Dogfight at the top of Division 1
At the halfway stage of the Kendal & District Table Tennis Winter League, defending champions IBIS have climbed to the top of the table for the first time this season. They lead unbeaten Burton A by 19 points but Burton have a match in hand. It seems likely that the eventual outcome will be decided by the 2 matches yet to be played between the two title contenders. In Division 2, Burton D have a comfortable 42 point lead over Dallam but both Natland C and Natland D, each with two games in hand, are still in the hunt for one of the two promotion places.
Meanwhile, the Knock-out Cup competition, sponsored by local architects, The Hooley Tratt Partnership, reached the quarter final stage. In the quarter finals, Burton C will play Crook A, Kirkby Stephen are at home to Dalton, Burton A meet Natland D and Natland E face Grayrigg A. There were some titanic battles in the round of 16. A hat-trick of victories for Phil Riley enabled Crook A to defeat Crook B by 5 rubbers to 4. In an equally close encounter, 3 wins for Steve Dixon were insufficient to prevent IBIS from sliding to a 5-4 home defeat by Dalton. The handicap committee were still patting themselves on the back when another 5-4 result came in from Natland. This was undoubtedly the match of the round, with Burton C defeating Natland C on the very last point of the night. With the match standing at 4 rubbers apiece, the final battle commenced between Bernard Pickthall and Fran Currie. The first 4 games were shared, 11-10, 7-11, 6-11, 11-3 from Pickthall’s point of view. Soon it was 10-10 in the fifth and final game only for Currie to win the final sudden death point and send Burton C through to the last 8. Fran Currie was the clear player of the match with 3 victories, all of them in tight fifth games.