Phoenix A took a massive step towards challenging for the title of the Rotherham Table Tennis League this week when they met up with last year’s runner’s up L.S.M. A. Richard Element, Mick Bell and Mick Jarvis stepped up to the plate against Mick Brooks, Gary Firth and Mohammed Khan. First on Element and Brooks with a comfortable 3 game win for the former. Then Bell versus Firth. Bell took the first game, Firth hitting straight back and the same pattern in the third and fourth. Fifth game and Bell won easily 11-5 to seal the set. 2-0 to Phoenix. Mo Khan on next winning in four against Jarvis. Bell pinched the next in deuce in the fourth game so it was 3-1 Phoenix and L.S.M. had a lot to do to turn this one around.
Element versus Khan in the next. Both high class players and it was going to be a crucial match. Khan came out on top winning in four games. 3-2 Phoenix. By the end of the eighth set the match was tied at 4 a-piece. The penultimate set was Jarvis against Brooks. Both very experienced and clever players. It went to the decider after the first four went back and forth. Deuce in the fifth. 11 all. And then Jarvis pinched it. 5-4 Phoenix. Could Element claim the second point or would Firth fight it back for L.S.M.? Firth won the first two games 11-9 and 13-11. But Element was not going to lay this one down and fought back to level it. Final game of the night and still a point undecided. But Element was too strong and Firth would be kicking himself all the way home having come so close to that draw. First points dropped by L.S>M. in the season and Phoenix laid down their claim to the title.
In Division Two Scorpions E hosted Clifton B at the Bill Schaeffer Youth Centre in Bramley. Edmund Lau kicked off the scoring for Scorpions with a win over veteran Terry Curran in five games. Next on Jess Truman against another veteran Steve Lyons. Most would have put their money on experience over youth but Truman played brilliantly to win in the fifth game. Michael Taylor against Gary Sides was third match and Taylor made it a hat-trick for Scorpions. Curran hit one back for Clifton but Scorpions took the next two to give them a 5-1 lead. Doubles went to Clifton and then Truman on against Sides. Once again Jess Truman played superbly and held her nerve to win in the fifth game and seal the match for Scorpions. Probably the best League match for the Scorpion youngster so far in her table tennis career. The last two sets were shared leaving it at 7-3 to Scorpions.