League is turning into a two-horse race

It was a busy first week back at the tables after the Christmas break in the Stamford and Rutland Table Tennis League.

Eastfield A continued their dominance of Division 1 with a 7-3 victory over neighbours Eastfield MTTG.

Shaun Murray quickly found his form to secure a full-house, while Julian Tee earned a brace of wins. Miroslav Vala replied with two wins of his own, however, to keep Eastfield MTTG in the hunt for a top four finish.

Bourne A had a mixed week with both a victory and a defeat. The win was against their B team colleagues who remain hampered by enforced absence.

Mike Willis was unbeaten for the A team and Rod Goss was a two-time winner; Brian Spittlehouse won twice for the B team.

Against MTTG A, however, Bourne A slipped to a 2-8 reverse. Dave Needham and Chris

Weston both remained unbeaten to ensure the victory, and to retain MTTG’s perfect record.

Once again, their matches with Eastfield A should decide the championship.

Having lost once during the week, MTTG Eastfield and Bourne B were both determined to avoid a second defeat when they played each other but it was the Eastfield club who ended the evening with a comprehensive 10-0 win. Steve Williams, Adam Jepson and Miroslav Vala wer the successful trio.

Following an improved end to the first half of the season, Stamford School slumped to a 10-0 defeat at the bats of Uffington CC A. Both Greg Baxter and Andy Roughton fought back from two sets down in matches, but, together with Matt Durrands, the determined and consistent play of Uffington ensured the deserved victory.

The Division 2 honours would seem to be between three teams, two of whom dropped a key point in draws this week.

Bourne C welcomed Stamford Free Church but were reliant on Harry Jackson for their draw. He was the only unbeaten player on a night when Free Church stalwarts

Rob Elliott and John Chambers each won twice and together secured the doubles point 14-12 in the final set. Despite having a match in hand, the dropped point by Bourne C could prove costly.

Braunston B have made the most noticeable progress this week with two wins and a draw.

Their wins were 10-0 against Bourne ‘E’ - with Bill Seese, Marty Stamper and Vic Hoffman enjoying success – and 8-2 at Tallington ‘B’, with Bill Seese and David Smart unbeaten and Cedric Phillips a two-time winner.

However, it is the dropped point at home to Tallington A which might be more important at the end of the season. Vic Hoffman and Bill Seese won twice in this encounter, but it was Tallington’s Paul Ramm who starred with a full-house performance.

The third team in the fight for honours is Eastfield C, and JJ Otahal, Danny Hulinsky and Matin Paluga earned a 10-0 win over Bourne E to remain just one point behind Braunston B.

The final match of the week was a meeting between the Tallington sides, and it was the A team that triumphed 9-1, with Paul Ramm and Richard Allen unbeaten and Kevin Toomey a two-time victor.