Royal Mail v FISCC West Warks. - match report by Andy Rowland.
FISCC WW 'A' and Royal Mail blew the Christmas excesses away in a competitive encounter that once again ended with honours even.
With Andy Rowland not scheduled to arrive until 8:30 Alison Stewart and Pete Rodwell played the first 4 sets and by the time Rowland arrived honours were even. Pete Rodwell played his best table tennis of the season beating Malcolm Heritage in 4 sets before pushing Nello Mauri hard before losing in 4 keenly contested sets.
Mauri was in imperious form against Alison Stewart, who recovered her composure to defeat Wilf Chan in 4 keenly contested sets.
Rowland was then pressed into immediate service on his arrival, and not having picked a bat up in the festive season was grateful to a sympathetic net in the early stages of his match with Malcolm Heritage, before winning in 3, which he then repeated against Chan after a pleasant refreshment interval in the post men's spacious leisure room.
Leading 4-2 and with Stewart taking the 1st leg against Heritage 11-1 FISCC were confident of victory, but the postmen staged a remarkable revival. Malcolm Heritage recovered to win in 5 as he successfully introduced some successful forehand hits at key points. Chan kept to an intelligent game plan to beat Rodwell comfortably in 3.
The 9th match between Mauri and Rowland was the most keenly contested of the night. Rowland took the 1st 2 games but Mauri raised his consistency along witg his renowned hitting to take the next 2, saving a match point in the 4th before edging the 5th 11-9 to put his team 5-4 ahead.
In the last match of the evening Rowland and Stewart dug deep after the loss of the 1st to prevail and claim a deserved share of the spoils for the 2nd time this season, and 3rd in the last 2 seasons between 2 evenly matched teams.