FIRST met second in Division One of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League this week as table-toppers Ibis took on Natland.
Ibis received a scare to their 100 per cent record early on as Natland levelled the tie at 2-2 thanks to Roger Pimblett’s victories against Trevor Nicholson and James McGrath, adding to Harry Carter’s thrilling 11-9 success in the thrilling final set also against Nicholson.
Natland pulled ahead 3-2 when Mark Ashburn eclipsed McGrath in three routine sets.
The Kendal side battled tenaciously throughout and got themselves back into contention at 4-3 up when Steve Dixon completed victories against Pimblett and Carter to leave the tie evenly poised.
Pimblett secured another victory against McGrath - his second of the evening - yet Ibis arrived at the doubles 5-4 up thanks to Dixon’s three victories and a mammoth five-set victory for McGrath against Carter.
Ibis secured their 13th straight triumph of the season when McGrath and Dixon teamed up in the doubles to defeat Ashburn and Carter in four sets.
The victory leaves Ibis 21 points ahead of Natland, but third placed Glaxo have three games in hand.
Burton B moved up to sixth after a 9-1 demolition of relegation-threatened Dallam. Craig James scored Dallam’s only point in a miserable night by beating Ian Brotherton.
Burton’s star performers were Stephen and Peter Baxendale, who won three matches apiece. The defeat leaves Dallam third from bottom and only three points above the relegation zone.
Dallam D head the Division Two table by a healthy seven points ahead of Natland D despite losing 6-4 to their C team in one of the biggest shocks of the season.
Phil Hyman was unbeaten for Dallam C, but only after limping through 11-8 in the fifth set against an unfortunate Peter Duxbury.
Sam Horrocks also impressed for the C team, winning two matches against Duxbury and Stuart Allan. The win lifts Dallam C up into seventh place.
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth School under 19s team consisting of Tom Jackson, Lawrence Duncan, Stephen Baxendale and George Pickering became North West Schools Champions.
They will now play in the North of England Finals at Blackburn next month for a place in the coveted national finals.
In the Cumbria schools individual tournament, Dallam School’s Sam Horrocks won the Cumbria Under 13s category, becoming the U13s junior county champion.