Unbeaten tabletoppers DTH Redlands Roosters continued their relentless charge towards the First Division title with their eighth straight win in the Worksop Table Tennis League.
However, they didn’t have it all their own way against Worksop Miners Welfare A, who were perhaps unlucky that they couldn’t call on the services of last season’s open singles champion Richard Element.
Roosters eventually came home with a narrow 6-4 victory after a true captain’s role by Rick Harris, who won all three of his games, against Stuart Element, Dave Marsh and Ken Alvey.
Harris was well supported by Clive Mitchell, who lost out to Element but defeated both Marsh and Alvey, to leave Orestas Riauba, promoted from Division Two, to take the other game against Alvey.
The triumph left Roosters two points clear of club colleagues Fluffy Toys, who have won the title for the last six years and won’t be surrendering it without a fight judging by the way they demolished Stanley Street A 10-0 in their latest fixture.
The match was closer than the scoreline suggests, however, with only two of the games being won in straight sets. There were hat-tricks all round for Steve Walker, Mick Brooks and Steve Johnson, against the Street trio of Alex Millward, Matt Williams and Pete Eyre, with Johnson and Walker adding the doubles set against Millward and Williams to complete the whitewash.
Another side who enjoyed a 10-0 victory were Manton Misfits, although this time the scoreline did reflect the action because only one of the games was not won in straight sets. Their hapless opponents were Ryton Park Adders, who find themselves rooted firmly to the bottom of the table without a league success so far and in need of some divine intervention if they are to haul themselves out of trouble.
For the Misfits, Steve Lyon, Kerry Harvey and Kalpesh Bhatt took no time at all to dispatch the Adders’ team of Ivan Guilliatt, James Wormwell and Mark Fisher, and there was to be no let-up in the doubles as Harvey and Bhatt defeated Wormwell and Fisher in straight sets in the doubles.
Adders’ club colleagues, Ryton Park Eagles, are also entrenched in a relegation battle after returning home without a point from Manton Nomads. Sarah Short led the way for the Nomads, beating all three of the Eagles players in Brian Allen, Helmuth Osborne and John Hallgarth for a hat-trick that teed up an 8-2 victory and, more importantly, put some more daylight between themselves and the two Ryton Park sides near the foot of the table.
Both Kieran Alvey and Ian Henderson added two wins each for the Nomads, and although both lost to Osborne, Henderson teamed up with Short to beat Allen and Osborne in the doubles.
At the top of Division Three, DTH Redlands Rookies are nailed-on favourites to win the title. In fact, the bookies would have stopped taking bets a few weeks ago on them being crowned champions! They have won seven out of seven matches and conceded only seven games.
In their latest match, Rookies’ captain and Mr 100% Derek Piper continued his terrific start to the season, improving a record that now reads: played 21, won 21. It will take a good performance to take his unbeaten record away from him.
Taking on promotion-chasing Ryton Park Cougars, who sit third in the table, Piper’s teammates Chris Cutts and Chris Clemson also registered hat-tricks and teamed up to take the doubles to cap an impressive 10-0 win over the Cougars side of Ivan Stallworthy, Connor Bettley and Harvey Renshaw.