Thompson demolish Mortimer with title in sight

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THOMPSON Insurance A moved a step closer to retaining their Division One title in the Sunderland and District Table Tennis League with a comfortable 10-0 win over Mortimer CA.

Marc Cotton, Chris Blake and Darren McVitie were all unbeaten on the night, with manager Allan Thompson teaming up with McVitie to win the doubles against Dave Cutler and Dave Bannon.

The fight to avoid relegation to Division Two continues apace, with Thompson Insurance B recording a fine 6-4 win over second-bottom Sacriston St Bede’s A.

Maurice Cheek, of Thompson, was voted man of the match after winning his three singles sets, and combined with Shirley Gelder to win the doubles set.

Gelder and Lynne Herrington both picked up a set each as Thompson secured victory.

There were good displays by all three Sacriston players and most notably Ian McAllister who won two sets.

Duncan Fraser and Jon Mawson each won a set for Sacriston which helped them pick up a point for their defeat.

Thompson’s win sees them leapfrog their opponents and move out of the relegation zone. With both teams only having five matches remaining, the battle to avoid the drop may well go to the wire.

There was only one match played in Division Two, but it proved to be an important one.

Silksworth IM B’s 6-4 win over St John A saw them move into third place.

There was some excellent table tennis played with two players in particular worthy of note – Silksworth’s Bob Sanderson (3) and St John’s Craig Hilton (2).

The doubles set proved to be decisive in the match, which Silksworth’s Sanderson and Alan Bickle (2) won 3–0 over Istvan Soos and Craig Burton.

Burton, of St John’s, had a narrow 11-9 over Graham Sleep to ensure the Saints picked up a point, despite their loss.

In Division Three, leaders St Gabriel’s C dropped two points by drawing with lowly Sacriston St Bede’s C.

Ian McPherson, Dan Hutchinson and Colin Pritchard helped their team secure a hard earned draw.

Syd Gooding, of St Gabriel’s, won two of his three sets and combined with team-mate Ronnie Douglass to win the doubles set 3–0.

With Alan Ray also winning two sets, the Saints gained two points for their draw and remain favourites for promotion.

West CA B had an excellent 6–4 win over Redby CA B.

Redby’s Howard Forster, who despite not recording a win on the night, twice came back from the dead to level the game, only to narrowly lose out 11-7 and 11-9 to West’s Tommy Turner and Vic Austin respectively.

Redby’s Joe Muldowney was unbeaten on the night and he was supported by Allan Girdwood, who beat Austin in straight sets.

Alan Whitwham won two of his three sets and teamed up with Austin to narrowly win the doubles – with Turner picking up two sets too.

St John B made up for their early season 4-6 defeat to West CA B, to win 6-4 over their close rivals.

Saints’ players Jacob Helm, Robert Renton and Sean Gleghorn won two sets each to record their win.

Alan Whitwham (West) won all of his three sets and when teamed up with Vic Austin, won the doubles 11-7.

This was a really close and entertaining game with eight out of the 10 sets being decided in the fourth or fifth ends.

H In the Team Handicap Cup St John’s B, of Division Three, beat Division One side Sacriston St Bede’s A 5–4, to move into the quarter-final stages of the competition.

Full quarter-final draw of the Team Handicap Cup: St John’s B (D3) v St Gabriel’s B (D2), Thompson Ins. A (D1) v Durham CA A (D1), Sacriston St Bede’s B v St Chads (D1), Silksworth IM A (D1) v Sacriston St Bede’s C (D3). Matches to be played w/c February 25.

H The Sunderland and District Closed Championships will be held at the Sandhill Centre on Sunday, March 3.

Entry forms can be obtained from Dave Bissett, with the closing date being this coming Wednesday.

Log on to: www.tabletennis365.com/Sunderland for more information.