TABLE TENNIS: Champions hit back to go level at summit

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SPALDING & DISTRICT TABLE TENNIS LEAGUE (Sponsored by Magellan Solutions Ltd): A RETURN to the league programme saw chasing teams make up ground in both divisions.

In Division One, reigning champions South Holland hit the top, albeit in a tie.

With their lead pair of John Gilbert and Richard Hammond turning out, they recorded their third clean sweep of the season, this against JAG, dropping just one end.

With Defenders dropping points, Holland are tied at the top – but have a game in hand.

Defenders came unstuck against Hit n Hope, though they did win their match 3-2.

Jean White took a double and the deciding doubles game, while Garry Wilkinson and Lorna Staff both picked up one.

Bladerunners also took a 3-2 victory, this over Lone Sharks, who have closed the gap on JAG.

Adam Davey won his team’s points, while Dave Gibson and Dave Gilbert scored one each – which probably explains why they had to fight over five ends to win the doubles and the match.

In Division Two, Seriously Adrift succumbed to their first league defeat of the season, going down 3-2 against their closest chasers Chunky and Chunkier.

While Reece Kerry had an excellent night in defeating two higher ranked players for his teams points Dave Coley and Paddy Palgrave secured the match with a point each and the doubles.

They are now five behind with a game in hand.

Behind them Insidious kept up their momentum with a 3-2 win over Moulton Butchers.

Nicola Wilkinson won both points for the losers, but Clive Shardlow and Gary Simpson were strong enough to take the other singles and battle through a tight doubles.

Two other matches got under way, but remain unfinished because only one player was available. Castle Sports and Ha’st are level with three to play, as are Barry Whites Babes and No Name.

Meanwhile, South Holland completed their match with Seriously Adrift in the Marylands Cup.

Starting level at 1-1, the Holland pair of Hammond and Adam Sokol completed the win with victories in the three remaining games to go through to round two.

Tomorrow sees the first round of the Guardian Cup, with all teams playing except No Name, who have a bye.

• Visit www.spaldingtabletennisleague.co.uk for more information on the league.