AN excellent 7-3 win over reigning champions Thompson Insurance A saw Silksworth IM A go top of the Table Tennis Division One.
Thompson’s were forced to reshuffle after the late withdrawal of their former England player Andrew Wilkinson through a serious knee injury.
Despite this absence, Thompson’s were still able to field a strong side, including Darren McVitie, Chris Blake and Dave Blackburne, all established county players.
However, a powerful display by a youthful Silksworth side, consisting of the Barella brothers (Anthony and Graeme) plus Cramlington’s Ryan Richardson, saw them through to victory.
First game up saw McVitie play Graeme Barella, who stormed into a 2-0 lead.
However, McVitie clawed his way back level.
The final end was a tense affair, McVitie taking a 10-8 lead but Barella drawing level.
Barella finally had match point and hit a backhand winner to win.
Thompson’s Dave Blackburne took on Anthony Barella, who rallied in the fourth game to win the end 11-7 and the set to move Silksworth into a 2-0 lead.
Thompson’s Chris Blake then played Ryan Richardson.
Blake took the first end 11-7, but Richardson recovered well to win the second, third and fourth games to put Silksworth into a commanding 3-0 ahead.
The fourth set was won comfortably by Graeme Barella over Dave Blackburne, but Thompson’s were victorious in the doubles, McVitie and Blackburne beating the Barella brothers by a narrow 11-9.
Thompson’s continued their comeback when McVitie edged the match over Richardson.
However, Graeme Barella took the seventh set over Thompson’s Chris Blake, who despite playing well, was unable to stem the flow of forehand winners from Barella.
He took Silksworth into a 5-2 lead to guarantee a least a draw and a share of the points.
Thompson’s Blackburne narrowly lost out to Richardson 11-13, 10-12 and 8-11 and Blake narrowly lost to Graeme Barella 7-11, 7-11 and 12-14 (despite having game point) to take the score to 7-2 to Silksworth.
McVitie edged a very tight game against Anthony Barella to win the final set, Barella unable to stem the flow of forehand winners.
In the remaining Division 1 fixtures, Durham CA had an excellent 6-4 win over St Gabriel’s A, who were only able to field two players.
St Chad’s had a comfortable 10-0 win over Thompson Insurance B,while West CA A beat bottom-placed Redby CA A 7-3.
This match was closer than the score suggests, with Redby narrowly losing three sets which went into the deciding end.
Week 10 results: Durham CA 6 St. Gabriels A 4; St. Chads 10 Thompson Ins. B 0; Thompson Ins. A 3 Silksworth IM A 7; West CA A 7 Redby CA A 3.
With Division Two leaders Sacriston St Bede’s A out of action this week, Mortimer CA moved into second following their 7-3 win over close rivals St Gabriel’s B.
Cutler (Mortimer) was man of the match after remaining unbeaten. Mark Burton (St Gabriel’s) also had good wins over Moore and Hampton.
Silksworth IM B had an excellent 6-4 win over Sacriston St Bede’s B.
Howard Brown was man of the match for Silksworth, with good wins over Fraser, Walton and Coe (11-9 in the fifth) before combining with George Carlyon to win the doubles set.
Redby CA B followed up their first win of the season with another against rivals West CA B, Joe Muldowney undefeated in their 7-3 win.
Week 10 results: Redby CA B 7 West CA B 3; Silksworth IM B 6 Sacriston St. Bede’s B 4; St. Gabriel’s B 3 Mortimer CA 7.
In Division Three, St John’s A had an 8-2 win over their “young” C team.
The result was closer than the match score suggests, with six of the 10 sets being decided in the fourth or fifth end.
Jacob Helm had an excellent win over St John’s A’s Richie Pattinson and was only narrowly beaten in a terrific individual performance which saw him eventually lose 17-19 in the fourth set to Craig Burton.
Robert Renton won the other set for the C team.
Jake Hannah can count himself unlucky not to register a set despite losing by the narrowest of margins.
Sacriston St Bede’s C moved up to second with a fine 7-3 win over Lanchester CC.
Ian McPherson and Lee Maher were unbeaten for the Saints, with Brewis, Knopff and McCabe replying for Lanchester, winning one set apiece.
St John’s B had a great 6-4 win over rivals St Gabriel’s C to replace the Saints in third.
Alex Smith and Gary Anderson played particularly well to remain unbeaten and Gooding, Ray and Douglass all won a set each for St Gabriel’s.
With the Saints winning the only doubles set of the match, they managed to gain a point in their 4-6 defeat (St. John’s B awarded three points).
Week 10 results: Sacriston St. Bedes C 7 Lanchester CC 3; St. Gabriel’s C 4 St. John’s B 6; St. John’s C 2 St. John’s A 8.