Defending Marlborough interclub table tennis champions Full of Spirit showed they will be a force again this season, toppling the previously unbeaten Bamboo Garden side 8-4 on Thursday.
In a team effort, Rex McCaa, Stephen McCaa and Simon Bishell won two singles each. Stephen won the sixth point for his side with a 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 win over Nathan Cross.
Ping Muanwong kept Bamboo Garden in the contest with three wins, including a 6-11, 12-10, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7 win over Bishell. These two players have had close matches over the past two seasons.
The Full of Spirit side are a hard team to play against as their players manage to maintain pressure at crucial times.
Arawa had a close 7-5 win over Wairau Valley Blue. Ray Herd won two singles and managed to take a set off the unbeaten Matt Pigou, blunting his attack in the third set before losing 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8. Warren Haszard also claimed two wins and also played well against Pigou with some great blocking against the barrage of forehand loops coming from Pigou's bat. Herd and Jeff Sawyer beat Pigou and Josh Sim 11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10 in a tight match. The Wairau Valley pair led 10-8 in the fifth set, then the Arawa pair cleverly put the ball wide, forcing Pigou to rush his forehand shots. Young Josh Sim played extremely well in this match, returning some hard shots. Peter Wells beat Sawyer and combined with Pigou for a doubles win.
Flaxbourne had a 9-3 win over Squashables. Jeremy Phipps and Dennis Burkhart led the way but both players had to work hard to beat Paddy Lankshear, who was the pick of the Squashables players. Barbara Burkhart picked up a win over the enthusiastic Russ O'Flaherty.
The experienced Darryl Jones was to the fore as Koromiko beat Sue's 7-5. Peter Welsh also had a good night, starting proceedings off with a 16-14, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6 win over Bruce Naylor. Young Louis Willis won a double with Jones and played well in his singles matches, having many rallies with Naylor, Ross Ward and Joseph Kim.
Three Lions, wearing new uniforms, came away with an 8-4 win over Liquorland. Matt Millar was again in good touch. Kristin Ruwhiu and Alex Kennedy had tough matches in singles against Warren Dillon and Bruce Palmer with all players hitting hard topspin shots. John Diamanti beat Ruwhiu and Kennedy and combined with Palmer for an 11-7, 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 15-13 win over Millar and Kennedy.
Jason Kennedy joined regulars Mike Mehlhopt and Orm Collins as MOM beat Wairau Valley Red 8-4. David Foley won his three singles for the Wairau Valley side, but was taken to five sets by both Kennedy and Mehlhopt. He then combined with Rob Jones for an 11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9 win over Mehlhopt and Collins.
- The Marlborough Express