Champions are back on top

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REIGNING champions Thompson Insurance A are the new leaders of Table Tennis Division One in the Sunderland league following a 6-4 win over third-placed St Chad’s.

Darren McVitie was unbeaten for Thompson’s with good wins over Keith Weatherby, Jimmy Scope and the fast-improving Adam Curran, who played extremely well throughout in a performance which included a 14-12 win in the fifth over Chris Blake.

Thompson’s Dave Blackburne picked up two sets and also combined with McVitie to win the doubles, which effectively helped to secure the win.

Weatherby (2) and Scope (1) chipped in to ensure the Saints picked up a point for their efforts.

Previous leaders Silksworth IM A were heavily defeated 9-1 by Thompson Ins B. Unfortunately, for the second week running, Silksworth were unable to field a full team due to the Barella brothers being unavailable.

St Gabriel’s A beat Redby CA A 10-0. George Gibson, Tom Bainbridge and Norman Pescod were all unbeaten for the Saints with the latter two combining to win the only doubles set.

Results: Redby CA A 0 St Gabriel’s A 10, St Chad’s 4 Thompson Ins. A 6, Thompson Ins. B 9 Silksworth IM A 1.

Division Two leaders Sacriston St Bede’s A were held to a 5-5 draw against Silksworth IM B in an excellent match with both teams playing some very entertaining table tennis.

Alan Bickle (Silksworth) got the home team off to a winning start with a hard-fought win over John Mawson. Sacriston’s Paul Dale levelled the score, edging past George Carlyon (Silksworth) 11-7 in the fifth.

Silksworth’s man-of-the-match Howard Brown restored their lead with a great win over Kevin Smith but Sacriston won the next singles and the doubles to take a 3-2 lead.

Bickle edged an epic match over Smith (11-5 in the fifth) before Brown narrowly defeated Paul Dale (11-8 in the 5th) to put Silksworth into a 4-3 lead with only three sets left to play.

Smith narrowly defeated Carlyon to draw Sacriston level before Silksworth’s Brown defeated Mawson to ensure a least a draw for the home team.

The final set saw the two No 1 players – Bickle and Dale – pitched against each other, and Dale edged it.

Second-placed placed Mortimer CA got back to winning ways with a 10-0 win over bottom-placed West CA B.

St Gabriel’s B moved up two places to fourth position following their 8-2 win over lowly Redby CA B. Dave Revell and Steve Young were unbeaten for the Saints, closely supported by Mark Burton (1) who also combined with Young to win the doubles set.

Howard Foster and Alan Girdwood picked up a set a piece for Redby.

Results: Mortimer CA 10 West CA B 0, Silksworth IM B 5 Sacriston St Bedes A 5, St Gabriel’s B 8 Redby CA B 2.

St John’s B are the new leaders of Division Three following an 8-2 win over their A team. The win puts them two points clear with a game in hand over their closest rivals.

Gary Anderson (St John’s B) set the ball rolling with a fantastic 3-1 win over the A team’s No 1 player Istvan Soos.

Dave Pringle and Alex Smith were both unbeaten for St John’s B despite Smith being pushed all the way by Craig Hilton (winning 11-9 in the fifth despite being 2-0 down in games) and Soos (11-4 in the fourth).

Pringle and Smith combining to win the doubles (11-3, 11-5, 11-3). Craig Burton and Craig Hilton won the only sets for the A team.

Third-placed Sacriston St Bede’s C had a 10-0 win over lowly Redby CA C with Chris Grant, Ian McPherson and Lee Maher all unbeaten on the night.

St John’s C found the going tough in their match against experienced St Gabriel’s C – losing 8-2. Alan Ray and Graham Merden were unbeaten for St Gabriel’s and were supported by Ron Douglas, who picked up one singles set and also combined with Merden to win the only doubles match.

Jacob Helm and Jake Hannah had excellent wins over Douglas to ensure the match score was not a whitewash.

Results: Redby CA C 0 Sacriston St Bedes C 10, Sacriston St Bedes D 10 Lanchester CC 0, St Gabriels C 8 St. John’s C 2, St Johns B 8 St Johns A 2, Lanchester CC 0 St Johns C 10.