Crosby hold the Xmas No1 slot
AS was forecasted, Crosby A and B teams will occupy first and second place at the top of Division One of the Southport and Formby Table Tenis League going into the Christmas break.
With the A team on 75pts without a match, the B team did have the chance to take pole position.
A trip to Argyle B was the task in hand, but wins from Allister Taylor and Monica Coogan, along with a doubles success meant the B team had to settle for second place with 74pts, after their 3-7 victory.
Argyle A (62pts) cemented third place after a tense home draw against Southport A (59pts), Julian Quirk stepping up from their B team with a full quota of wins, was pivotal in securing the draw.
Princes ST A welcomed back number one Matty Wilson, and he duly helped his side to a 9-1 victory over bottom side Crosby C (25pts), which moved them into fourth place on 61pts.
Holy Trinity A also finished on a high with a maximum win at second bottom Crosby D (30pts).
Our final feature match is the Princes St derby between their B and C teams, and with both teams in fine fettle even though they were both in the bottom half of the table, the mood felt right for an early Christmas cracker.
What a start for the C team, with first Josiah Nix and then Ray Hibbs pulling out all the stops in two five game epic wins against Martyn Coleman and Dave Britton respectively.
B team captain Roger Neal then restored some order by overcoming Mick Winder in four games, before C team captain Josh Taylor edged a ding dong battle against Ged Wilson, the 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 14-12, 9-11 scoreline telling the story.
That made the match score
1-3 for the C team but it could so easily have been the other way round.
With that analogy firmly ignored Ray then increased his side’s advantage with a four game win over Martyn, only for Ged to do a similar job on Josiah to make it 2-4 C team.
Doubles were next up on this delicious menu, Roger and Dave were pitted against Josh and Ray. No one had to ask for a refund on this one, superb play throughout from both pairs, who shared the first four games, 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 8-11.
Into the fifth, and the B team pair closed the gap again, an 11-8 win made it 3-4 on the night.
Yet another extraordinary contest was then served up, Ged and Martyn versus Mick and Josiah. First two games to the B team pairing, the second being an incredible 18-16 snatch, which included Martyn pushing aside his solid defensive play o produce winning hits on both his fore and back hand, impressive indeed!
Back came the C team pair to level things 9-11, 7-11, only for the Ged Martyn combo to win it in the fifth, just 11-9, making it all square at 4-4. The t turnaround was then completed by Roger, who just got the better of his opposite number Josh in four intriguing games to put the B team ahead for the first time 5-4.
Finally, Mick had the last say, drawing his side back level, overcoming Dave in four pulsating games, fighting back having lost the first.
What a match, and at 5-5 the right result.
Both sides deserved a lot of credit, and a big thankyou to them for delivering what I asked for at the start, an early Christmas Cracker.
Argyle D (75pts) reaffirmed top spot in the Second Division, with a decisive 8-2 win over their E team, giving them a 13pt lead over their rivals Argyle C, who were without a match this week, but were already assured of that second berth.
Southport B (58pts) head the chasing pack after a convincing 9-1 home win against bottom team Crosby F, who on 25pts find themselves seven points adrift of Argyle E. Crosby E (56pts) jumped up to fourth place, this after a 9-1 home success over an understrength Princes St D.
Nick Foss made a welcome return for the Princes St E fold, although his full quota of wins couldn’t prevent his side from going down to to a 4-6 home defeat to a useful looking Holy Trinity B side.
Waterloo A won the bragging rights in their derby against their B team, an 8-2 victory looked accomplished, but with three of those wins going to five games, then it could have been a lot closer.
Division Three leaders Argyle H (79pts) had already put their feet up knowing their position was guaranteed.
However second placed Argyle F (62pts) missed the chance to close the gap significantly when they went down to a 7-3 loss at Crosby H.
North Meols and Princes St F are now in joint third place on 59pts, after very good wins over Crosby G (8-2) and Southport C (7-3) respectively.
Para’s (55pts) also kept in touch with a 9-1 win over Southport D.
Finally, festive cheer was in abundance at Argyle’s mini derby where the G team were facing the prospect of turning up with only three players, Argyle J’s Tony Philips answered the last minute call and turned out for their opponents.
A great match then ensued and finished all square, leaving just one more thing to say - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.