Grimes leads Unionists to hard-fought victory

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Unionists Club A were made to work hard for a narrow 6-4 victory over St Gabriel’s A in Division One of the Sunderland Table Tennis League.

Mick Grimes was Unionists’ star man with a maximum haul. He was hard-pushed by George Gibson, surviving 13-11 in the decider.

Dave Bannon prevailed 15-13 over Duncan Wraight, who also went down to Dave Cutler.

Gibson and Tom Bainbridge beat Cutler, and with the result in doubt, Bainbridge nicked another five-ender over Bannon, before Grimes applied the finishing touch.

At the top, Springwell reaped a maximum return at Unionists’ B team, while St Chads and Thompson A both recorded 7-3 wins.

Keith and Josh Weatherby and Barry Cuthbertson all scored two wins as they saw off the Sacriston Aces.

Meanwhile, Durham CA went down 7-3 against Gabriel’s B.

Jake Helm (3), Graham Murden (2) and Syd Gooding won the sets, while William Upton (2) and Robert Renton ensured that Durham remain locked with Unionists Club B in the relegation scrap.

In Division 2, Backspin A moved up after a win over bottom-of-the-table West CA C.

A 6-4 victory was earned by St John at Silksworth IM B as Sean Gleghorn got the better of Jamie Dent 11-9 in the decider.

Dent regrouped to beat John Foster and Miroslaw Godlewski, who overcame Gary Anderson in four close ends.

Anderson beat Foster, and with the match finely balanced, Neil Rodgers held his nerve to edge out Gleghorn 11-9 in the decider.

St Gabriel’s C drew with Brandon’s A team. Home sets came from Geoff and Steve Young (2), and Mark Burton.

For the visitors, Tony Taylor’s maximum was added to by Simon Knopf.

East Boldon Methodists A enjoyed a 7-3 success over Silksworth IM A, with doubles from Neil Wilkinson and Tom Fowle, added to by Jeff Hope.

Alan Bickle (2) and Howard Brown responded for Silksworth.

Division 3 front-runners Redby CA B could only draw, while Sacriston Comets raked in 10 points against Eagles.

Backspin B kept pace with a 7-3 win at Brandon & Byshottles E. Adam Butler and John Cook both recorded three wins, but the duo were pushed to five ends in the doubles by Will Murphy and Bill Maclennan.

Brandon’s Paul Henderson won one set, and this was matched by Murphy and Maclennan, but only after they were extended to five ends by Lyndsey Beacham.

Elsewhere, St Gabriel’s E chalked up a 6-4 win over East Boldon’s B team. Dave Aldridge notched three wins, with Derek Buller and Mike Hampshire chipping in. For Methodists, Jamie Collins and David Byers gained two sets each.

East Boldon’s C team fought out a 5-5 draw with Brandon & Byshottle’s D. Jordan Dove (2), Valerie Lough, and Ryan Campbell registered wins for the home team.

Ryan Morton (3) and John Parkin (2) replied for Brandon.