Close-run affair 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

It was a close-run thing when Graves Park A hosted Stickney in Division One of the Boston and District Table Tennis League, as befits teams separated by only four points in the table.

For the visitors, Jack Christian was on fire, beating Rob Smith in three sets, but Alan Reetham nearly turned the tables, coming back from 2-0 down to level the scores, narrowly failing to secure the deciding leg.

Rob Smith may have beaten Vince Lozynsky in straight sets, but he needed two wins at deuce, having taken the first set 11-9.

Gavin Herberts picked up two, against Alan and Phil Brooks before teaming up with Vince to beat Phil and Rob in four sets.

Lodgers Blades gained a valuable win in a bottom of the table clash with Sibsey C, Simon Raistrick playing extremely well to win his three singles despite being taken to four ends in all of his games.

Simon was ably supported by Gavin Read who, although lost his first game in straight sets to Roger Hooton, beat Chris Cooke in a very close three ender and Dave Smith in four.

Scott Raistrick lost out to Chris Cooke in his first game which was extremely close, Chris just closing the game down to win the fifth end 15–13 much to Chris’s delight.

Scott then lost out to Roger in three straight before picking up his solitary win in an extremely good game against Dave in five ends.

In the doubles the Sibsey pairing of Roger and Chris hoped to gain a win to add some respectability to the scoreline and after storming into a 2 set lead this looked like it might be the case but the Blades pairing of Simon and Gavin had other ideas and with the controlled play of Gavin coming to the fore took the next three ends in fine style to give the Blades a deserved 7–3 win.

With the 10-0 demolition of Lodgers C, Penmaen now stand at the top of the table, equal on points with Lodgers A, but with two games in hand.

Scott Sykes was the closest any of the Lodgers’ players came to winning a set, narrowly losing the second set to Alan Ashberry 11-13.

Andrew Pocklington and Andy Birks both lost their first set against Derek Wood 11-9, whilst Brett Heppenstall took his three with consummate ease.

With six five-setters, and only two games settled in three sets, Graves Park C and Wrangle slugged it out in a match full of drama.

Martin Walters proved to be the fittest player that evening, with all his games going the distance; he was, perhaps, also the luckiest, winning all three, needing a 19-17 final end shootout against Dave Coulson.

Both Sam Cooper and Dave beat Graham Walters, but Pete Evans lost in five to both Martin and Graham before partnering Sam against James Quinton and Martin in the doubles, where exhaustion clearly took its toll, the away pair going down in four sets.

Division One results: Graves Park A 4 Stickney 6, Sibsey C 3 Lodgers Blades 7, Penmaen 10 Lodgers C 0, Graves Park C 8 Wrangle 2.

Division Two results: Sibsey A 8 Lodgers E 2, Belchford 1 Sibsey D 9.