Inspirational Ibis stay unbeaten in table tennis

First published in Sport The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

IBIS maintained their 100 per cent winning record in Division One of the Kendal and District League, inflicting a crushing 8-2 defeat upon Glaxo B to extend their lead to 21 points over rivals Glaxo A.

Ibis ground Glaxo down early on as they raced into an unassailable 5-0 lead, which included an incredible 8-11, 9-11, 12-10, 14-12, 11-7 win for James McGrath against Gareth Brunton.

Brunton later made amends for his earlier defeat by edging past Trevor Nicholson in five entertaining sets and Ibis went further in front at 7-1 when McGrath eased past Les Shaw and Steve Dixon scraped past an unfortunate Brunton 11-8 in a thrilling encounter.

Glaxo doubled their points haul when Tony Whitehouse defeated Nicholson 11-5 in yet another fifth set marathon.

But Ibis rounded off a drama filled night of table tennis when Dixon and McGrath teamed up in the doubles to win 11-4, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9. Despite the defeat, Glaxo B have climbed into fourth place.

Burton A clinched their third win of the season with a 7-3 victory against mid-table Crook A.

Chris Knowles and Julie Stitch got Burton off to a flying 2-0 lead, after beating Phil Swift and John Howarth respectively.

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Howarth’s match against Stitch went the full distance with the Burton player edging it 11-8 in a thrilling final set.

Mike Taylor and Swift fought back for Crook with triumphs against Martin Wakelin, although Burton went 3-2 ahead when Knowles beat Howarth 15-13 in a gut-wrenching deciding set.

In the second period, Burton took control of the tie when Stitch and Knowles completed their three victories and a three set success in the doubles. A late straight-sets success for Howarth against Wakelin could not prevent Burton from taking the win 7-3.

In Division Two, Burton C are up to second place following a 7-3 victory against Crook B. Burton’s Graeme Wheelhouse earned three wins and was ably supported by teammates James Burton and Daniel Herd, who both won two matches each.

Crook’s points came from Ed Lister’s marathon 11-6 triumph in the fifth set against Herd and Brian Tigg’s wins against Herd and Burton.

The defeat leaves Crook in fourth, two points from a promotion place.

Grayrigg A remained rooted to the foot of the table after a crushing 10-0 defeat at the hands of Kirkby Stephen B.

The closest Grayrigg came to getting on the scoresheet was Kevin Hunter’s unfortunate five set 16-14, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 13-11 defeat to a relieved Gerry Baines.

Kirkby’s Eric Robinson and Chris Horn looked more assured, with both players comfortably winning their three games.

Grayrigg B earned only their third victory of the season in Division Three with a narrow 21-19 success against Dallam F.

Ben Littlewood and Olly Philpott-Smith were instrumental in Grayrigg’s success as they both earned two victories apiece.

Teammate Sam Housego chipped in with a three-set victory against Matthew Pritchard.

Dallam’s points came courtesy of two wins apiece for Bradley Varey and Stephen Troughton.

Despite the triumph, Grayrigg B remain rooted to the foot of the table, while Dallam F are positioned fifth.

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