HEAVYWEIGHTS CLASH IN TABLE TOP CRACKER
The two top sides in Division One of the Kendal and District League clashed this week in an epic Christmas cracker of a match which finished with a 5-5 draw.
Leaders Dalton Cricket Club A faced their sternest test so far this season in the form of second placed Natland A, who raced into an early 3-0 lead. Dalton pulled the score-line back to 3-2 after Tony Whitehouse and Keith Dymond beat Harry Carter and John Fearon respectively. Natland hung onto the advantage with their fingernails at 4-2, as Roger Pimblett edged out Ryan Smith 11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 6-11, 12-10 after letting a two set lead slip. Gritty Dalton held firm and got themselves back into contention when Whitehouse and Dymond won two five setters 11-7 and 14-12 against Pimblett and Fearon respectively to create a scoreline of 5-4 in Natland’s favour. The crucial doubles encounter-which was won in straight sets by Whitehouse and Dymond- ensured honours were even in this classic table top encounter. The result leaves Dalton one point ahead, with Natland having a game in hand.
Defending champions Ibis cannot be discounted from title success as they thrashed lowly Dallam A 10-0 to remain in third position, four points off the lead. Ibis’s Steve Dixon, James McGrath and Trevor Nicholson strolled to their eighth win of the season, a result which leaves Dallam A rooted to the bottom of the table, twenty-one points from safety.
Burton A are up to fifth in the table following a narrow 6-4 success against Crook A. Burton’s Martin Wakelin, Chris Knowles and Alan Holt won two games apiece, while Crook’s points came courtesy of John Howarth’s victories against Holt and Knowles. Phil Swift also chipped in with an exhausting 11-6 win in the fifth set against Holt.
Natland C occupy the second relegation position and now have a four point deficit to retrieve as they were convincingly beaten 7-3 by their B team, while Burton B have dropped to ninth, following a 9-1 mauling at the hands of Ibis.
In Division Two, Crook B made up ground on leaders Kirkby Stephen A, as they triumphed over Natland D 8-2. Crook stars Bob Bagot and Tony Cousins inspired their seventh win of the campaign with three victories apiece, while Natland got on the scoresheet when Rinaldo Colombi and Richard San Jose beat John Wood.
At the opposite end of the table Dent lie second from bottom and three points from safety after losing 8-2 to Dallam D. Dallam’s Sam Horrocks was marvellous with three wins, but was made to work for an 11-8 five set success against an unfortunate Ben Smith. Dent’s brace came from Steve Hawley and Wayne Gardner’s victories against Matt and James Neal respectively.