HEAVYWEIGHTS CLASH IN TABLE TOP THRILLER
Two major title contenders in Division One of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League locked horns this week, as Dalton CC A and Burton A played out a thrilling 5-5 stalemate.
Dalton started the brighter of the two sides after Keith Dymond and Paul Ackred beat Peter Baxendale, while Ryan Smith produced a fabulous 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 victory against Burton star player Graham Coupe. Burton’s response was instantaneous as Chris Knowles beat Ackred 11-5, 12-10, 11-6 and Coupe beat Dymond 11-4, 13-11, 6-11, 11-7.
Burton levelled proceedings at 3-3 when Knowles edged out Smith 11-9 in a five set classic and then took the lead at 4-3 after Coupe eclipsed Ackred in three sets. Dalton triumphed in the last two singles matches when Smith beat Baxendale and Dymond toppled Knowles however Burton salvaged a 5-5 draw thanks to a 5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 victory in the doubles.
Second from bottom Natland B snatched their first victory of the season with a narrow 6-4 success against fellow strugglers Dallam A. Rinaldo Colombi and Mark Ashburn got Natland off to the perfect start as they beat Craig James and Paul Gosling in four and five sets respectively. Ashburn again won in five sets this time against Craig James, however John Fitzgerald kept Dallam afloat with wins against Louise Thompson and Colombi. Thompson kept her cool to beat Gosling 12-10 in a dramatic fifth set and then went on to beat James in four sets. Despite Fitzgerald winning his third match of the night against Ashburn, Natland sealed the 6-4 success with an 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10 win in the doubles.
Natland A have risen to the top of the table thanks to a 10-0 success against Dalton CC B. An incredible five matches went the full distance with Natland winning each one. Natland’s Roger Pimblett edged Keith Mallinson and Tony Whitehouse 11-6 and 11-5, team mates Fearon and Carter scraped beyond Whitehouse 11-7 and Carter narrowly beat Mallinson by the same scoreline with each result coming in the deciding fifth set. The result leaves Natland with a one point advantage at the top of the table.
In Division Two, Dallam C earned their third victory from four matches with a 10-0 hammering of Kirkby Stephen C. Chris Horn was unfortunate not to get the Eden Valley side on the score sheet as he lost out in five sets to Tom Carling and Norman Philbey. Dallam’s Mike Jackson was impressive throughout the night as he only dropped one set.
Burton C have gone second in the table following a 10-0 whitewashing of Grayrigg A. Grayrigg, who have only scored four points so far this season, battled tenaciously with Doug Baxter and Sam Housego taking sets off Aidan Branch. Tony March and Graeme Wheelhouse looked more at ease for Burton and won each of their matches in three straight sets.
In Division Three, Dent A caused a major upset by beating leaders Grayrigg B 21-12. Steve Hawley claimed the man of the match award with his three wins and was ably supported by team mate Ben Smith who also remained unbeaten.