Aylsham come through dramatic decider to book place in final
- Credit: PA
The first semi-final of the Star Paving Services North Norfolk League Handicap Singles Cup saw Aylsham Enterprise's Daniel Atkins (26), Jonny Gale (32) and Ben Briggs (26) host Crosscourt's Jack Bramwell (30), John Welsh (26) and Rod Goffin (26).
It was agreed prior to the tie that, due to work commitments, Bramwell would play his three matches at the start and he lost the first to Atkins 51-48 in a clash featuring terrific rallies.
Bramwell levelled 51-46 against Gale in another close match while Briggs then played a consistent and accurate game against Bramwell to overcome the four point handicap.
Next, Gale played Welsh off the table as his impressive attacking saw the hosts to a 3-1 win, but Goffin pulled one back for the visitors as he played a steady game, not allowing Briggs to play many attacking shots. Errors cost Atkins in the sixth battle which Welsh took 51-45 to level the tie.
Gale overcame Goffin 51-45 before Briggs made a couple of mistakes at crucial times to allow Welsh to steal the eighth battle 51-47 to set up a decider. This pitted Atkins against Goffin, with both players starting level on 26 points. Crosscourts were just two points from the final when Goffin led 49-47, but Atkins took the last four points of the tie to seal a 5-4 win for Aylsham.
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The runners-up spot in the First Division was decided as the second and third placed teams met. Gresham's School B went into the match with a three point lead ahead of LCC Lobsters as the team of Brian Lee, Georgy Bezarashvilli and Keiran Peters hosted Chris Gould, Ross Murray and Tim Dawson. Gould won the opener in four against Lee and went on to take a maximum, dropping just one more set against Peters. Lee took a brace using his forehand to good effect as he beat Dawson in straight and Murray in four. A five set doubles win for Gould and Dawson against Lee and Peters concluded Lobster's 8-2 win which was more than enough to secure the runners-up position.
The fourth place Barracudas team of Chris Marshall, Simon Halliday and Keith Register were also in action as they concluded their season by beating Mundesley B's Thomas Rooke and Paul and Connor Gotts 9-1. The last match in the Premier Division this season saw NWSCD's Philip Stone, Stuart Hook and James Lester (playing up) beat Poachers's David Foster, Chris Fuller and Aaron Howell 10-0.
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