rot for Natland C with a remarkable four set win against Biggins, only for Roger Pimblett to complete his hat-trick of victories in the night’s final singles match. A four set success in the doubles ensured an 8-2 victory for Natland B.
Burton C and Crook B scrapped out a 5-5 draw in an evenly matched encounter. Burton’s Graeme Wheelhouse scored early 3-1 and 3-0 set wins against Brian Tigg and Paul Metsers respectively, while team mate Tony March chipped in with an 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 triumph also against Metsers, edging Burton into a 3-2 lead at the halfway stage. Crook’s revival in the second period was instigated by Bob Bagot, who won all three matches without dropping a single set. March however, looked to have won the tie for Burton late on when he erased a 2-0 sets deficit to defeat Tigg 11-5 in an exhausting deciding set. Crook secured a 5-5 draw when Bagot and Tigg teamed up in the doubles to triumph 11-6, 12-10, 11-6.
Dallam B flew out of the starting blocks in Division 2 with a comprehensive 8-2 crushing of Dent A. Dallam’s Tom Jackson was unbeaten in a classy night of table tennis, while team mates James Parkinson and George Pearson contributed two wins to the total against Steve Hawley and R. Sedgwick. Dent’s two points came courtesy of Eddie Smith’s four set triumphs against Parkinson and Pearson.
Burton E made a winning start to their campaign, as they edged past Kirkby Stephen A 6-4. Dave White got Kirkby off the mark with a routine 11-3-11-6, 11-3 victory against J. Pritchard. Burton responded fiercely, as Peter Hunt and James Burton toppled Mike Sunderland and Tom Walton in four sets. Pritchard increased Burton’s lead to 3-1, following a tight 11-5 success in the final set against an unfortunate Sunderland. White however, kept the Eden Valley side in the battle with his second straight sets win of the night, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 against Burton. At 3-2 to the good at the mid point, Burton went from strength to strength, as Hunt, Pritchard and Burton completed two wins apiece to leave Burton in an uncatchable position at 6-3. White produced a final flurry to defeat Hunt 11-7, 11-5, 11-5, though this could not prevent Kirkby slipping to a 6-4 defeat.
Burton D will be content with their opening night 7-3 victory against Kirkby Stephen B. Eric Robinson and Daniel Herd produced some fireworks in the night’s opening encounter, as Robinson retrieved a 2-1 sets deficit to earn himself 12-10 and 11-9 victories in the fourth and fifth sets respectively. This however, was a rare moment of glory for Kirkby, as Burton secured six consecutive singles match wins to cement a 6-1 advantage. Gerry Baines’s 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 win against Herd, combined with a four set success in the doubles for Kirkby, could not erase Bryan and Shelley Rhodes’s three wins and a 7-3 Burton win.
In Division 3, Burton G swept past Storth 7-3, Dallam E roared to a massive 9-1 win against Natland D and Kirkby Stephen C made a winning start to their campaign, defeating Dallam F 7-3.