Busy week on tables

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis LeagueA busy week for Crosscourters' Alan Rutledge, Anne Armitage and Maureen Chapman saw them appear in both semi-finals of the Handicap Cups and a league match.

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League

A busy week for Crosscourters' Alan Rutledge, Anne Armitage and Maureen Chapman saw them appear in both semi-finals of the Handicap Cups and a league match.

The Handicap Doubles saw them host the Beta trio of Chris Johnson, Matt Robinson and Edna Stone for a place in the final, with the handicaps giving Crosscourts starts ranging from four to seven.

The second battle gave the hosts momentum as Armitage and Chapman (+6) beat Robinson and Stone 21-12 11-21 21-20 with a lucky net on the final sudden-death point which helped them to a 2-0 lead. And this was soon 4-0 as, although the Betas put up a good fight, the Crosscourts failed to drop another set.

Johnson and Robinson fought back to take a point for Beta in straight, but Rutledge and Armitage (+4) sealed the win with a 21-19 21-10 win over Robinson and Stone.

Meanwhile, Crosscourts also had home advantage for the singles semi-final against Seal's Ray Amo, Ron Millet and Rod Hill.

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Amo won a close opener against Rutledge (+6) 19-21 21-18 21-15, before Millet defeated Chapman (+5) in two. The third battle saw Armitage start with a single point advantage over Hill and the Sea won 19-21 21-18 21-16.

The experience of Amo helped him to a win over Chapman (+11) as he took both sets 21-17 and Hill (+6) booked the Seals' place in the final against Delta with a 21-18 21-19 victory which closed out the match 5-0.

The two teams met again in the second division, with Crosscourts reduced to a two-person team and John Barron and Mike Toye joining Hill in the Seals line-up. Rutledge took a brace including a win that went the distance against Barron, but he fell in five to Toye - a quirk of the Seals' 5-11 11-6 11-9 6-11 11-7 win being that both players won 44 points.

Toye won a close game with a 12-10 11-9 8-11 11-4 victory over Chapman but elsewhere it was straight sets as Seals won 8-2.

The week's other second division battle saw Delta's Jamie Carter, Tom Baldock-Yaxley and John Vaughan host the Aces team of Clive Smith, Eric Dolden and Geoff Long.

Some good shots saw Carter make a comeback from two down to defeat Long 12-10 in the fifth. Smith played a canny game and kept Baldock-Yaxley under pressure so that his forehand could not be released as he won in three. And he took a brace with a win in four over Carter, while superb hitting saw Baldock-Yaxley go on to also take a brace as he won his remaining games in straight.

Vaughan took a maximum, while Dolden's backhand drives were the shots of the week as he picked up a single in three against Carter.

The doubles saw an 8-11 11-4 13-11 8-11 11-7 win for Smith and Dolden over Carter and Baldock-Yaxley, but it was the Deltas who won the match 6-4.

The first division saw Dolphin's Scott Wallace joined by Shark's Phil Baker and Nigel Hayward-Surry (who were both playing up) as they hosted Sidewinders John Paul, Peter Ward and Paul Warner.

A terrific attacking game saw Ward claw his way back to defeat Wallace

7-11 6-11 11-9 14-12 11-6.

Baker and Hayward-Surry both defeated Ward in three and both also took a set from Paul, but the defending North Norfolk champion extended his winning streak to 112 singles matches as he went into this year's Championships (full report on that event next week).

The rest of the games were won in straight as Sidewinders won 8-2.

A Backhanders duo of Teucer Wilson and Rod Goffin hosted the Cobras, who weren't able to extend on the three points they received from the walkovers.

James Baldock-Yaxley recovered from being thumped 11-0 11-5 11-3 to be involved in the game of the night, but he went down to Goffin who defeated him 11-9 11-5 2-11 7-11 11-7.

Players of the Week: Paul Warner, Tom Baldock-Yaxley, Matt Robinson, Mike Toye and Alan Rutledge.

Handicap Singles Cup semi-final: Crosscourts 0, Seals 5.

Handicap Doubles Cup semi-final: Crosscourts 5, Beta 1.

First Division: Backhanders 7, Cobras 3; Dolphins 2, Sidewinders 8.

Second Division: Delta 6, Aces 4; Seals 8, Crosscourts 2.

Handicap Singles Cup final: Delta v Seals.

Handicap Doubles Cup final: Crosscourts v Aces.

Any proposals for rule changes must be with the chairman Chris Pooley in writing by April 16.