Defeat to league rivals dents Haverhill Table Tennis Club's top of the table ambitions
Haverhill Table Tennis Club have fallen behind in their battle for Division One league supremacy, with loss to third-placed St Ives on Monday.
The Cambridge & District Table Tennis League’s fourth-placed team had hoped to close the gap on the team a place above them in their first match of the new year, but instead fell to a 7-3 home loss.
It has left Haverhill 15 points off the pace, with the three teams above separated by just five points.
They have now won five and lost five matches from their 10 outings this season, which is their first campaign at the league’s top flight following the return of some talented players.
Gracjan Sen opened the match at their Castle Manor base against Paul Hillier, falling to a four set loss 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 10-12.
Captain Alex Horscroft then took on Player of the Match Simon Pryke, losing in straight sets 10-12, 6-11, 6-11 to leave Haverhill trailing 2-0 in the match.
Sam Horscroft then gave the home team a huge boost with a five sets win over Jarek Chrzanowski 11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 5-11, 12-10 to leave the match in the balance.
Hillier again claimed victory in his second singles match, beating Alex in five: 12-10, 11-8, 5-11, 10-12, 6-11 to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
Sen again gave Haverhill hope, beating Chrzanowski in four (10-12, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7) for a 3-2 overall score.
But Pryke then beat Sam and Chrzanowski beat Alex, both in straight sets, to leave a draw as the best case scenario for the home team, at 5-2 down.
Sam went some way to achieving that outcome, beating Hillier in a tense five-setter but Sen fell to Pryke in four to condemn the home side to defeat.
Sam and Gracjan teamed up for the doubles match, but up against an in form Hillier and Pryke partnership, were defeated in straight sets.
The team are next in action on Tuesday, away to league leaders Camb Parkside I.
Meanwhile in Division Three, the second team were due to face Soham Comrades away at the Soham Old Comrades club tonight, in their return to the league after the Christmas break.
The second string have found life tough at this level, sitting second from bottom with two wins from 10.