Aces' Cincala does his best to slow Batmen's progress
DEFENDING Division One champions Newton Abbot Batmen increased their grip at the top of the Robert Excell Photography South Devon & Torbay Table Tennis League with big wins over last season's challengers Brixham Gulls, last season's strugglers Taverners who fell to a 10-0 whitewash, and Brixham Sharks.
Only Dawlish Aces were able to halt Batmen's unbeaten streak with a fine home draw, in which Aces' Patrik Cincala pulled off a brilliant maximum, defeating two of the league's best players in Dennis Gibbs and Nick Halse.
That match also provided excellent wins for Steve Cooper and Ed Crawford over Batmen's Mike Dummett, with Crawford just claiming the win 11-9 in the fifth set.
Cincala was on top form, easing past Dummett and Gibbs in three before coming back from two sets down to claim his hat-trick against Halse 9-11, 12-14, 11-4, 13-11, 11-4.
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Although Batmen have extended their lead by four points to 16, Dawlish Aces are still the team that remain the biggest threat to another Newton Abbot title.
Brixham Gulls put the Batmen defeat behind them to make a leap up the table with an 8-2 home win against Bishop's Academicals.
Although Gulls lost again against Dawlish Aces and Halwell, vital points were gained Brixham's Stamatis Kioufis came away with maximums in each of the matches to remain unbeaten.
Down at the bottom, Bishop's Academicals won a crucial encounter at home against Battlers to stunt the gap between themselves and the rest of the Division One teams.
Alan Tyrrell was the hero of the night winning all three of his games, including an enthralling 5-set victory over Battlers' Pete Nicholson.
Teaming up with Jim McIvor, Tyrrell retained his winning momentum in the doubles with a 11-6, 10-12, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6 win over Nicholson and Keith Hawkins to complete a 7-3 win and keep in touch with the rest of the pack.
Brixham Trawlers dominate at the top of Division Two with 10-0 wins over Brixham Pirates and Newton Abbot Longshots.
In addition, a 9-1 trashing of Marldon and 8-2 away win over Tykes puts the Brixham team as clear favourites to seal their place back in the top flight.
Tykes' Chris Garner was able to slightly stunt the Trawlers' march at the top with fine wins over Alan Maynard and Chris Baron with a consistent and patient show of retrieving play.
TTTA 1 fire up the table after their poor start with wins over Brixham Swallows, Marldon, Tykes and Brixham Pirates.
Daniel Brewer, Sam Perkins, Simon Furgol and Kai Holtham all contributed in the leap from sixth position to second, just ahead of Newton Abbot Longshots in third spot.
The match against Marldon was particularly tight with six of the games going the distance.
In that match, Brewer stood above the rest, winning a maximum after being two sets down against Marldon's Dave Atkin and 2-1 down against John Oatley only to come back to claim the game 11-9, 11-9 in the fourth and fifth.
Torre Table Tennis Academy's second team TTTA 2 pulled off a fine 9-1 away win over Brixham Panthers in Division Three and just fell short of the big six over Brixham Rebels to leap over last season's champions Hasbeens into top spot.
Robert Excell and Peter Heathcote did the damage in the Panthers encounter defeating Ben Deakin and Issy Brown in nearly all straight sets.
Excell again took all three against Rebels' Marilyn Parton, John Graham and Kevin Salt to help TTTA go 5-4 up in that match.
Marldon Badgers keep in touch with the leaders with three wins from their last three matches. Simon Hern has been Badgers' top player with wins all the way except for his one game against Brixham's newest recruit Tom Godwin who won 11-9, 13-15, 11-7, 11-3 as Brixham Swifts fell to Badgers 7-3 at home.