Sussex hit form to top the table

Barry Snowden

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Sussex No 3 were the star performers in the first round of fixtures played in county championships Veterans’ Division 3C at Reading’s Kingfisher TTC when they completed their three fixtures on maximum points, one clear of Kent No 4 and two points ahead of Bedfordshire seconds and Middlesex No 5.

The Sussex team of Steve Barsby, Tony Catt, Dave Steel and Pam Winter recorded 8-2 wins over Bedfordshire No 2 and Hertfordshire No 5 and also scored a thumping whitewash over Cambridgeshire No 4.

The squad only dropped four sets over the weekend and saw No 1 Paul Cater remain unbeaten in singles play, with Catt, Barsby and Winter all just dropping one set each and just a mixed doubles slip-up by Catt and Winter over against Herts pairing Alan Shelford and Faith Frankel (8-11, 6-11, 9-11) being their only blemishes over the weekend as they sit proudly at the top of the pile going into the second weekend.

Kent No 4 lying in second place dropped their only point in the match of the weekend when they drew their encounter with Buckinghamshire No 2and it was Bucks who opened proceedings as Tim Cheek beat Tyrone Stalberg 3-1 (11-6, 11-5, 4-11, 11-4).

Kent levelled the match in the second set as Roger Harris beat Paul Savage 3-1 (11-7, 2-11, 11-8, 12-10), only for Bucks to retake the lead once more as Nick Savage beat Roger Pingram 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-9) but Kent hit back once more when in the first of the mixed doubles Roger and Sue Pingram beat Paul Savage and Mary Heffernnan in four (11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8) as the sides were now locked after four sets.

The next two sets were shared once again as firstly Cheek beat Harris 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-5) to give Bucks the lead once more but this was wiped out as Sue Pilgrim took the ladies’ singles with a 3-1 (6-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-3) over Mary Heffernan, which was repeated in the net two sets as Bucks took the men’s doubles when Hansell and Cheek beat Stalberg and Pingram 3-1 (11-1, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8) but Kent hit back once again as Roger Pingrim beat Savagae 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-4) as the match score now reached 4-4.

Kent took the lead for the first time in the match when in the penultimate set of the match Stalberg beat Hansell 3-2 in the set of the match (11-9, 10-12, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8) to guarantee themselves of at least a share of the spoils as they now lead 5-4 but a draw what all they got as after having made the running all the match Buckinghamshire deservedly earned themselves a draw as in the final set mixed doubles Bucks recorded an 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 victory to complete the match in a draw.

P W D L F A Pts
Sussex III 3 3 0 0 26 4 6
Kent IV 3 2 1 0 22 8 5
Bedfordshire II 3 2 0 1 20 10 4
Middlesex V 3 3 0 1 16 14 4
Bucks II 3 1 1 1 16 14 3
Cambridgeshire IV 3 1 0 2 10 20 2
Hertfordshire V 3 0 0 3 8 22 0
Berkshire V 3 0 0 3 5 25 0

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