St Gabriel’s face bat­tle at the top and bot­tom of Divi­sion Two

Sunderland Echo - - Sport -

Pro­mo­tion and rel­e­ga­tion is­sues were at the fore in Sun­der­land Ta­ble Ten­nis League Divi­sion Two fix­tures this week, with still much at stake for a num­ber of clubs.

Third-placed Sacriston Bombers hosted sec­ond-bot­tom Silksworth IM B, and the un­der­dogs re­ceived an early boost when Jeff McKenna de­feated Ian McPher­son 11-9 in the fourth.

This was fol­lowed by a typ­i­cal Nigel Tree fight-back. Trail­ing 2-0 to Kevin Richardson, Tree drew level by tak­ing a tight fourth end be­fore com­plet­ing win­ing the de­cider 11-5.

Bombers’ Richardson bounced back to beat McKenna and McPher­son per­formed the same trick on Tree.

How­ever, the two Silksworth men both despatched Nigel Coe to keep the mar­gin of de­feat down to the min­i­mal 6-4.

That re­sult piled ex­tra pres­sure on third-bot­tom St Gabriel’s C, who had to face ta­ble-top­ping Gabriel’s B.

Joe Mul­downey’s max­i­mum guided the lead­ers to vic­tory, but C team’s David Rev­ell bagged im­pres­sive wins over Graeme Mur­den and Jake Helm (11-6 in the fifth end). Those points could yet prove cru­cial in the rel­e­ga­tion shakeup.

Else­where, East Boldon Ami­gos cap­i­talised on Sacriston’s fail­ure by gain­ing an 8-2 suc­cess at Gabriel’s D.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, the three sets that were de­cided 11-9 in the fifth all dropped the way of the East Boldon team. Ami­gos are now on the cusp of clinch­ing pro­mo­tion to the top-flight.

Amongst the high­lights in Divi­sion One were two hat­trick dis­plays.

At Union­ist Club A, Richard Wil­son de­feated Ge­orge Gib­son and Tom Bain­bridge from St Gabriel’s A be­fore round­ing off his su­perb dis­play by tak­ing a highly-com­pet­i­tive set against Tony Gelder, 20-18 in the fifth.

Wil­son’s ef­fort was sup­ported by Mick Grimes’ dou­ble which in­cluded an 11-8 last-end win over Gelder as Union­ists ran out 6-4 victors.

Another player in blis­ter­ing form was Ge­off Sal­ter as he rat­tled off nine unan­swered ends for Bran­don Air in their 8-2 win at True Roof Di­rect.

Two bat­tling five-end wins saved home-team blushes as Shirley Gelder over­came Lee Tin­kler, be­fore the fi­nal game saw An­drew Ben­jamin claw back a 2-0 deficit against Jamie Lup­ton. Ben­jamin edged the third end 13-11, be­fore storm­ing home 11-6 in the de­cider.

De­spite a lack of ac­tion at the top of Divi­sion Three, there were two close con­tests played out amongst the re­main­ing pack.

East Boldon Cow­boys trav­elled to Back­spin C and an Ethan Brown tre­ble was piv­otal in their 6-4 vic­tory.

Lyn­d­sey Irv­ing (2) and Deb­bie Ir­win grabbed sets for the home team, but Mar­tyn Parry was twice de­nied in five-end tus­sles by Cow­boys’ Bruce Dav­i­son, 11-6, and So­phie Richardson, 11-7.

Lanch­ester Ea­gles B were also 6-4 victors, over­com­ing Sacriston Scor­pi­ons. The open­ing three matches went the dis­tance and, cru­cially, the Ea­gles pre­vailed each time; Nigel Cardale against Stephen Verde 11-6, Terry Charl­ton over Oliver Wilkin­son 11-5, and James Barker against John Grainger 11-6.

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