The title race is poised for an exciting finale after the latest action. Challengers Henley Pasties began by imposing a clean sweep upon Tanworth Taipans in a rearranged fixture. Tom Shortley, Jason Rainey and Mike Evetts all emerged with perfect performances, although Worcestershire cadet Ben Rycroft-Stanley can consider himself unlucky not to have taken something from the match. He contested three deuce games with Rainey, and narrowly lost out to Evetts in the only set to go the full distance.
Following a late call-off due to illness Pasties were represented by just two players for their visit to West Warwicks. Shortley was again untroubled, while Evetts experienced contrasting fortunes. After losing out to Alison Stewart he got the better of Andy Rowland over five games and helped claim the vital doubles to win the match by the narrowest of margins.
With just two fixtures remaining Pasties and Shottery A, who were not in action, tie at the top of the league table on 166 points.
Shottery C and Blazing Paddles were also depleted for their respective matches. Rob Poole was on form for the villagers, securing a treble and successfully partnering David Lincoln-Lewis when they entertained FISSC. Lincoln-Lewis looked likely to increase their tally after taking a two game lead over Peter Florence, with the loss of just six points, before the farmer changed tactics and went on to achieve a narrow victory. Malcolm Smith and Mark Jones also got on the card to ensure the visitors went home 6-4 to the good.
Nello Mauri led the way for Paddles producing a faultless display at Henley B, while Wilf Chan added the crucial fifth game enabling them to gain a share of the spoils.
Veterans sustained a 9-1 defeat in their final fixture of the season at Henley A for whom Peter Quince and Don McAdam recorded braces. In the last singles clash of the evening Geoff Shephard led by two games to one and was on course to secure the whitewash before Brian Marston fought back to grab his team’s only consolation.
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.