The British League Premier Division title may well be heading up to Barrow. Few people would bet against them winning now.

After an afternoon of action packed and at times superb Table Tennis Barrow and second placed Drumchapel Glasgow could not be separated. Barrow have a hand on the title and only the non-availability of their best players is likely to prevent them from taking the honours. Ryan Jenkins avenged his first half defeat against Paul Drinkhall by beating the England no. one, fighting back from 2-0 down and 8-4 down in the fifth end to do so. Ryan finally clinched victory after a marvellous match : 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 – Paul’s first defeat of the Season.  Gareth Herbert went home empty-handed but he put up a marvellous fight against Paul. Leading 2-1 and serving at 9-9 Gareth must have fancied  his chances. Paul was having none of it. He flicked Gareth’s serve for a clean winner and went on to win the game 11-4, 5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7.

Darius Knight was Barrow’s king-pin. He not only retained his 100 % record but his victory over Gareth Herbert was vital from a match perspective. Darius ran out a 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7  winner. Gavin Rumgay missed out against Ryan Jenkins  (11-7, 10-12, 7-11, 8-11)  but his win over Terry Young was vital from the match perspective. Gavin won  13-11,7-11, 11-4, 13-11. With Barrow leading 4-3 Sebastian Laux had the chance of sealing victory for his side. He threw everything he had at Stephen Jenkins but  Stephen wasn’t to be denied. Stephen won 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6.

Westfield turned in a five-star performance to get the better of Ormesby 6-2. And how well they played. Richard Andrews scored two more top-class wins : 10-12, 11-9, 11-3, 11-9 against Damien Ncholls and 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 against Michael Marsden whilst Mark Simpson also won twice. He beat Marsden 9-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-5 and he rounded off an excellent Westfield team performance by getting the better of Nigel Eckersley 11-8, 11-9, 12-10. Shaun Marples chipped in with his first win of the Season; beating Nigel Eckersley 3-0. There were no surprises when determining the Player of the Match Award. Richard Andrews by a mile !.

DHS Greenhouse Progress raced into a 6-0 lead against Sycamore and must have been secretly dreaming of a whitewash. Daniel Basterfield made his mark with  a fine four game win over Kevin Dolder whilst Ashley Willetts made his presence felt, beating Daniel Lowe over five ends. It was Po Huang “Barry” Chen who took the Player of the Match award. He gave little away, beating Stewart Crawford 11-5, 11-8, 11-4 and Omkar Torgalkar 11-8, 11-8, 11-8. Stewart Crawford was first off the mark for Sycamore and he got the better of Ashley Willetts over four ends in game no. seven and Daniel Lowe added a degree of respectability to the scoreline by beating Daniel Basterfield 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5 in game no. eight.

Third-placed Fusion put their defeat against Barrow firmly behind them by beating BATTS 6-2. Sule Olaleye took the Player of the Match Award for what were described on the scoresheet as two comprehensive wins. Sule seemed very much in control as he beat Tom Maynard 11-2, 11-6, 11-9 and Wang Zheng 11-5, 11-7, 11-6. Martin Kubrt picked up a fine win for the home team downing the challenge of England no. 37 Tom Cutler 16-14, 12-10, 11-8 whilst Wang Zheng scored BATTS’s other win, a well executed 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 victory over Mark Smith.

Steve Kerns
British League Press Officer