The heroics of Tony Swain meant early-season leaders Ravenshead Royals did not have it all their own way in their second match of the Mansfield Table Tennis League, First Division season.
Taking on the experienced Mick Pestka, Swain won an amazing match for newcomers Snipers of St Josephs A. In a marathon third set, he finally triumphed 17-15 and then he clinched his surprise victory by taking the fifth 12-10.
However, Royals still survived to take the overall contest 7-3, and Ray Rider didn’t encounter the same problems as Pestka, winning all his matches to take the player-of-the-match accolade.
Moving into second place in the table, just behind Royals, are Jacksdale A, the only other side with an unblemished record after the opening two weeks of action. They beat Jacksdale B 7-3 in an inter-club derby, with junior Zak Melrose being awarded player-of-the-match.
Third place is occupied by Zygabyte B, who beat newly-promoted Ravenshead Terminetters, although Glen Cutmore won all his games on his debut for the losers.
In Division Two, it was a case of a new name but the same old faces returning under the guise of Ravensdale, formerly Boothys. They put last season’s troubles behind them to romp to a 9-1 victory over Ravenshead Marksmen B in their opening fixture. Player-of-the-match Rod Sampson showed what a good competitor he is at this level with a maximum, and he partnered Stuart Chadwick for a doubles success to to round off a night that suggests Ravensdale will be a force to be reckoned with this term.
Sharing top spot in the table are Ravenshead Rhinos, who defeated Hucknall 50 Plus 7-3, and Snipers of St Josephs B, who were held to a 5-5 draw by Ravenshead Marksmen B after Ralph Rodda had to pull out because of a back injury and concede the last match. A maximum from player-of-the-match Rob Vaughan held them together.