CHURCH bells rang out across West Dorset as Shipton Gorge B claimed their first win of the season – a 26-17 win over Springfield B in Weymouth & District League Division One.

Shipton’s old friends and rivals Springfield B were the visitors and played their part in a very competitive evening where five matches went to five sets and another three matches to four sets.

In a match where historically the final score is very close and usually within a point or two, Shipton managed to stretch their advantage on this occasion.

Graham Albertella was man of the match with nine points but the match of the evening was a tense five-setter between Brian Cammell (7) and Gary Ayles (7) which Ayles edged with an ‘old school’ score of 22-20 in the fifth set.

Park District stayed top of the division with a close 21-16 win over Budmouth A despite all three players being dismantled by Budmouth’s Ben Howe (9), with only Mike Doyle (7) managing to prise a leg from him.

YMCA put up a brave fight against Springfield A and the final score of 26-13 could have been a lot closer. Steve White and Ken Brake both scored five points each and Brian Hansford, who played very well, can feel a bit disappointed to only achieve three points.

Moses Lewis and Tim Scott both had to work very hard for their maximums with James Green contributing a valuable five points. A 3-0 win for Lewis and Green in the doubles secured a good win for Springfield.

Simon Joslin was the star of the evening for Preston B in their home match against Red Triangle gaining a maximum without dropping a set. He was backed up by Thierry Roy and Roger Lovell who battled gamely for their three points apiece but both failed to overcome Sean Beauchamp (6) and Mike Spracklen (6) as the Portlanders ran out 20-17 winners.

An excellent match saw the strength in depth of Preston A see them through to a 22-16 win over Budmouth B. Sam Melhuish (8) played exceptionally well and was denied a maximum by Derrick Shilliday (6) who won 11-8 in the fifth leg after an epic encounter.

Sophie Storey (7) continued her good form despite losing to Pete Stopforth (7). With Eddie Chapman (6) contributing to the Preston score the game was done and dusted before the doubles which the stronger Preston team took 3-1.

All Saints A continued their recent good run with a 27-16 victory in an entertaining match against Shipton Gorge C. Half of the games went the distance, with Jason Kidd (7) involved in four of those, winning just the one against Richard Lane (8).

Ethan Clark top scored on the night with all nine points and a doubles win. A valiant effort from Preston C but Colliton C proved to be just too strong in a 17-23 loss.

Peter Loakes led the way with a maximum for Colliton ably supported by Mark Whittingham (7) and Jim Chamberlain (4). For Preston, Roger Winstanley (7) came out all guns blazing but was pegged back by Loakes.

‘Wily’ Dave Clegg (5) surprised himself and the crowd by beating Chamberlain and then taking Whittingham to five sets but could not dent Loakes’s defence. Chris Harris (4) picked up useful points including one from Loakes but the match was already lost before the doubles.

Another very entertaining evening of table tennis between Colliton D and Colliton B occurred, where, with Colliton B only fielding two players, five of the six singles matches went to the decider.

All the games were of a high standard with the most entertaining being the one between Oliver Dunn (7) and Alex Gugan (7).

The two boys pushed each other around the table as they looked for the winning shot and at one point Gugan had Dunn on his knees and yet he somehow still managed to get the ball back onto the table.

Gugan came back from 2-1 down to win the match 3-2.

Graham Hadgraft (9) played some very consistent table tennis and won all his singles, however Adam Bishop (6) and Daniel Scotchmer (8) combined really well to win the doubles. A routine 19-12 triumph saw Springfield D defeat Budmouth D despite Budmouth’s Ollie Storey beating all of his more experienced opponents for a maximum.

All Saints B claimed a deserved maximum-point 30-6 victory against a battling Budmouth C, who showed sparks of the potential they all have, to improve their position next season.

Ben Chen lost each of his opening sets against all three opponents, but showed his experience, always working his way into the match and winning the next three sets for victory.