THE promotion race is hotting up in division three of the York & District Table Tennis League.

Unbeaten Alan Balmforth steered leaders Thornton-le-Clay to a convincing 8-2 win over fifth-placed Bootham ‘F’. In another key promotion tussle, second-placed University ‘B’ edged out fourth-placed York RI ‘F’ 6-4.

The key man for the students was Alex McCarthy. Bootham ‘E’ are also promotion contenders in third place and hard-hitting Jan Suchecki and the evergreen Ray Mitchell were unbeaten for them in a 7-3 victory over BT ‘B’. At the other end of the table, York RI ‘G’ eased their relegation fears with Peter Smalley leading the way in an 8-2 triumph over bottom team Shepherds ‘E’.

Burnholme ‘A’ had Terry Ruane to thank for their welcome 6-4 defeat of Holgate ‘D’.

In division one, James Rule continued his good form with three wins for Coneysthorpe ‘B’ as they defeated York RI ‘B’ 8-2, a scoreline that failed to fully reflect the numerous close sets. Holgate ‘C’ had a 6-4 win over University ‘A’ thanks to Aidan Ranftler, while high-flying York RI ‘A’ showed no mercy to their ‘C’ team in a 10-0 whitewash.

Martin Hood kept his Holgate ‘B’ side at the top of division two, with three wins in an 8-2 triumph over York RI ‘D’, while Shepherds ‘A’ kept up the pressure with a 10-0 thrashing of their ‘C’ team.

Bob Young bounced back from a long injury absence with a superb three wins as Holgate ‘C’ eased their relegation fears, derailing rivals Tramways 7-3. Ady McClaren and Rachel Greener were too good for Bootham ‘D’ as they were beaten 8-2 by their ‘B’ team.

Shepherds ‘B’ had a convincing 8-2 win over Shepherds ‘D’ with Keith Webster and Ian Williams unbeaten. Bootham ‘C’ had a hard-fought 7-3 victory over York RI ‘D’.

Pete Waring was on top form as division four leaders Burnholme ‘B’ were surprisingly beaten 7-3 by Holgate. Jason Chinnian put in a good performance for Bootham ‘G’ but his three wins were not enough to prevent a 6-4 loss to high-flying York RI ‘H’.

Ben Lockyer and Dave Smith helped York RI ‘J’ overcome Wigginton & Habxy 7-3, and Crescent ‘G’ earned a 5-5 draw with their ‘F’ team thanks to a treble from Steve Taylor.

• The 2014 York Closed Championships will be held on the weekend of February 15 and 16 at the Railway Institute in Queen Street. The closing date for entries is February 3. Entry forms can be found in the middle of the handbook.