TABLE TENNIS: Race for Weymouth title is hotting up

Dorset Echo: LEADING LIGHT: Simon Joslin LEADING LIGHT: Simon Joslin

THE Weymouth & Portland League move into Christmas with the first half of the season almost complete.

Division One is looking to be a closely-matched affair with only 14 points separating the top four teams, although Land Registry have played one more game than the others.

Division One THE match between Land Reg-istry and YMCA in Dorchester was a close encounter, which LR edged by 20 games to 18.

Steve Jackson was the only player to get a maximum nine points for the Registry, winning his matches 3-1, 3-2 and 3-1 respectively, with Clive Stow and Ken Brake both scoring seven points each for the YMCA.

The match for third and fourth places, between Colliton X and Hawks, was another 20-18 result this time in favour of Hawks with Simon Joslin getting a maximum and Sam Roles and Mick Hogan both picking up six apiece.

Lower down the league, Wyke A has won three of their five matches to date but Wyke M have only won one of theirs.

Springfield C have yet to win a match as they have been struggling for players with Pete Anderson and Steve Rockett being their only regulars for half their matches.

Red Triangle A from the YMCA on Portland have only managed three games so far but have won two of them.

When they have played all their games they could be heading for the top of the table.

Division Two NEARLY all of the matches have now been played in Division Two and this league looks to be even closer fought than the top flight with just 11 points separating the top four teams.

Preston A top the league at the moment with Pilgrims A, Bud-mouth A and Preston B close on their heels.

The only draw in the Division so far has been Pilgrims A versus Preston A.

A draw in table tennis is quite rare as each player gains one point for every game they win, so this was exceptional.

Richard Wilshire scored a maximum nine for Pilgrims while Roger Lovell replied with eight points for Preston.

The result after nine close matches and a doubles was 19-19.

Budmouth A are competing very well since moving up from Division Three, particularly as their combined age is usually less than the age of a single opposition player.

Division Three THIS division is much more clear cut with Shipton Gorge C opening up a gap at the top, having won seven of their eight matches so far.

The only draw in this league so far was between Preston D and Wyke C, which finished 17-17.

Roy Sharp was the best player on the night with nine points with Kev Goater and Mal Smith scoring six each for the home side.

The result was in the balance to the very end with Wyke winning the doubles 3-1 to clinch the draw.

The youngsters of All Saints are doing well for their first season in the league, beating Budmouth D and Dorset Youth B for their two wins so far.

However, they are in the division to give the young players league experience.

They meet all sorts of different styles of play, which they have to learn to adapt to.

Handicap Cup

The first round of the Handicap Cup has been completed and the results are below.

Once a team reaches five wins then the match can stop, the closest matches were between Pilgrims A and Wyke M, and Preston D and Shipton Gorge B.

Both encounters went down to the wire at 5-4, a tribute to the handicapper.

Results, Handicap Cup first round All Saints w/o Springfield C, Budmouth A 5-1 Dorset Youth B, Budmouth B 5-0 Wyke A, Budmouth D 5-1 Budmouth C, Colliton C 5-2 Colliton A Red Triangle 3-5 Colliton X, YMCA 3-5 Land Registry, Pilgrims A 5-4 Wyke M, Pilgrims B 5-0 Preston B, Preston D 5-4 Shipton Gorge B, Shipton Gorge A 5-3 Preston A, Hawks 1-5 Wyke D.

Draw, Handicap Cup second round Budmouth A v Pilgrims, Colliton C v Wyke C, Colliton X v Shipton Gorge A, Land Registry v Preston D, Pilgrims B v All Saints, Shipton Gorge C v Budmouth B, Springfield B v Preston C, Wyke D v Budmouth D.

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