Vir­gin storm to vic­tory in clash of lo­cal ti­tans

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By ALAN SWANN alan.swann@jpress.co.uk

VIR­GIN Ac­tive look set to con­tinue their dom­i­na­tion of the Peter­bor­ough & Dis­trict League af­ter win­ning the clash of the lo­cal ten­nis ti­tans.

The Thorpe Wood based out­fit, for­merly known as Es­porta, have won the top flight ti­tle for the past 22 years (in­clud­ing a spell at East­ways be­fore Es­porta opened). but Deep­ing be­lieve they have as­sem­bled a squad ca­pa­ble of push­ing them hard this sea­son.

That the­ory was put to the test this week, but Vir­gin’s tal­ent pool proved far deeper, es­pe­cially as Deep­ing were forced to con­cede two rub­bers when one of their third-string pair, James West­gate, was forced out of the ac­tion af­ter one de­feat be­cause of ill­ness.

That prob­a­bly didn’t af­fect the re­sult as the two Vir­gin pairs to ben­e­fit from a 13-0 walkover re­sult in­cluded high-class teenagers Will Huy­ton and Jack Thorndike.

Huy­ton is an out­stand­ing tal­ent with a UK rank­ing in the top 20 at un­der 16 level and de­liv­ered a su­perb dis­play along­side steady part­ner Paul Burt to dis­man­tle Deep­ing’s top two Clive Moody and John Timson 9-4 (each team has three pairs who play one set of 13 games du­ra­tion against each other).

The ten­nis was scrappy at the start of the other matches, but Timson and Moody, a for­mi­da­ble part­ner­ship, did win a crack­ing con­test against the gi­ant Thorndike, a na­tion­ally ranked top 50 un­der 17 player, and his Pol­ish part­ner Gre­gor Ko­marowski.

The Vir­gin pair were play­ing to­gether for the first time against an ex­pe­ri­enced duo who lose very few sets at this level. Timson, an ath­letic volleyer with a pow­er­ful back­hand, and Moody, a won­der­fully con­sis­tent stroke-maker, led 5-2 be­fore even­tu­ally squeez­ing home af­ter a tie-break.

Timson and Moody won their final game against Ja­son Sowerby and Matt Hard­wick com­fort­ably and the Vir­gin part­ner­ship were also beaten by James Put­trell and Sam Wooding.

Put­trell was a reg­u­lar mem­ber of the Es­porta ti­tle-win­ning side, but has moved to Deep­ing for a fresh chal­lenge. His games had ex­tra spice, but Put­trell hit some beefy win­ners and he and Wooding pushed Huy­ton and Burt hard be­fore ac­cept­ing a nar­row de­feat.

Vir­gin Ac­tive are now 11 points ahead of Deep­ing at the top of the Di­vi­sion One ta­ble.

Match re­sult: Vir­gin Ac­tive 6, Deep­ing A 3. Will Huy­ton & Paul Burt beat Clive Moody & John Timson 9-4; beat James Put­trell & Sam Wooding 76; beat James West­gate & Scott Tit­man 13-0 (walkover). Jack Thorndike & Gre­gor Ko­marowski lost to Clive Moody & John Timson 6-7; beat James Put­trell & Sam Wooding 8-5; beat James West­gate & Scott Tit­man 13-0 (walkover). Ja­son Sowerby & Matt Hard­wick beat James West­gate & Scott Tit­man 9-4; lost to Clive Moody & John Timson 5-8; lost to James Put­trell & Sam Wooding 5-8. LAT­EST ta­bles and re­sults from other Peter­bor­ough & Dis­trict Ten­nis Leagues.

Di­vi­sion Two Di­vi­sion Three Deep­ing D 3 3 0 21 30 Spald­ing C 2 2 0 13 19 Bourne 2 2 0 13 19 Spald­ing B 3 1 2 14 18 OTT 3 1 2 14 17 Rail­way B 4 1 3 10 13 Vir­gin C 3 1 2 11 13 Deep­ing E 2 0 2 3 3 Re­sults: OTT 3 (3), Deep­ing D 6 (9); Vir­gin Ac­tive C 3 (3), Rail­way B 6 (9). Di­vi­sion Four

P W L R Pts NENS 4 3 1 24 33 Whit­tle­sey A 4 3 1 24 33 Stam­ford D 4 3 1 23 32 Perkins 4 3 1 24 32 Cas­tor A 4 2 2 15 21 Rail­way A 3 1 2 13 16 JB Squad 3 0 3 6 6 Deep­ing C 4 0 4 5 5 Re­sults: NENS 5 (8), Rail­way 4 (4); Stam­ford D 9 (12), Deep­ing C 0 (0); Whit­tle­sey A 7 (10), JB Squad 2 (2); Perkins 7, Cas­tor A 2. Stam­ford E Stam­ford F Whit­tle­sey B Longth­orpe Deep­ing F

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