TOP FLIGHT RELEGATION BATTLE HOTS UP
Three teams near the basement of Division One are battling to maintain their top flight status as time ebbs away for the struggling sides in the Kendal and District Table Tennis League.
Burton B are teetering perilously above the relegation zone in ninth position following a 6-4 defeat at the hands of Crook A. Phil Swift and John Howarth got Crook off to a flying 2-0 start with victories against Alan Holt and Tony March respectively. Ian Brotherton and Holt got Burton on the scoresheet thanks to five set victories against Mike Taylor. Crook however, maintained their position in the driving seat courtesy of Phil Swift and Taylor’s successes against March, while Howarth edged out Brotherton 11-4 in a tense fifth set. Brotherton and Holt beat Swift and Howarth late on, but Crook bagged a 6-4 victory when they won the doubles 10-12, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-3.
Second from bottom Natland C kept their survival hopes alive, as they triumphed 8-2 over bottom placed Dallam A. Tom Parkinson handed Dallam a dream start, defeating Louisa Bevan 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 17-15. Natland then took command of the tie by winning the next seven singles matches, thanks mainly to Mick Taylor’s three victories. Parkinson scored another point for Dallam late on when he dispatched Andrea Jorkisch 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 to leave a 7-2 scoreline heading into the doubles. Natland rounded off a great night when they snatched the doubles and an 8-2 success, which was only their second of the season.
In Division Two, Kirkby Stephen A extended their lead at the top of the table to twelve points, as they beat their B team 7-3. Despite his team losing, Dan Stringer grabbed the man of the match award for Kirkby Stephen B thanks to his three wins, including a narrow 11-6 triumph in the fifth set against Francesca Currie.
Burton D have momentarily climbed into second place after drawing 5-5 with third placed rivals Crook B. Tony Cousins and Bob Bagot won two matches for Crook, while Burton responded valiantly with double wins apiece for George Pickering and Graeme Wheelhouse. Wheelhouse claimed the scalp of the night when he overhauled the highly rated Bob Bagot 12-10, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8. Crook now lie in third place, having played four games fewer than their second placed rivals.
At the opposite end of the table, Dent A are ten points adrift of safety having lost their last three matches on the bounce, while
Natland E stare almost certain relegation in the face, as they lost 10-0 against their D team.
In Division Three, Grayrigg A catapulted two points ahead of Burton E into pole position thanks to a 19-16 victory against their B team. Kevin Hunter scooped the man of the match award for Grayrigg B after comfortably winning all his three matches, but Sam Housego and Doug Baxter’s brace helped Grayrigg A reach the summit of the table.
Burton E slipped to second position despite beating Dallam F 24-17 with Aidan Branch once again claiming the man of the match award.