Baptism of fire in table tennis league

Local sport from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk/sport, on Twitter @standardduncan
Local sport from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk/sport, on Twitter @standardduncan

Both promoted teams were handed a home draw in the first week of the new Boston and District Table Tennis season.

Sibsey B hosted Wrangle A in Division One, last season’s fifth-placed team, and they found them in less-than-charitable mood, losing 10-0.

Richard Hill came closest to causing an upset, taking Pete Evans to five sets before he ran out of steam.

Steve Hill took legs off Sam Cooper and Dave Coulson, and Wayne Grooby very nearly took the third end off Dave, but the heart-breaker was the doubles.

At 2-0 sets down, the Hills looked dead and buried, but managed to fight back, taking the next two to force the game into a fifth and deciding end. Somehow, Sam and Pete dug in to take the leg 11-8, wrapping up a fine 10-0 victory.

Graves Park B took on their stablemates, the C team, and were indebted to Alan Reetham for two of their three hard-fought points, losing 7-3.

Alan beat Graham Walters in four sets, and then achieved a remarkable comeback in the fifth leg against Martin Walters to add an air of respectability to the scoreline.

Mike Freeston beat Graham in straight sets, while Mick Maltby felt it wasn’t going to be his night, going down 18-20 in the first end of game one, against Martin.

James Quinton played well to pick up his three, despite accidentally dousing his new bat in juice before the match began – it just added to the tackiness of the rubber.

In the other match played last week, Lodgers E took on defending champions Penmaen A and lost 8-2.

Alan Ashberry and Peter Munch emerged undefeated, not that it was all plain-sailing; Graham Lacey took both to five sets, as did Scott Sykes against Peter, going down at deuce in the final end.

Last season’s number two-ranked Brett Heppenstall was beaten in five sets by Graham, while Scott went one better, winning 16-14 in the fourth end to clinch the game.

By comparison, Colin Bell was having a quiet game, going down in straight sets each time, despite taking Brett to deuce in the second end.

Alan and Peter powered home in straight sets in the doubles against Graham and Scott to secure a creditable 8-2 victory.