The 2013-2014 Kendal and District Table Tennis League season kicked off this week with teams spread across three divisions vying for championship success.
Burton A and Dalton B got their Division One campaigns off to a solid start as neither side could be separated in a pulsating 5-5 draw. Chris Knowles opened the Burton account with an 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 victory against Keith Mallinson, while Tony Whitehouse and Mallinson’s straight sets victories against Phil Goymer hauled Dalton onto the score sheet. At 3-2 to Burton at the half way stage, Whitehouse and Mallinson’s wins against Martin Wakelin helped ensure the tie remained level at 4-4. In the match of the night, Knowles faced Whitehouse in an incredible display of table tennis which the Burton player edged 11-4 in the fifth set. Dalton snatched the doubles 13-11, 11-8, 11-9 to salvage a 5-5 draw.
Dalton A look a force to be reckoned with, as they opened their season by beating Burton B 10-0. The result somewhat flattered Dalton as Burton had two chances to get on the score sheet. The first was Ryan Smith’s 11-6 victory in the fifth set against Burton’s Alan Holt and the second was a five set defeat fo Burton’s Peter Hunt against Paul Ackred. Despite this scare, Dalton swept to victory in the remaining matches.
Defending champions Ibis got off to a flying start as they swept aside Dallam A 7-3. The Kendal side did not do themselves any favours by only turning up with two players. Ibis’ Trevor Nicholson and Steve Dixon won all three matches with only one match going beyond three sets.
Natland B opened their league account with an 8-2 derby success against Natland C. The B team’s Luke Biggins remained unbeaten, while The C team’s points came courtesy of Andrea Jorkisch’s victories against Bernard Pickthall and Mark Ashburn.
In Division 2 Dallam C flew out of the starting blocks as they mauled newly promoted Natland E 10-0. Dallam’s Stuart Allan, Mike Jackson and Peter Duxbury were unstoppable on their way to victory.
Crook B opened their campaign with a narrow 6-4 triumph against Natland D. Bob Bagot was inspirational for Crook with three victories, although he was pushed to five sets by Liam Hogan who lost out in the decider 11-4. Liam Hogan was Natland’s danger man as he recorded two victories including a five set success against the experience Tony Cousins.
Burton D beat Dent 6-4 in an evenly contested match. Wayne Gardner and Steve Hawley won two matches apiece for Dent, while Burton’s George Pickering scooped the man of the match award with his three victories. Burton edged the tie when Burton’s duo of Pickering and James Burton teamed up in the doubles to defeat Hawley and Gardner 11-5 in a dramatic final set.