Week beginning April 3rd

The pendulum has swung firmly in favour of Shottery A after they and title chasing rivals Henley Pasties each played out rearranged fixtures against Henley A. Gary Stewart, Graham Poole and Stephen Foster were on top form as they gained pole position by inflicting the whitewash in straight sets.

 

When they took on their stable-mates Henley A brought in Alan Cotton who rewarded them with both the team’s successes. He overturned loss of the opening game to inflict the first defeat in the Stratford league upon Sam Henderson in a five game thriller, before overcoming Mike Credland in another contest to go to a decider. However Cotton was unable to add the scalp of Tom Shortley who was untroubled for Pasties, with Henderson and Credland earning braces.

 

With each having only one fixture remaining Shottery A now lead Henley Pasties by two points.

 

Blazing Paddles feared the worst after losing the first three sets to Shottery B. Gareth Hepworth acquired two of those successes, while Tony Remes put aside a brilliant start by Harry Azima to win over the full distance. Not to be deterred Paddles then took the initiative with Nello Mauri leading the way. He notched a brace and shared the doubles with the impressive Azima who also overcame opponents’ captain Tim Fell without reply. However they were unable to prevent Hepworth claiming a treble, while Fell added the villagers’s fifth score. With the match standing at 5-4 Brian Hobill, making only his second appearance for Paddles, gained a crucial win to ensure the spoils were shared.

 

Shottery B were only able to call upon two players when they travelled to Ashorne. Nevertheless Fell and Awais Muhammed took the honours, with the loss of just a single game, to go home 7-3 to the good.

Shottery C were also under strength for their visit to Tanworth Taipans. However their in-form captain Rob Poole was undefeated, and David Lincoln-Lewis was unlucky not to earn some reward after missing out in the decider against Mick Welsh as the hosts won 6-4.

 

Andy Rowland and Alison Stewart produced perfect displays when West Warwicks overcame FISSC 9-1, but the performance of the match came from Peter Rodwell. After being defeated by Peter Florence, who thereby gained the farmers' sole consolation, he raised his game to get the better of Malcolm Smith. Rodwell’s third singles set against Mark Jones proved one of the most nail-biting contests of the season as, despite sustaining a narrow defeat in his opening game, his determined defence took their clash to a decider. However that looked beyond his grasp when trailing 9-4 but a great recovery saw Rodwell edge home 12-10. The concluding doubles also went the full distance as Jones and Malcolm Smith put aside a two game deficit only to fall at the final hurdle.

 

Henley B narrowly defeated Ashorne to lift the knockout cup. Stuart Latham-Marr, Dave Milton and Dave Hatcher finished 94 points ahead of their opponents but, after application of the handicap adjustments, the winning margin was reduced to just seven.
Author: via Stratford-upon-Avon Table Tennis League
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