As expected, the early skirmishes in the split divisions of the Stamford and Rutland Table Tennis League have harvested close results.
In Division One, Bourne B have leaned heavily on Long Ly in the first two matches, and he continues to present tough challenges to all of his opponents.
This week, Bourne B dispensed a first defeat to champions MTTG since 2016, with Ly unbeaten.
Dave Needham and Andy Goodacre won twice for MTTG, but Ly played the doubles with Steve Smith and they secured the key sixth point.
Having both lost their first matches 4-6, Stamford School and Bourne A expected another close match and so it proved.
A 5-5 draw was a fair result, but both teams had chances for the outright win.
Harry Jackson was the only unbeaten player on the night, although he had to recover from two sets down against Richard Henry.
John Buck picked up two wins, also winning in five against Henry.
Denise Jacobi won twice for the School and Andy Walton picked up a key point against Ziggy Poberezniuk, which left Jacobi and Henry the task of winning the doubles to secure the draw. This they achieved in four tough games.
In Division Two, Bourne’s C team completed an excellent week for the club with a 6-4 win at Harringworth.
Phil James and Debbie Lines each won twice for the town side and joined to add the doubles point.
However, it was Harringworth’s Dave Harvey who snatched the player of the match accolade with three strong singles victories.
Nick McDowall achieved similarly in Tallington’s match at Stamford Free Church.
McDowall won all three of his singles matches to trump the Churchmen’s Rob Elliott and John Chambers, who each won twice.
Tallington still needed to win the doubles to secure a draw and Richard Allen joined McDowall to achieve that.
Braunston B are also likely to be chasing for honours following a 7-3 win at Tallington Bulls.
The trio of Vic Hoffman, Matt Pape and Dave Webb each won twice to ensure the team victory but, once again, it was a player on the losing side who remained unbeaten.
Mark Christou won his three matches, but needed 109 points to finally beat Hoffman 15-13 in the final set.
On Sunday, a junior team is travelling to Lincoln to compete in the Butcher Cup against teams from Lincoln and Grimsby.
The SRTTL trio of Bourne’s Long Ly and Joe Cox, and Stamford School’s Ryan Chung will be hoping to impress county officials with their matchplay.