Saints’ strength in depth keeps pursuit alive

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St Chad’s continued their title push with two excellent wins to keep the heat on Thompson Insurance A at the top of Division One in the Sunderland and District Table Tennis League.

Firstly, they convincingly disposed of North East Bed Centre 8-2, with Saints’ Jimmy Scope finishing unbeaten.

Barry Cuthbertson chipped in with two sets before teaming up with Scope to take the doubles. Dave Bissett also won two sets.

Saints then emerged victorious against Durham CA A, winning 6–4.

St Chad’s fielded father and son Keith and Joshua Weatherby, together with David Bissett.

Saints started the game with a three-set advantage due to the late withdrawal of Durham’s third player.

Keith Weatherby won his two singles before joining son Joshua to beat Salter and Williamson in the doubles.

Thompson Insurance A were worthy 8-2 winners over Sacriston Aces to sit nine points clear of St Chad’s.

Thompson were without Darren McVitie and Chris Blake and chose to bring in Diane Cartmell and player-manager Allan Thompson alongside Andrew Wilkinson, who is yet to lose a single end this season.

Sacriston played Mark Walton, Ian McAllister and debutant David McAllister.

It proved to be a baptism of fire as David McAllister’s first set was against Wilkinson, who won 11-4, 11-5, 11-3.

However, the Sacriston player recovered well against Thompson before narrowly losing out to Cartmell, edged out 11-8 in the fifth.

Wilkinson and Thompson both finishing the night unbeaten, and Cartmell and Wilkinson took the doubles.

Mortimer CA’s excellent season continued with an impressive 6-4 win over St Gabriel’s A.

Dave Cutler and Ian Moore both secured two sets each and were joined by Ray Purves, who picked up a set before teaming up with Cutler to win an epic doubles set 12-10 in the fifth against Tony Gelder and Norman Pescod.

Gelder (3) and Pescod won the sets for Saints to ensure they picked up a point for their efforts.

North East Bed Centre regained winning ways, sinking Thompson Insurance B 9-1, while Durham CA A secured an 8-2 victory against Sacriston Aces.

Two excellent wins by Durham CA B – over Silksworth IM (8-2) and Redby CA B (6-4) – saw them go joint top of Division Two alongside Redby CA A, who beat Sacriston Bombers 6-4.

Brian Bateman starred against Silksworth, while Howard Forster was player of the match for Redby CA B after he defeated Durham’s Billy Upton (13-11 in the fifth) and Bateman (16-14 in the fourth).

St Gabriel’s picked up three precious points from a 6-4 win over Silksworth IM. Dave Revell won two sets and helped Geoff Young to win the doubles, but he narrowly lost out to Bob Sanderson (11-9 in the fifth).

Six of the 10 sets were decided in the fourth or fifth end.

In Division Three, West CA drew 5-5 with East Boldon.

Mick Redfearn and Alan Whitwham each won twice and had to be at their best to edge the double against Neil Wilkinson and Carlos Caldeira.

Wilkinson finished the night unbeaten, including a titanic game against Whitwham, where he saved two match points in the fourth set before clinching victory in the fifth.

Sacriston Chargers edged a close encounter against St John C 6-4. Anna Kiwitt (2), Barry Dingwell (2) and John Reid picked up the singles sets, and they crucially took the doubles.

Results, Div One: Durham CA A 4 St Chad’s 6, Mortimer CA 6 St Gabriel’s A 4, North East Bed Centre 9 Thompson Insurance B 1, Sacriston Aces 2 Durham CA A 8, St Chad’s 8 North East Bed Centre2, Thompson Insurance A 8 Sacriston Aces 2

Div Two: Durham CA B 8 Silksworth IM 2, Redby CA B 4 Durham CA B 6, Sacriston Bombers 4 Redby CA A 6, Silksworth IM 4 Redby CA A 6

Div Three: St John C 4 Sacriston Chargers 6, West CA B 5 East Boldon 5