THE latest round of matches in the Mid-Cheshire Table Tennis League were the final ones in the qualifying part of the season.

From here, the two divisions of 11 split into three, with eight teams in the top flight and seven in the Superleague divisions two and three.

Crunch match of the week, therefore, was the tie-up between Winsford and Lemmings.

It was Lemmings who came out on top 7-3 thanks to a terrific performance from Mark Darlington, who won all three games, and Dave Etchells, who chipped in with two wins.

A single victory for Eric Baker and the doubles secured the points for the away side.

Despite losing, Winsford’s three points were enough to secure them seventh place, and the Lemmings’ victory stopped them jumping off the cliff, and assured them of eighth place and a continued presence at the highest level.

Elsewhere, Manweb lost 0-10 to Victoria Club, while Bears went down 2-8 to the Butchers and Hawks were beaten 2-8 by Wreckers.

These results, combined with the Winsford/Lemmings outcome, condemned the three losing teams to Superleague Division Two.

Manweb, Bears and Hawks will be joined by Cobras, Lab Rats, Vikings and Sticklebacks in what looks likely to be a highly competitive Division 2.

Cobras, Vikings and Sticklebacks all enjoyed wins over lower teams, while the Lab Rats had a free week, but had already qualified. All four teams should provide a strong challenge to the three teams coming down from Division One.

This week, the challenge moves to the first round of the Mike Johns Memorial Handicap Knockout competition, where, thanks to the handicap system, lower ranked teams have an excellent chance of rolling over a higher-ranked opponent.

Intriguing first-round fixtures include: Kinetics (Div 3) v Victoria Club (Div 1), Lostock Smashers (Div 3) v Manweb (Div 2), Cobras (Div 2) v Bears (Div 2), Vikings (Div 2) v Lab Rats (Div 2), Snakes (Div 3) v Hawks (Div 2), Sticklebacks (Div 2) v Wolves (Div 3).