Brilliant Delta humble Alpha

In the Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League this week there were eight matches in the first round proper of the Knockout Singles Cup played out.

Delta's Andy Beane, Tom Baldock-Yaxley and John Vaughan hosted Alpha's Dave Johns, Mary Sawyer and Dennis Elliott at Antingham Village Hall.

Beane's consistent play and occasional forehand hit won the opener against Johns 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 before Baldock-Yaxley was too strong for Sawyer. Elliott pulled one back for Alpha in a game of exhibition like quality with a 12-10, 9-11, 15-17, 11-8, 11-5 win over Vaughan, but Baldock-Yaxley's forehands made it 3-1 to Delta with an 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 win against Johns.

Elliott's top-spin saw him recover from two sets down to win against Beane but Vaughan moved Delta one win away with an 11-6, 18-16, 11-5 defeat of Sawyer. Baldock-Yaxley then closed out the win with a stunning 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 demolition of Elliott as he counteracted the Alpha's topspin drive, hitting numerous winners to seal Delta's 5-2 win.

Meanwhile, there was agony for Shark's Peter Betts who turned up for his team's match away to Cobras after enduring a six-hour drive only to be forced to pull out due to back problems. The three walkovers obviously benefited Cobras during their 5-2 win.

At Hunworth, Pirate's David Thompson, David Lake and Mark Fairhurst hosted Dolphins with Steve Nicholls taking the opener over Thompson in straight. The next two battles also went to the visitors with Steve Hudson coming from two sets down to Lake and Mike Toye winning in five against Fairhurst. Pirates fought back with Lake beating Nicholls in four and Thompson winning in three against Toye, before Hudson made it 4-2 for Dolphins with a 13-15, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 win against Fairhurst.

Toye then booked Dolphins' place in the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 13-15, 11-7 win against Lake. The two dead rubbers were split to make the final score 5-3 to Dolphins. Hunworth's leading team Outlaws weren't troubled in their 5-1 win away against Goblin's with Andy Marsh taking a brace and John Hancock (Jnr) clocking up his 124th consecutive North Norfolk consecutive singles win (20 away from breaking the record). For Goblins Peter Ward fought back from two sets down to win against Colin Humphries and Derek Sidaway took a set from Hancock.

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As is the case in the Knockout Doubles Cup, Outlaws will run into Specials at the quarter-final stage — the team of Martin Lawes, Ray Howe and Hugh Rout winning 8-1 at home to Poachers (for whom Andy Woods beat Rout in four).

Cromer Tennis Club saw Backhanders Teucer Wilson, Rod Goffin and Whil De Neve race into an unassailable 5-0 lead over Echoes, before Paul Price won a dead rubber in five against De Neve.

Also at Cromer, Beta won 6-3 away to Crosscourts. At Gresham's School Roy Lau took the opener for the hosts in four against Ray Amo, before the Seals team of Amo, Matt Hudson and Chris Marshall took the next five battles to win 5-1. However, the School remains in the doubles competition after Backhanders conceded.

Results and quarter-final draw on next page

Knockout Singles Cup First Round: Delta 5, Alpha 2; Pirates 3, Dolphins 5; Cobras 5, Sharks 2; Goblins 1, Outlaws 5; Backhanders 5, Echoes 1; specials 8, Poachers 1; Gresham School 1, Seals 5; Cross courts 3, Beta 6.

Knockout Singles Cup Quarter-final Draw: Outlaws v Specials, Seals v Cobras, Beta v Dolphins, Backhanders v Delta.

Matches to be played week commencing November 29.

A reminder to all teams from the league chairman that any outstanding ETTA application forms and fees need to be sent to him as soon as possible — any queries give him a call.