Pocklington makes victorious table tennis debut

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

Andrew Pocklington made his season’s debut for Belchford against Sibsey D in Division Two of the Boston and District Table Tennis League, and he won all three games in straight sets.

Not that it was all plain sailing, Tony Hall forcing two deuce games in a tense encounter.

David Butler weighed in with two wins, beating Barry Lea and Tony, but losing out to Den Pattrick in five sets.

Jon Newby had to be content with a single victory over Barry, but had a tight five set defeat against Den, the game swinging one way and then the other.

The doubles was another close game, Tony and Den going 2-0 sets up against Andrew and Jon, only to be pegged back 2-2, forcing a fifth end decider, which went Sibsey’s way.

Lodgers Blades enjoyed a 10-0 victory over Penmaen B, although Ben Jackson proved a thorn in the Blades’ side, taking an end out of Scott Raistrick, and narrowly losing in five sets against Gavin Read.

All the other singles were over in straight sets, while the doubles was a close-run thing, Jon Birkitt and Ben losing out in four sets to Scott and Gavin.

Although eight of the games were over in straight sets, there were some tight games played when Lodgers D hosted Graves Park E, Tony Kime playing exceptionally well to take Andy Gilbert to five ends before losing.

Pete Bell was also in good form, winning his three, despite losing the first end to Tony, and being taken to deuce in the third leg by Steve Blanchard.

Joe Gilbert gained some valuable experience, and with some coaching from his father, will no doubt come on leaps and bounds. Steve and Graham Bonsor took on Pete and Andy in the doubles, almost taking the first end before fading in the next two.

Frazer Stone showed real promise in Graves Park Nomads’ match against high-flying Lodgers C, beating Vic Clements in straight sets, and going down in five legs each time to Scott Sykes and Andy Birks, with no fewer than four deuce ends. Chips Davy had to endure a five set defeat against Vic, three of the legs - including the last - being settled at deuce.

Chris Wicks also took Scott to deuce in the second leg, and then combined with Chips to take on Scott and Andy in the doubles, which turned out to be the game of the night. At 2-0 sets up, the Park pair thought they had Lodgers on toast, only to see them force a deciding leg, which saw the Park take the lead before the Lodgers’ duo snatched the set at deuce to break the Nomads’ hearts.

Tony Kime took two valuable points, beating Wayne Grooby and Steve Hill, when Lodgers D travelled to Sibsey B, but Richard Hill proved a bridge too far, beating Tony, and then winning his games against Graham Bonsor and Steve Blanchard. Graham endured a frustrating evening, losing in the fifth end to both Wayne and Steve, while Steve Blanchard saw three deuce ends slip away from him in his games.

Belchford fought out an entertaining draw against Sibsey A, Andrew Pocklington again top-scoring for the home team, taking his three singles. This was not done without a great deal of resistance, however, Neil Snaith going down 13-11 in the fifth set, whilst Fred Calvert also took Andrew to five sets.

Neil and Phil Coote both beat Brian Todd and Jon Newby, but Jon was not to be outdone, taking the game to Fred, and winning in four ends. Facing a personal whitewash, Fred took on Brian Todd in the game of the evening, three of the four ends being won at deuce – all by Fred.

Needing the win for a draw, Andrew and Jon traded ends against Neil and Fred in the doubles, winning the last two of the five played to secure a result which was fair to both teams.