A bit of Smith and Brooks help the Park

THERE were some big scores this week in the Boston and District Table Tennis League’s A.D. Dickinson Division One, with markers being placed somewhat ominously for the season ahead.

Graves Park A started the ball rolling with an 8-2 victory over a full-strength Penmaen B, writes Mick Maltby.

Last season’s number eight-ranked Rob Smith carried on where he left off, dropping only one set to last season’s 10th-ranked Scott Sykes.

Phil Brooks won his three, while Nick Langley offered excellent support with two victories, over Scott and Neil Snaith, but losing out in five sets to Andy Birks.

Rather surprisingly, Neil and Scott gained some revenge over Rob and Phil.

New boys Graves Park D might have hoped home advantage would have paid dividends when they played host to Stickney A.

But it was left to Graham Walters to spare the team’s blushes by winning their solitary game, beating Paul Hartnett at deuce in the fifth end.

Graham also took Gavin Herberts to five, as did Paul Matschull to Vince Lozynsky, but try as they might, the Park could not improve their games tally.

With last season’s sixth-ranked Tim Day unavailable, Lodgers B knew they were up against it when they travelled to last season’s champions, Penmaen A.

Trev Blackbourn made Brett Heppenstall fight all the way, Brett winning the last two ends 12-10, 15-13 to secure the victory.

All the other games were over in straight sets in Penmaen’s favour, although Trev nearly gave Jimmy Brewster a real shock, narrowly losing the third end 12-10.

Alan Reetham, from Division Two Graves Park B, made the step up to substitute for Mick East in Grave Park C’s match against Wrangle A.

He worked hard for little reward, winning just one end - against Sam Cooper.

Cooper also had a tough night, losing out to both James Quinton and Martin Walters in five ends.

Martin had a good deal of luck against Dave Coulson, winning two ends at deuce in a nail-biting five end victory.

Against stablemates Lodgers G, Lodgers E brought out big guns Graham Lacey and Ian Stone,s joining Colin Bell in the attack against last season’s runners-up.

Graham drew first blood, beating Mark Hulme in five sets.

Ian Stones won a tight end 15-13 against Gary Hill, Gary recovering to close out the game 11-6 in the fourth, but then came up against Graham, who managed to secure a close-run four set victory.

Kelvin Clements, top-ranked last season, won his three despite being taken to five by Graham, and then teamed up with Mark to see off the challenge of Graham and Ian in the doubles to secure a creditable 8-2 opening victory.

Results: Graves Park A 8 Penmaen B 2, Graves Park D 1 Stickney A 9, Penmaen A 10 Lodgers B 0, Graves Park C 7 Wrangle A 3, Lodgers G 8 Lodgers E 2.