Mount gambier Table Tennis’ Spring season reached fever pitch this week, week 6’s penultimate round producing some of the most fiercely contested table tennis of the season, duly reflected in the closeness of the results.
Broncos were forced to take on the Patriots with a man down in their Division 1 match, their number 2 player Kevin Patzel unable to take his place in the line-up. Harry Childs was out to prove that the Broncos could still be a force to be reckoned with, taking down his Patriots opponent Marcus Thompson easily in the first rubber of the night. Patriots’ Felix Owusu restored order for his team, accounting for Luke Bremner in an equally one-sided affair. Broncos then went on the rampage, Graham Heading, Johnny McBain and Travis Sweet all posting victories to give the Broncos a 4-1 lead. The Patriots mounted a charge through the latter section of the matchup and needed Bill-John Watson to overcome Sweet in the final rubber of the night to force a tie and countback. Alas, Sweet proved far too strong, taking the rubber in three games, giving Broncos the upset 8-6 win.
The second Division 1 match was an even tighter affair, the Raiders and Cowboys matching each other almost point for point all night. Kucheria Luka starred for the Cowboys, winning both of his singles rubbers, whilst for the Raiders Sirinat Sweet and Sarah Thompson also shone. Luka was forced to fight for his opening win against Raiders’ Raylene Hutchesson, both players evenly matched and refusing to give an inch in a marathon 5-gamer. The tone continued through the opening singles rubbers of the night. The Cowboys appeared to be gaining the upper hand with 3 consecutive victories through the doubles section, however the Raiders refused to go away, returning serve with the next 3 consecutive wins to level things up. Once again Kuncheria Luka, Hayden Luo and substitute player Johnny McBain lifted the tempo to give Cowboys a 3 rubber lead, and once again Thompson, Sweet and Robin Pellen refused to go away, clawing their way back with victories in the final 3 rubbers to force a 9-all tie and the countback. As if that wasn’t heart stopping enough, the countback result was as tight as they come also. Will Newlyn’s pinched a game off Sweet, ultimately losing in 4 games, however this proved critical as the Cowboys who snuck home by the slimmest of margins, 40 games to 39.
In the first of the Division 2 outings, the Warriors appeared to be in control early, jumping out to a 4-1 lead against the Vikings on the back of strong victories to Tracey Escreet, Lorraine Halleday, Chris Turner and Nick Sweet. Richard Horrigan stepped up to save the day for the Vikings, accounting for Kylie Boston in three tight games. That sparked a revival for his team through the middle section of the match, the Vikings going on to win four straight doubles rubbers and charging home in the reverse singles backend of the night to ultimately clinch the match by 10 rubbers to 8. Sweet and Turner kept a clean sheet in their singles efforts for the Warriors, whilst for the Vikings Tracey Rawlings maintained her strong form for the season with another undefeated performance.
The final Divion 2 match of the night was unfortunately not such a close one, the Lions starting strongly with Richard Van Der Linde taking care of his Titans opponent Mark Devaney, a result which set the tone for the rest of the night. Substitute player Deakin Lofthouse provided a highlight for the Titans, scoring a high quality 5-game victory over his highly fancied Lions opponent in Jacob Ireland. Nath Harris-Jones later dished out a repeat dose to Ireland, defeating him in another epic 5-gamer, this time 18-16 in the decider. Unfortunately, the highlights were few and far between for the Titans, the Lions cruising to a 13-5 triumph. James Peake, Andrew Telford, and Richard Van Der Linde kept their singles sheets clean for the victors.
2 rubber winners:
Division 1 – Travis Sweet, Harry Childs (Broncos), Sirinat Sweet, Sarah Thompson (Raiders), Kuncheria Luka (Cowboys).
Division 2 – Tracey Rawlings (Vikings), Chris Turner, Nick Sweet (Warriors), James Peake, Andrew Telford, Richard Van Der Linde (Lions).