WEST CA continued their strong start to the table tennis season with an impressive 7-3 victory over close rivals St Gabriel’s.
West played arguably their strongest side in the form of Jim Stamas, Geoff Salter and John Williamson and excellent table tennis was the order of the day.
Stamas had a good 3-2 win over Saints’ George Gibson. This was a tense affair with Gibson looking to stem the forehand and backhand attack of West’s No. 1 player before bringing in his own forehand loop wherever possible.
Stamas just edged the final end to win 11-7. Stamas followed this up with a straight sets win over Tom Bainbridge but was left wanting when he was convincingly defeated by Saints’ No. 1 player Dave Robson.
Robson also beat Williamson but was forced to fight all the way to narrowly defeat Salter 11-7 in the fifth.
Salter recovered well to win his remaining two single sets and was well supported by team-mate Williamson, who beat Gibson and Bainbridge. West won the doubles set to win the match 7-3.
It has been a tough campaign to date for the Saints as they have been unable to draw upon the skills of the experienced Norman Pescod, who has been recovering from a hernia operation.
Pescod is hoping to return to action in the new year which will provide the Saints with a much-needed boost.
The remaining two league fixtures in Division One went to form. St Chad’s had a 10-0 victory over Redby CA A and Thompson Insurance A’s 10-0 win over their B team – a game which saw Darren McVitie joined by his son Jake to win the only doubles set over Shirley Gelder and David Winterbottom.
Sacriston St Bede’s A remain top of Division Two following a comfortable 9-1 win over their B side – Nigel Coe registering the only set for the Saints’ second string.
The fight for second place is gathering pace with only three points separating the next four sides.
St Gabriel’s B moved into runners-up spot with a 9-1 victory over West CA B. Mark Burton and Dave Revell were unbeaten for the Saints, closely supported by Young who chipped in with two sets before combining with Burton to win the doubles set. Alan Whitwham won the only set for West CA with a hard-fought win over Young 11-4 in the fifth.
Mortimer CA remain in contention for second place following their 6-4 win over close rivals Silksworth IM B. Cutler and Hampton won two sets each and combined to take the doubles. Moore added the sixth set with a win over George Carlyon.
Alan Bickle and Howard Brown picked up two sets each to ensure Silksworth at least secured a point for their narrow defeat.
Redby CA B secured their first win of the season – 6-4 against Redby CA. Joe Muldowney was man of the match after winning his three singles sets.
He was closely supported by Allan Girdwood (2) and Howard Forster (1). This was a great effort by the B side, who were losing 4-2 at one stage but stormed back to win the final four sets to win 6-4 and be rewarded with three points for their efforts.
Dave Thomson (2) and Kishore Sridharan (1) won the singles sets for Redby. Peter Scott could count himself particularly unlucky not to pick up a set on the night, but he did combine with Thomson to win the only doubles set.
Redby CA B’s win saw them move off the bottom of the league for the first time this season.
Match of the week in Division Three saw an exciting 5-5 draw between Lanchester CC and St Johns C, with six out of the 10 sets being decided in the fifth and final end.
All players contributed to a very entertaining game which saw Lanchester come back from 5-2 down to win the final three sets to secure a 5-5 draw.
Callum McCabe (Lanchester) played particularly well winning two of his sets over Sean Gleghorn (11-7 in the fifth) and Robert Renton (11-8 in the fifth) but was narrowly defeated (also in the fifth) by Jacob Helm.
John Cook (Lanchester) secured two sets with wins over Renton and Helm but narrowly lost out to Gleghorn.
Jack Brewis (Lanchester) chipped in with a win over Gleghorn (11-8 in the fifth) but was narrowly defeated in his other sets-Renton (11-8 in the fifth) and Helm (13-11 in the fifth). This was a great effort by Brewis, who never gave up.
The remaining fixtures in Division Three went very much to form. Leaders St John’s A had a 8-2 win over St Gabriel’s C while Sacriston St Bede’s C had a 9-1 win over their D team – Terry Charlton registering the only set for the D team with a narrow win over Ian McPherson (11-6 in the fifth).
St John B had a 7-3 win over Redby CA C – a great team effort from the Saints who all managed to win two sets apiece with Watson and Anderson combining to win the doubles set to secure a maximum four- points win.
Tom Turner was man of the match for Redby, winning all of his three sets, albeit by the narrowest of margins.
Division One: Redby CA A 0 St. Chad’s 10, Thompson Ins B 0 Thompson Ins. A 10, West CA A 7 St. Gabriels A 3.
Division Two: Mortimer CA 6 Silksworth IM B 4, Redby CA 4 Redby CA B 6, Sacriston St. Bede’s B 1 Sacriston St. Bede’s A 9, St. Gabriel’s B 9 West CA B 1.
Division Three: St. Gabriel’s C 2 St. John’s A 8, Lanchester CC 5 St. John’s C 5, Sacriston St. Bede’s D 1 Sacriston St. Bede’s C 9, St. John’s B 7 Redby CA C 3.