REIGNING champions Thompson Insurance A secured the Sunderland and District League’s Division One table tennis title for a seventh successive season, despite losing 6-4 to Silksworth IM A.
Thompson’s were represented by Darren McVitie, Chris Blake and Dave Blackburne, while Silksworth played Anthony and Graeme Barella, plus Ryan Richardson.
Silksworth got off to the perfect start when Anthony Barella beat Thompson’s Chris Blake in a close encounter 11-9, 11-9, 11-9.
McVitie levelled the score with a straight sets win over Ryan Richardson in a nervy match.
Silksworth took the following two sets to build a 3-1 match lead. Firstly, Graeme Barella beat Blackburne before Blake lost out to Richardson in three very tight sets.
Thompson’s pulled a set back in the only doubles set when McVitie and Blackburne beat the Barella brothers 11-7.
Anthony Barella increased Silksworth’s lead to 4-2 with a comfortable straight sets win over Blackburne.
And Silksworth’s hopes of winning the title were increased when Graeme Barella had an excellent win over McVitie to edge Silksworth into a 5-2 lead with three sets remaining.
However, Blackburne played brilliantly to come back from 1-0 down to beat Richardson 3-1 to make the score 5-3.
Going into the ninth set, Blake found himself 2-0 down against Graeme Barella, but took the third end 11-9 before Barella edged the fourth to put Silksworth into a 6-3 lead.
However, former England player McVitie played the perfect game to win in straight sets to make the final score 6-4 to Silksworth.
Silksworth’s hopes of winning the title were kept alive when they won their match in hand 8-2 against West CA A to ensure Thompson’s had to win the final match against St Gabriel’s 7-3 or more to retain the title.
Chris Blake got Thompson’s off to the perfect start by beating George Gibson 11-8 in the fifth to take the first set.
McVitie and Blackburne followed this up with wins against Norman Pescod and Tom Bainbridge to put Thompson’s into a 3-0 lead.
Pescod played exceptionally well in the next set, but Blake came back to win the set 12-10 and claim the fourth set for Thompson’s.
With McVitie and Blackburne taking the doubles set and Blackburne beating Gibson in straight sets Thompson’s stormed into a 6-0 lead and required only one more set to retain the title.
Blake then beat Tom Bainbridge to make the score to 7-0 to secure the match (maximum points victory) and the title.