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Hawks are soaring
THE game of the season in Division Two of the Weymouth & District League pitted table-toppers Hawks with third-placed Colliton X – and this county town derby lived up to all expectations in a thrilling contest.
Hawks held on for the narrowest of victories – 19-18 – thanks to a last-ditch 3-1 doubles success that means they comfortably control the promotion race going into the second half of the season.
Three players from the second flight’s top six were in action but only Colliton’s Mick Hogan could boast a maximum nine sets at the end of play as he comfortably got the better of Mark Thomas (6) and Josh Harman (2) without dropping a set.
However, the game of the night was much tighter for Hogan, who currently boasts an 85 per cent winning average in the league, when he came up against young Sam Roles who occupies fourth spot in the standings.
Experience told though as Hogan edged home in a tense five-setter but, crucially, Roles was to drop no further sets in one-sided match-ups with both Raj Lehal (4) and Andy Crouch (4), and once the singles had been contested the game was balanced on a knife-edge – 17-16 – in favour of the visitors.
However, the Hawks’ pair of Roles and Thomas dug deep to overcome the Crouch/ Lehal combo, in a nerve-shattering 3-1 victory that edged them the match by the narrowest of margins.
This result means the Hawks continued their fine winning run which now stands at eight from nine league outings, and they lead the way from second-placed Pilgrims by a handsome 24 points with both sides having played the same number of games.
In reality though, the final outcome did little to harm Colliton’s title aspirations who only trail by a further 11 points but, with a game in hand.
LATEST RESULTS Weymouth & District League Division One: Preston A 18 Wyke B 18, Land Registry 7 Springfield A 25, YMCA 24 Shipton A 16, Springfield A 26 Crusaders 12, Red Triangle 21 Wyke A 13, Land Reg 28 Preston A 8.
Division Two: Springfield B 11 Pilgrims 26, Shipton B 27 Wyke D 13, Pilgrims 25 Shipton B 7, Wyke D 14 Preston B 19, Hawks 19 Colliton X 18, Colliton B 15 Colliton A 22.
Division Three: Budmouth C 16 Colliton C 26, DYS B 16 Preston C 21, Preston 4 Preston D 30, DYS B 21 Budmouth C 12, Shipton C 11 Budmouth B 29, Preston C 30 Preston E 3.
LEADING PLAYER AVERAGES Division One: J Bissett 93, J Cox 89, C Stow 85, T Whitworth 77, G Roberts 72, B Hansford 67, K Brake 67.
Division Two: M Hogan 86, R Willshire 83, P Billingham 78, S Roles 77, J Hunnisett 76, J Harman 73.
Division Three: D Shilliday 95, S Smith 88, E Chapman 83, T Cherry 81, T Lane 81, P Loakes 80.