SILKSWORTH IM leapfrogged St Chad’s to go second in Division One of the Sunderland Table Tennis leagues after beating St Gabriels A 6-4.
Man-of-the-match Ryan Richardson (Silksworth) was unbeaten in his three sets which included an excellent win over County Number One and British League player Dave Robson – edging a very close match 3-1 with some outstanding attacking play and power.
Richardson was supported by Bernie Morris, who won both of his sets and was awarded the set against Dave Robson, who was forced to concede through injury.
Each player for St Gabriel’s won a set each with Gibson and Bainbridge combining to take the doubles set. Bainbridge could count himself unlucky when he was narrowly defeated in his set against Richardson – losing 11-8 in the fifth and deciding end.
St Chad’s went down 6-4 to West CA A after excellent individual performances from Geoff Salter (2), John Williamson (2) and in particular Tony Ainley (2), who had a great 3-0 win over county player Keith Weatherby.
Thompson had a 10-0 win over newl-promoted Redby CA A but the score was slightly harsh on the Redby players, who played well on the night with very little reward.
The point of the match saw Redbys’ Amanda Paxton turn the clock back – a long rally included four successive forehand smashes to leave Alan Thompson desperately trying to retrieve the point.
However, Thompson recovered to go on and win the set and his remaining two sets – together with the doubles set with Darren McVitie – to help secure maximum points.
Sacriston St Bede’s A were dealt a bitter blow to their second division title challenge when they lost to close rivals Mortimer CA.
The epic match saw nine out of the ten sets going into four or five ends with many of the sets being decided by the smallest of margins.
Man-of-the-match was Mortimers’ Ray Purves, who beat Paul Dale (13-11 in the fifth), Kevin Smith (11-7 in the fourth) and Jon Mawson 11-4, 11-5 and 11-8.
Purves was closely supported by his team-mates Dave Cutler and Ian Moore, who chipped in with two sets apiece to seal a maximum four points victory for their win over the current division leaders.
Cutler had an excellent 3-1 win over Saints No 1 player Paul Dale – winning the fourth end 14-12 to ensure the set did not go into the deciding end.
In his other victory, Cutler defeated Kevin Smith, again by the smallest of margins. The set ebbed and flowed throughout with both players looking capable of taking the set.
Smith led 2-1 before Cutler stormed back to win the fourth end 11-2 and edged the final end 11-9.
Mortimers’ Ian Moore had victories over Jon Mawson (11-6 in the fifth end after trailing 2-1) and Kevin Smith (11-9 in the fifth end after trailing 2-0).
The Saints’ three sets were won by Paul Dale, Jon Mawson and the only doubles set of the game.
The match result could have easily been 8-2 in the Saints’ favour had they won all of the five sets which were ultimately decided in the fifth end. Two of these ends went to deuce and two were decided 11-9.
The win leaves the league wide open. With a maximum four points being awarded for a 7-3 win or more, the final outcome of the league could go right down to the wire.
Silksworth IM B had an excellent 6-4 win over St. Gabriel’s B to remain very much in the hunt for promotion back into Division One.
Howard Brown won his three singles sets, combining with Bob Sanderson to take the only doubles set (12-10 in the fifth end) which effectively sealed the win.
Sanderson contributed two more sets with wins over Young and Revell. Graham Sleep played well and was unlucky not to pick up a set.
Division Three saw two relatively straight-forward victories for St. John’s A (10-0 over Lanchester CC) and Sacriston St Bede’s D (9-1 over St. John’s C). Lanchester’s Callum McCabe, played particularly well.
The match between Sacriston St Bede’s C and St John’s B ended in a 5-5 draw to ensure the points were shared. Andy Grant was man of the match, remaining unbeaten in his three sets.
He was closely supported by his son Chris (1) and Lee Maher (1). Alex Smith (2) and Dave Pringle (2) did the damage for St Gabriel’s and combined to win the doubles set.
Division One: St. Chad’s 4 West CA A 6, St. Gabriel’s A 4 Silksworth IM A 6, Thompson Ins 10 A Redby CA A 0.
Division Two: Sacriston St. Bede’s A 3 Mortimer CA 7, Silksworth IM B 6 St. Gabriel’s B 4.
Division Three: St. John’s A 10 Lanchester CC 0, Sacriston St. Bede’s C 5 St. John’s B 5, St. John’s C 1 Sacriston St. Bede’s D 9.