Pocklington moves up the table tennis rankings

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

Belchford’s Andrew Pocklington moved into third place in the rankings with an impressive maximum against the vastly-experienced Sibsey D team in Division Two of the Boston and District Table Tennis League.

Andrew’s game against Tim Sampson was the tightest of the evening, Tim losing the deciding fifth leg 9-11.

Tony Hall beat Brian Todd and Jon Newby, while Tim had to be content with one win, against Jon, whereas Den Pattrick laboured all night with no reward for his efforts.

The doubles was another classic, Andrew and Brian needing a fifth end to see off the determined challenge of Tony and Tim as Belchford won 7-3.

Things went from bad to worse for Sibsey B when they hosted promotion rivals Lodgers C, losing 8-2.

They were down to only two players as Wayne Grooby was unavailable, then having to concede two more games when Steve Hill was unable to continue after his first game defeat to Andy Birks.

Sixth-ranked Richard Hill made a game of it, beating Andy Birks and Vic Clements, and forcing top-ranked Scott Sykes to a fifth set decider, which a very relieved Scott hung on to win 13-11.

Lodgers D closed the gap on their nearest rivals Graves Park E with a narrow 6-4 victory, Ian Gorrie, Graham Bonsor and Steve Blanchard all contributing two wins apiece against Joe Gilbert and Rita Rowe.

Rita played well to take the second end against Ian 17-15, but faded in the next two.

She also took Steve to deuce in the first end, Steve recovering well to take the next two with greater ease.

Meanwhile, Andy Gilbert got involved in a brilliant attacking game against Graham, Graham taking the second end before Andy recovered the initiative.

Lodgers Blades were made to fight all the way for their 7-3 victory over Sibsey D, for whom Den Pattrick was on fire, beating Gavin Read and Scott Raistrick, both in five sets.

Not to be outdone, Tim Sampson took the game to number two-ranked Simon Raistrick, and beat him in four sets, his first loss in five matches, while Tony Hall was so close to beating Gavin, going down in the fifth set 10-12.

Sibsey A’s title ambitions were severely dented by an 8-2 defeat by table-topping Lodgers Blades, the A team’s Neil Snaith showing grit and determination to halt the Blades’ advance with two five set wins over Scott Raistrick and Gavin Read.

Simon Raistrick dropped just one set, to Neil, in his three wins, while Phil Coote picked up the third end against both Scott and Gavin, but was unable to build on this platform.

With the snow settling outside, Sibsey B took an ice-pick to the heart of Penmaen B, shattering any dreams Penmaen might have harboured of a second victory following a 9-1 result.

The only ray of light was Ben Jackson’s straight set win over Wayne Grooby; Jon Burkitt took the first set against Richard Hill, but that was to be a false dawn, as the Sibsey machine rolled on.