ST CHAD’S closed the gap on leaders Thompson Insurance A to nine points in Division One of the Sunderland & District Table Tennis League after two maximum points wins over Thompson Insurance B (9-1) and Mortimer CC (10-0).
The lone set was won by Thompson’s Lynne Herrington with a fine 3-1 win over Barry Cuthbertson.
The wins sees St Chad’s strengthen second place ahead of Durham CC A and Silksworth IMA – and also sees their opponents rooted firmly at the bottom of the league.
Thompsons, though, have two games in hand over third-off-bottom Sacriston St Bede’s A.
In Division Two, St John’s A moved into joint fourth place following a 7-3 win over Redby CA A and a 5-5 draw against Durham CA B
Redby were forced to concede two sets when Amanda Paxton had to retire injured following her doubles match defeat with partner Ken Tweedy at the hands of Istvan Soos and Craig Burton.
There were two excellent matches. Craig Hilton (St Johns) hade a five-game thriller over Redby’s Frank Booth which saw him come back from 2-0 down to win the final three games, sealing the win 14-12 in the fifth game.
The other saw Hilton and Tweedy battling all the way, with Tweedy taking it 11-6 in the fifth and deciding game.
Tweedy was voted man-of-the-match having played particularly well and remaining unbeaten in the match.
In their second match, St John’s A shared the points with second-off-bottom Durham CA B, who put a terrific battle in a very close encounter with six out of the 10 sets being decided in the fourth or fifth game.
This was a real team effort from both sets of players. Brian Bateman, who has just returned following a long lay-off following injury, was voted man-of-the-match for winning all of his matches and he also won the only doubles set with partner Paul Wiggins.
John Foster played well throughout and can count himself unlucky not to pick up a set on the night.
St John’s sets were picked up by Istvan Soos (2), Craig Burton (2) which included a 12-10 victory in the fourth over Wiggins, and Craig Hilton.
In the only other match in Division Two, second-placed Sacriston St Bede’s B were beaten for the second week running when they lost out to third-placed West CA A 6-4.
Robin Kerr did the damage for West, winning all of his sets and being awarded man-of-the-match for his efforts.
He was well supported by team-mates Dave Thomson (2) and Dave Barber, who had close win over Nigel Coe.
In Division Three, experienced St Gabriel’s C are the new leaders following a comfortable 10-0 win over bottom-placed St John C and a hard-fought 5-5 draw against third-placed West CA B.
In an enthralling match, West’s Alan Whitwham was undefeated and in doing so was awarded man-of-the-match and he was well supported by Michael Redfearn and Tommy Turner.
Turner’s was an epic match against St Gabriel’s Ronnie Douglass which he eventually won 12-10 in the fifth to help secure the draw.
St Gabriel’s sets were picked up by Sid Gooding (2), Graham Murdon (2) and Douglass/Gooding, who edged the doubles 11-9 in the fourth against Whitwham and Vic Austin.
H The Sunderland and District Closed Championships are being held at the Sandhill Centre on Sunday, March 3.
The closing date is Wednesday, February 20. Entry forms can be obtained from Dave Bissett.