The Isle of Wight Table Tennis league restarted 2 weeks ago, and, owing to the current situation, features only 2 divisions this season comprising of 16 teams – and is being played in a different format.
Teams constitute 3 players as normal, but only singles are being played and teams will play each other only once.
League Champions last season, Ryde A, played their opening match against Ryde Royals, who finished third. The Royals Hugh Idle continued his previous fine form and shocked Ryde A’s Alex Rorke, who was unbeaten last season, by winning in 4 sets. Idle had a harder match against Scott Lawson but still came out on top in a thrilling, hard-fought 5-setter, and also beat Glenn Morley in 4 very closely contested sets. However, the Ryde A players all won their other games and won the match 6-3.
Ryde Rivals, comprising experienced Lee Orton, Mark Turner who is new to the Island League, and young Joseph Chapman who has risen to the First Division from the Third in only 2 seasons, made short work of Havenstreet Hooters with a 9-0 victory, although Chapman had to work hard against Havenstreet’s Alan Hulbert to gain his third win.
The experienced Ryde Rascals have had a good start to the season and contested a thrilling match against Shanklin A, with Ryde’s Brian Voller performing particularly well with 3 wins, although Shanklin’s Spike Hughes pushed him all the way and he had to fight hard to beat Hughes in 5 sets.
Ryde Revellers, who were one of the top teams in Division Three last season, have also started well with 2 close matches against fellow Ryde teams, the Rustics and the Rockets, both of which they won, to put them into second place in the table, behind the Rascals.