Mixed start for Lillington on British League debut

Sam Wiggins and Timmy Cooper present a team shirt, signed by Englands Kelly Sibley, to Neil Nickless from Lillington sponsors Fulcro.
Sam Wiggins and Timmy Cooper present a team shirt, signed by Englands Kelly Sibley, to Neil Nickless from Lillington sponsors Fulcro.
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Lillington Free Church’s first venture into the Senior British League, the top team competition in the country, yielded two wins and two losses to leave them fourth in the table.

Last year’s Junior British League silver medal-winning trio of Timmy Cooper, Lee Dorning and Sam Weaving are competing in Division C3 alongside clubmates Sam Wiggins and Tom Brocklehurst, playing their matches over four weekends at Draycott & Long Eaton Table Tennis Club.

The Lillington team , boosted by a generous sponsorship deal from Bidford-on-Avon-based engineering company Fulcro, got off to a solid start on the first day, beating Newcastle side Mount 7-3.

Dorning got them off to a flying start with a 3-0 win over Duncain Wraight before Sam Weaving and Sam Wiggins extended the lead.

The two doubles matches were shared before further wins for Dorning, Weaving and Brocklehurst secured the debut victory.

Four unanswered points then helped Lillington fight back from 2-1 down to lead 5-2 against one of the host club’s teams, XLNT Draycott V.

Further success for Wiggins and Brocklehurst then ensured another 7-3 win.

Day two saw Cooper join the quartet and he got off to a good start against Halton III, beating Anthony Whelan in five sets, which put Lillington 2-0 up as Dorning had previously beaten Ryan Lunn in four.

Proceedings then took a downward turn for Lillington as they lost five consecutive games.

Dorning stopped the rot with a confident win over Olivier Barthelemy and Weaving recovered from an opening set loss to beat Whelan in four.

However, Brocklehurst was unable to capitalise on a first set win against Farnworth and Lillington lost 6-4.

The final match of the weekend was against Drumchapel Glasgow III and Lillington were once more on the wrong end of a 6-4 scoreline.