The first round of fixtures were played in this season’s over 60s Premier Division over one weekend at Milton Keynes under the watchful eye of Kent’s Ted Tydeman and after three matches it is the White Rose of Yorkshire that is flying high.

The Yorkshire squad of Steve Kosmowsky, Richard Priestley, Keith Powell and Linda Simpson won their three matches with some thrilling table tennis and lead the division by one point over many-times champions Kent and reigning champions Essex.

The northern county were first up against Hertfordshire and survived early resistance from their opponents as the match score stood at 2-all after the first four encounters, but gradually turned on the power to record a 7-3 victory which saw Priestley unbeaten in singles play. Both Kosmowsky and Powell had to come second best to Derek Balding.

Yorkshire went one better in their next match beating Berkshire 8-2 but on this occasion they did not allow Berkshire to get into their stride. They quickly established a 4-0 lead before Derek Wood pulled a set back for Berkshire with an (3-0) 11-3 11-9 11-3 victory against Powell but Yorkshire had sewn up victory before Berkshire struck again. The eighth set of the match saw Tony Brown record a (3-2) 13-11 11-6 6-11 7-11 11-8 victory over Priestley but these were the only two successes for Berkshire as Yorkshire ran out clear victors.

Sunday morning saw Yorkshire’s fine form continue when they thumped Sussex 8-2 with Priestley once more recording a maximum, Barrie Gilbert beat Powell (3-0) 11-9 11-8 11-7, and Johnny Clarke defeated Kosmowsky (3-2) 11-8 6-11 8-11 11-8 11-5, which proved to be the only successes for Sussex as Yorkshire once again powered to victory.

Kent and Essex are one point behind Yorkshire as both sides were held to a draw, Essex by Surrey and Kent by Hertfordshire, but with all three sides due to meet each other when the teams meet up again once more at Milton Keynes in March the title is still up for grabs.

Barry Snowden

County Championships Committee