DESPITE losing to second-placed rivals Burton E in a nail-biting clash, Grayrigg A still top Division Three of the Kendal and District Table Tennis League by a narrow three-point margin.
Victories by Sam Housego and Kevin Hunter over Brian Gourlay, combined with Ben Littlewood’s five-set defeat of Dave Salmon, helped Grayrigg forge an early 11-10 lead.
Aidan Branch provided some welcome resistance for Burton, dispatching Housego and Littlewood in four sets with the match finely poised moving into the second period.
Hunter and Littlewood beat Salmon and Gourlay, while Branch and Salmon responded immediately with wins against Housego and Hunter to leave Grayrigg leading 19-17 with only the doubles to play.
However, Burton snatched a smash and grab victory when Branch and Salmon teamed up to take the spoils 11-3, 11-9, 11-6 and a 20-19 overall success.
Crook C are 16 points adrift of Burton E after losing 28-13 to Dallam E, with Bradley Varey scooping the man of the match award with three wins.
Fourth-placed Kirkby Stephen C earned their 12th victory of the campaign with a 23-12 success over Dallam F.
Kirkby fully deserved their victory as John Metcalfe, Mike Sunderland and Chris Ellis contributed two wins apiece to seal victory.
In Division Two, Dent gave themselves a fighting chance of survival after sneaking past Burton C 6-4, with Steve Hawley and Wayne Gardner claiming two wins each.
Daniel Herd and Peter Hunt replied for Burton by dispatching Ben Smith, although Dent hung on for only their second win of the season as Hawley beat Herd and Smith defeated Shelley Rhodes.
Natland D piled more misery on their E team – who are firmly rooted to the foot of the table – with a comprehensive 10-0 whitewash.
In Division One, Ibis have a slender one-point lead at the summit, having played one more game than second-placed Natland A, while Dalton CC A are a further five points behind.