Aylsham Enterprise get their hands on Handicap Singles Cup


- Credit: PA

The last of this season's Star Paving Services North Norfolk League cup finals was the Handicap Singles as Aylsham Enterprise's Ben Briggs (26), Andy Gale (25) and Daniel Atkins (26) battled Poachers' David Foster (5), Chris Fuller (18) and Andy Marsh (14) at Gresham's School.

Foster played with outstanding attacking flair and despite Briggs' best efforts he was caught at 38-38 before succumbing to Foster's tenacity.

Foster then struggled with Gale's serving and by the time he had got the measure of it, the Poachers' lead was irretrievable as he levelled the contest at 1-1.

The third battle ebbed and flowed with Atkins making a great start before Marsh strung several points together to close the gap, only for his opponent to do the same to win comfortably. An epic battle between Gale and Foster followed with both winning points on service but more with follow up smashing. Foster eventually caught up at 49-49 before taking the next two points to close out the win and once again level the final at 2-2.

The fifth encounter between Briggs and Marsh saw some of the longest rallies of the evening. The game levelled at 40-40 making it effectively a single 11 up game. Despite Marsh being the favourite it was still level at 48-48 before the experience of the Poacher told as he ran out a 51-48 winner.

The clash between Atkins and Fuller was another fascinating game. Fuller started well and it was virtually even at the turn round on adjusted scores. However as before Atkins came into his own in the second half to take the initiative and win 51-45. Gale's serving and follow up smashing then proved too hot to handle for Marsh as he moved Enterprise one win from the cup at 4-3.

The eighth encounter was the battle of the unbeaten and proved to be a fitting finale. Trailing 5-26 at the start, Foster again went off with a full head of steam, going through his full range of shots. Atkins refused to be intimidated and came out with all his best shots as well. Both players knew how big this game was with a win for Foster leaving a one game shoot-out in the decisive ninth battle.

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Yet again Atkins played a blinder in the second half and every time it looked like he was being caught he came back with his own great shots to win 51-44 as Aylsham took the final 5-3.