BUSY SCHEDULE FOR STRONGTOWER SIDES
FOR the first time since the end of November, all eight of the Academy Strongtower teams were in action in the County Antrim Table Tennis League last week.
AS Lions 6, Ballyclare Methodist C 4: AS Lions recommenced action after the long Christmas break with a game against basement team Ballyclare Methodist A.
First up for the Lions was Maurice Johnston against Byron Graham. Johnston’s forehand loop proved the key weapon in an excellent straight sets win 11-9, 11-9 and 11-8.
Lions captain Ciaron Nelson played Chris West in another tight three sets encounter and it was West who came through 11-7, 12-10, 15-13.
Pawel Sulkowski showed that he had not lost any of his skills over the break as he defeated Stuart Heron in four sets of hit and counter hit winning 11-7, 11-7, 13-15, 11-3.
The fourth singles was a close battle with Johnston losing to West 11-7 in the fifth set. Nelson restored the Lions lead with his best performance to date a four set win against Heron. Sulkowski extended the lead in the sixth singles proving too hot for Graham winning comfortably 11-7, 11-1 and 11-3.
Johnston lost the seventh singles 11-8 in the fifth against Heron and the match was all square at four games apiece when Graham defeated Nelson 11-7, 11-9 and 11-5. However, Sulkowski came to the rescue with a straight sets win against West and then teamed up with Nelson to take the doubles 11-9, 11-7 and 11-6. MOM - Pawel Sulkowski (AS Lions).
Osmond B 4, AS Murrays 6: Murrays travelled without their number two player David Witherspoon so all three players needed to be at there best if they were going to maintain their title challenge.
The first match saw the attack minded Thomas McCann against Murray’s Kenny Johnston. The first two sets were shared but Johnston edged the next two sets 11-8 and 11-8 to give the Murrays an early lead.
The Murrays went two up with an in-form Andy Glover seeing off veteran Paul McGuiggan in four sets with some stout defence and blistering backhands. Murray’s Bowman put up a great battle with Aaron Douglas but was piped in the fifth set 11-7.
Glover extended the Murrays lead with a five set victory over McCann in a match that showed that a good defender can occasionally see off a good attacker, Glover winning 11-4 in the decider.
McGuiggan put in a Captain’s performance against Bowman to reduce the deficit to 2-3 but Johnston fought back from a set down to take Douglas in four and thereby restore the two game advantage.
McCann defeated Bowman in four sets to claw the home side back into contention but Johnston recorded his third four set win of the night against McGuiggan to make the score 5-3. Glover, possibly the most improved player this year, gave the visitors all the points with a straight sets win against Douglas. The doubles went to the home side to make the final score 6-4. MOM - Kenneth Johnston (AS Murrays).
Other result: AS Jaguars 5, Carnmoney A 5.
AS Rockets 9, AS Dynamos 1: The runaway leaders of Division 3 AS Rockets maintained their majestic march to Division 3 honours with a 9-1 defeat of the ever improving club mates AS Dynamo.
A tight four set encounter between Jonny Wilson and Dynamo’s Michael Witherspoon went to Wilson to give the Rockets a flying start. Peter McCrum survived a few scares in the first set to take it 14-12 against Dynamo’s captain Stevie Balmer before taking the next two sets a tad more comfortably 11-8 and 11-7.
Jonny Moore and as Dynamo’s Frank Allen had a brilliant five set tussle before Moore clinched it 11-9 in the decider. Andrew Herbison recorded an excellent straight sets win over the talented Kathryn Moore to give the AS Rockets a four game lead after the first series of singles.
The reverse singles were again close but once again the winning mentality of the AS Rockets and the fear of ribbing from teammates saw them take the next four singles. Wilson defeated Balmer in four sets in the battle of the captains.
McCrum edged passed Witherspoon in a five set thriller and Moore Jonny that is defeated Kathryn Moore in three closely contested sets. Andrew Herbison took the final singles against Allen in straight sets to make it 8-0. The two doubles were shared to make the final score 9-1. MOM - Jonny Wilson (AS Rockets).
AS Brocklamonts 10, AS Hazzards 0: With Larne B well ahead in the race for Division 4 the only possible challengers for the title AS Brocklamont needed to keep winning to keep up the pressure on the leaders. This they did with an emphatic win against club mates AS Hazards.
Ryan Herbison got the Brocklamonts off to a great start with a 11-4, 11-8 and 1-9 win over the ever improving Tom O’Kane. Kyle Bones also recorded a victory over Ben Martin to put the Brocklamonts two games up. A real tight third singles saw David O’Neill edge passed John Glass 11-9, 11-8 and 11-9 to conclude the first set of singles.
The spirited AS Hazzards kept battling hard against the more experienced Brocklamonts but to no avail.
Ryan Herbison defeated Ben Martin, Kyle Bones defeated John Glass and David O’Neill defeated Tom O’Kane to extend their lead to six games. MOM - David O’Neill (AS Brocklamonts).
Other result: AS Queso 4, Osmond D 6.
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Weather for Ballymena
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 12 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West