Henley Pasties maintained their push for league honours in their inaugural season with an 8-2 victory over stablemates Henley B. Mike Credland was their form player, earning a treble without the loss of a game, with Mike Evetts and Jason Rainey adding braces. However, despite taking early leads, the pair lost out over the distance to Stuart Latham-Marr and Dave Milton respectively. In the only other encounter to go to the wire Evetts experienced contrasting fortunes as he put aside the loss of the opener to take the honours against Milton.
Henley B gave a debut to Tony Seymour when they travelled to Veterans. He initially found himself two games down to John Hunt before recovering well to win the set in the decider. However Seymour was unable to get the better of George Mudie in what proved to be the hosts’ only success. McCluskey and Latham-Marr produced perfect singles performances for Henley and capped off the evening by combining to secure the doubles.
Shottery C also enjoyed a 9-1 win at Ashorne following trebles from Rob Poole and Kevin Taylor, although the latter was pushed all the way by Jim Jack. David Lincoln-Lewis added a brace, but lost out to Roger Pye who thereby ensured the hosts’ didn’t finish empty-handed.
Rob Poole was called up by Shottery A and helped them impose the whitewash upon FISSC. In a keenly fought encounter he lost a game to Peter Florence, but otherwise it was all plain sailing for the villagers with Stephen Foster and Graham Poole unbeaten. However the latter’s set with Florence saw the farmer produce a succession of five attacking forehand shots which equates to the same number he usually manages in a season!
On the adjacent table Shottery B were held to a draw by Blazing Paddles despite a treble from Gareth Hepworth, the highlight of which was a 15-13 win in the fifth game against opponents’ captain Nello Mauri. Tim Fell added a brace, but the visitors’ team of Mauri, Wilf Chan and Dave Fordham all got on the card to ensure honours were even.
The clash between Henley A and Tanworth Taipans produced an opener of epic proportions. Robert McCluskey was leading by two games to one, and 9-4 in the fourth, before a storming recovery by Mick Welsh saw him close out both that and the decider by the same 12-10 score. Their clash was a foretaste of things to come as 18 of the evening’s games finished either 11-9 or at deuce. McCluskey was more fortunate in his remaining singles while Peter Quince contributed a faultless performance. Don McAdam added a brace after recovering from a two game deficit to take the honours against Nigel Kynaston, but he twice held the lead over Welsh although lost out in another contest to go to the wire. Welsh and Kynaston secured the doubles but it wasn’t enough to prevent the match finishing 7-3 in Henley’s favour.
Author: Mike Evetts via Stratford-upon-Avon Table Tennis League
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The 2018-19 season has seen an increase in competing Stratford League team numbers to fourteen, with three teams playing out of Eveshams burgeoning JLM Academy and two from Birminghams only dedicated , single use table tennis club, Colebridge.
With JLM providing a table tennis facility in Stratford town centre on Friday evenings from the end of October , there are encouraging signs that the grass roots of this great sport are flourishing in Stratford upon Avon.