Nemesis B and Red Rose A locked horns for an enthralling relegation battle at the bottom of Keighley & District Table Tennis League Division One.

Despite home advantage, Nemesis started badly with two defeats as firstly Keith Lee got the better of Dave Manogue 13-11, 11-5, 11-3 and Les Packer lost to Cath Lawson 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3. Peter Worger hit back for the hosts with a tight 11-9, 11-1, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8 defeat of Keith Wilkinson, but Lee put the visitors 3-1 up with a comfortable win against Packer.

Fortunately for Nemesis, Manogue suddenly came into his own with defeats of Wilkinson 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 and Lawson 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7. This had the effect of inspiring Packer who got the better of Wilkinson 11-4 in the fifth to leave it 5-4 to Red Rose going into the doubles. Acutely aware of their precarious position at the foot of the table, Manogue and Packer combined well for Nemesis to defeat Lee and Lawson 11-13, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 and earn their team a share of the spoils.

Red Rose B, meanwhile, took on Ukrainians, for whom Jerry Harkaway had an unrewarding match despite their being much to commend his performance. Although losing in straight sets to Peter Wood 11-8, 12-10, 16-14 a little good fortune for the Ukrainian could so easily have seen the result reversed as Harkaway was never more than one point behind. He also played well against Michael Wrigley, winning the first two 11-7, 11-8 before the Red Rose player turned it around to win the next three 11-2, 11-5, 11-6.

Stef Szczur was also unlucky for Ukies to go down in five to David Ayrton 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7, again after winning the first two. A classy treble from Peter Holbrook kept the Ukrainians in it and a win for Szczur against Wrigley plus the doubles ensured the evening ended all square.

In Division Two Cononley Sports had John Lister to thank for keeping the losing margin to just two points at home to Lothersdale C. His treble included the defeat of Richard Crookes 11-5, 11-5, 7-11, 12-10, but unfortunately for Lister the only support he received came in the form of a solitary success for cousin Paul who tasted victory 13-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 against Martin Mulligan. Points for the visitors came from Andrew Lambe who defeated Stuart Maude and Paul Lister 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9; Crookes, who got the better of both Maude and Paul Lister; Mulligan, who scraped home 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 7-11, 11-7 after a titanic battle against Maude and then Lambe and Mulligan teamed up to defeat Maude and Paul Lister 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5 to finish the match 6-4 in favour of the dales men.

Rob McLean erased the painful memory of losing all three by the narrowest of margins earlier in the season in the return match for Ilkley Road B at home to Stockbridge Spartans. The young Riddlesden player firstly defeated Dennis Foulds 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5 before getting the better of Ryan Foulds 11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 6-11, 11-8 and then really getting into his stride with the defeat of Ray Wallace 12-10, 11-8, 11-8 to help his team to a superb 9-1 victory.

Lothersdale B, who look destined to return to the top flight following last seasons relegation, had to be on their mettle at home to Embassy C. Derek Briggs struck first for the visitors with a fine 12-10, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 defeat of Martin Connolly, but David Galley preserved his status as Lothersdale's top player with a max that included a win against Clive Sherratt 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6. Connolly grabbed a couple against Sherratt and Nick Kaye and Peter Midgley also earned his team a point towards their promotion quest with the defeat of Sherratt 11-9, 11-5, 11-5. Connolly and Galley then teamed up to defeat Briggs and Sherratt 11-7, 5-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7 in an epic doubles to leave the overall score 7-3 to Lothersdale.

In Division Three Crossflatts stretch their lead at the top with an away victory at Embsay. Perhaps the only surprise was that the top team failed to manage a whitewash of the Skipton outfit currently struggling at the foot of the table and incredibly their point in the 9-1 defeat came from Trevor Wilkinson who tasted victory 16-14, 12-10, 9-11, 13-11 against one of the Division's top players, Danny McHugh. Thankfully for the leaders both John Patrick and Anthony Mann claimed maximums with Manns 11-8, 12-10, 11-6 defeat of Russell Findlay being quality stuff.

Keighley Central, perhaps the only team likely to catch Crossflatts, are now 21 points behind but with three games in hand following a stunning 10-0 triumph at home to Ilkley Road C. Azeem Khan powered his way to an untroubled full house and was ably supported by Mohammed Nafise, whose treble included the 11-8, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6 defeat of Ken Feather, and Kamran Ramzan, whose three saw him get the better of Steve Ives 11-7, 11-8, 11-8.


Division One: Nemesis A 8, Nemesis B 2; Nemesis B 5, Red Rose A 5; Red Rose B 5, Ukrainians 5.

Division Two: Cononley Sports 4, Lothersdale C 6; Ilkley Road B 9, Stockbridge Spartans 1; Lothersdale B 7, Embassy C 3.

Division Three: Embsay 1, Crossflatts 9; Keighley Central 10, Ilkley Road C 0.