Week 21 of the season and Mark Seddon earned himself an excellent maximum three wins against Scorpions B in Division One of the Rother Valley Table Tennis League. Scorpions turned out a strong team of Steven Arliss, Neil Rigden and Vince Loh. Mason Arms C the regular trio of Seddon, Matt Bacon and John Christian. Bacon met Arliss in the first match and, despite a hard fought battle, lost in the fifth game. Then Seddon won his first against Rigden comfortably in the fourth game. Loh beat Christian easily in three games and then Seddon had his second match, this time against Arliss. The form book would say that Arliss should have won this one but Seddon was having a storming night and was not going to let anyone stop him. Despite being two games to one down, Seddon fought back and pinched the final game to make it two wins so far. By the end of the doubles it was 4-3 to Masons. Seddon’s turn again against Loh which he won easily to seal his hat-trick. Arliss hit back to make it 5-4 to Masons but Bacon won his last in three to give Masons both points.
As the season moves into its final few weeks there is still all to play for. Division One now seems to be a two horse race between Scorpions A and Mason Arms A, Scorpions with the advantage at present. Division Two shows a similar situation with Phoenix C and Clifton C battling it out, a mere one point between them in Clifton’s favour.
The top two teams in Division Three met this week in a huge match in the race for the title. Phoenix F had defeated Scorpions G in their first meeting earlier in the season and so went into this one with the psychological advantage and also a one point lead. Phil Richardson opened the contest against Harry Smith and it predictably went the distance with Smith just pinching it. Glyn Ward hit back and saw off newcomer Dave Gurney in three straight games. Then Dennis E. Green fought with Maurice Druce to try and get a lead for Scorpions but Druce held him off in five games. Once again Ward hit back for Scorpions taking another one to level it at 2-2. The scene was set for a titanic battle in this crucial contest. Then came the turning point in the match when Scorpions managed to scrape two victories both in the fifth game to give themselves a 4-2 lead. Doubles next which went easily to Ward and Green against Druce and Gurney. Scorpions had sealed a point but that would not be enough and would still leave Phoenix with a point advantage. Next Ward versus Druce. Ward sealed the match and his hat trick to give Scorpions both points. The final result was 8-2 to Scorpions and that now puts them in the driving seat with them now holding that slender one point advantage.
At the other end of the divisions Mason Arms D or Clifton A look set to finish bottom of Division One but who it will be is still totally open. In Division Two Clifton D, though mathematically not relegated yet, a ten point gap suggests that they will drop with Scorpions E and Clifton D on the same points above them. In Three Scorpions J, still to get a point will almost certainly finish last with their club colleagues Scorpions I and K battling to finish in the two places above.
This year the Rother Valley Table Tennis League Presentation Evening is to take place at the Sitwell Park Golf Club on Saturday, 11th July. The event will be combined with a 20th Anniversary celebration for Rotherham Scorpions Juniors T.T.C.