Steve Allen did his burgeoning reputation no harm by taking all three of his matches when Lodgers A took on Lodgers C in Division One of the Boston and District Table Tennis League.
Steve started his evening by beating Graham Lacey in three.
Next up was Mark Hulme, who Steve lost to in the reverse fixture earlier on in the season, and things didn’t look good when Mark took the first end 11-7. However, Steve got his attacking game going and took the next three ends.
The match against Kelvin Clements was arguably the match of the night – Kelvin taking the first two ends 11-8, 11-8 before Steve fought back to the take the third 7-11.
The fourth end had Kelvin on match point but Steve managed to save it before taking the end 11-13, which set up a grand finale with Steve coming through strong.
Scott Sykes and Andy Pocklington battled hard but couldn’t find a way through so the A team took the spoils with a 7-3 victory.
Some very close matches occurred when Graves Park A welcomed Wrangle to Kirton.
However, it was Wrangle that came out on top with a 3-7 victory.
Phil Brooks had a tough evening, losing out to Sam Cooper in five very close ends, before losing out to Pete Evans in four.
Hoping to redeem himself against Dave Coulson, Phil battled hard over five very close ends but once again, just came up short with Dave taking the fifth 9-11.
Rob Smith was once again the star man for Graves Park but he was denied a perfect night by a resurgent Pete Evans, who won in four ends.
Alan Reetham also battled hard for the Park with two of his matches going the full distance, losing the fifth end comprehensively against Dave Coulson (2-11) but faring better against Pete Evans, winning 11-5 in the fifth .
James Quinton was the star man when Lodgers B took on Graves C, taking all three of his singles with aplomb on the way to a 2-8 victory.
Having said that, James was pushed to five ends by a spirited performance from Trev Blackbourn.
Trev did manage to get some consolation for his hard work though, with a four-leg victory over Martin Walters.
On another positive note for the B team, Dave Kime secured an excellent victory over Graham Walters – despite losing the first end 8-11, Dave played beautifully to take the next three ends 11-7, 11-6, 11-5.
In the end though, Graves Park C were just too strong and they came out worthy winners 2-8.
With Brian Hill ill, Penmaen were forced to pull in a reserve – but when that reserve is Jimmy Brewster, it wasn’t making it any easier as Stickney visited Wyberton.
Jimmy started by putting a marker down, beating Dave Heppenstall in three ends.
He continued in this vein all night, although Gavin Herberts did give him a brief scare, taking the first end 9-11 before succumbing in the next three.
Another unbeaten record did fall though when Brett Heppenstall took on namesake Dave.
Dave came out on top, winning in four, taking the fourth end 6-11.
He also got Stickney’s other point with a straight-ends victory over Alan Ashberry.
It was almost three points when Dave and Gavin teamed up to play Brett and Alan in the doubles.
In a very close five-end battle though, Penmaen came through to take the fifth 13-11 and with it a 8-2 victory.
In Division Two, two players with 100 per cent records clashed this week when Simon Raistrick and Matt Haslam squared up as Lodgers Blades took on title rivals Sibsey A for the first time this season.
The first singles match paired Simon up against Matt, with Matt taking the first two ends 6-11, 10-12.
However, this seemed to spur Simon on and he took the next three legs 11-8, 11-5 and 11-5 to give the Blades first blood.
With Scott Raistrick taking the second match against Sam Cade in four, it was the third match of the night before Sibsey got a point on the board, when a bemused Gavin Read lost in straight ends to a clash of styles with Neil Snaith.
Sibsey then started to gain momentum, winning the next two matches – Matt winning in straight ends against Scott Raistrick and Neil then inflicting a first defeat to Simon Raistrick.
That though was as good as it got for Sibsey, as the Blades started to turn the screw, winning all the remaining matches, although Sam Cade was unlucky to lose out in five to Gavin Read.
Matt then lost his second match of the night to a spirited performance from Gavin, taking the fifth end 11-7.
All in all it was a thoroughly entertaining match and an excellent 7-3 victory for the Blades – and the return match will certainly be interesting.
Sibsey B gifted Sibsey C three points by not being able to field a third player.
Steve Hill and Wayne Grooby put in a spirited performance with Steve picking up two, beating Smith in four after losing the first end quite comprehensively.
The game then turned Steve’s way and he comfortably took the next three ends.
Steve then had a tight five-end battle with Roger Hooton, who took the first two ends and looked odds on to win the game in three, but Steve got his game together and took the next two ends with ease to take the game to a nailbiting decider.
But Roger was not to be denied and took the vital fifth end 11-6.
Steve’s other win of the night was against Mick Ellis, who could not master the top spin of Steve, who went on to win in three straight.
Wayne Grooby chipped in with one victory, beating Mick Ellis in a topsy-turvy four-ender which could have gone either way.
In the doubles, Sibsey C decided to pair the two left-handers of Smith and Mick against the right-handers of Wayne and Steve, and this proved to be decisive as somewhat surprisingly the Sibsey C pairing romped home in straight ends to give a final score of 7-3 to the C Team.
Points were gifted to Graves Park B when Lodgers E only turned up with two players, Vic Clements and Richard Baxter.
In the remaining seven match-ups though, no fewer than four went the full distance.
Vic was unlucky to not win any of his singles for his efforts, losing in five ends to both Mick Maltby and Dave Graham, but had no answer to Mike Freeston.
Richard Baxter was unbeaten on the night, although Mike Freeston was unlucky, just losing 10-12 in the fifth end.
In the doubles, Mike Freeston and Dave Graham paired up to take on Richard and Vic and an excellent match transpired.
With the Park up 2-1 up in legs, Lodgers came back strong to take the fourth end, but this must have taken all of their energy because they couldn’t compete in the deciding leg, with the Park coming through 11-1 for an overall victory of 7-3.
There was yet another Lodgers team not being able to field a full team when Graves Park welcomed Lodgers E to Kirton.
This arguably cost them a victory with a draw being the result on the night.
Steve Harker, for Lodgers, took all of his three matches with only Peter Bell taking him the full distance, just losing out 8-11 in the fifth.
Steve Blanchard backed him up, taking two victories against Alex Allbones and Alan Bown but came up short against Peter Bell, who got his victory that his play deserved, taking the decisive fourth end.
With the match poised at 5-4 in Lodgers’ favour, Graves Park needed the doubles to earn a draw.
In a terrific encounter that swung one way then the other all the way to the fifth end, it was Graves Park that secured the draw.
Matt Lilly was called up from Division Three when Mayflower 2 took on a strong Graves Park D team.
Matt once again showed that he was able to compete in the higher division by taking two of his three singles.
Mick Dodes was the star man, winning all three of his singles and just dropping the one end to Matt Lilly.
Tony Hall, playing his first match of the season, did extremely well in taking a victory against Dave Walters but in the end the Park were too strong and a 3-7 victory was a fair result.
Division Three saw a bit of a one-sided affair when Mayflower 3 took on Mayflower 1, with Mayflower 1 running away to a 1-9 victory.
Matt Lilly and Lucas East took all of their singles, although Alex Pexton took Lucas all the way, just losing out 6-11 in the fifth.
Mayflower 3’s point came from the battle of the Pextons, when Alex took on Tim – and it was Alex who got the spoils with a straight ends victory.