Cup finals time for table tennis league

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis LeagueTHE first of this year's four cup finals took place as Echoes and Goblins battled it out in the Handicap Doubles.

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League

THE first of this year's four cup finals took place as Echoes and Goblins battled it out in the Handicap Doubles.

Naomi Myhill, David Beane and Francesca Bennett lined up for Echoes while Goblins were represented by Derek Sidaway, Peter Ward and Chris Pooley. The cup final took place on neutral ground at Trunch Village Hall and was umpired by Derek Philpott.

The handicap in the opener gave Myhill and Bennett a slim one-point advantage over Sidaway and Pooley. Goblins had stormed into the final winning every match 5-0, and they opened up a 12-7 lead here. However some good shots from Myhill helped level at 15-15 before the more experienced Goblins took the set 21-18.

Good returns from Bennett kept Echoes in contention in a second set they led 19-16 but Pooley won his next four service points which gave Goblins two match points including a sudden death 20-20 point, but Echoes saved these to win the set.

Goblins led the decider 10-6 and nerves cost Echoes in the business end as rushed and missed serves helped Goblins to an opening win.

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Beane and Bennett then had another slim two point start over Ward and Pooley and good shot-making from Beane saw Echoes take the first set, but they lost concentration as Goblins levelled. Goblins led the decider 18-11, but a cruel net set up match-point at 20-17 just as the Echoes were getting back in the game and the combination of the league president and the league chairman moved Goblins 2-0 up in the final.

The third battle was an even handicapped tussle between Myhill and Beane and Sidaway and Ward. Echoes had three set points at 20-17 before a missed smash at 20-20 handed Goblins the set, who quickly then seized the momentum to move 3-0 up.

Goblin's Sidaway and Pooley then had an eight point start over Beane and Bennett but they also had the experience as more Goblin spin changed things up and saw them win from a set down to move one win from the cup at 4-0 up.

Myhill and Bennett started the fifth battle nine points ahead of Sidaway and Ward but Goblins levelled at 14-14 and took the first set. Echoes won a tight second 21-19 and the girls finally started showing why they were in the final in the decider which they won 21-9 to put Echoes first point on the board.

However the final was nearly over as although Myhill and Beane had a narrow two point start courtesy of the handicaps, Ward and Pooley won in straight to wrap up proceedings. Last year's runners-up had gone one better this year as Goblins won the final 5-1.

Also this week the second semi-final of the Knockout Doubles Cup took place as Cobra's James Baldock-Yaxley, Alex Spragg and Adam Brown hosted Outlaw's John Hancock (Jnr), Colin Humphries and Jamie Craig. Baldock-Yaxley's forehand dominated the early stages and Hancock's spin the latter part of the match which Outlaw's won 5-0. Spragg and Brown did take Humphries and Craig the distance though. Outlaws will play Backhanders in the final.

Handicap Doubles Cup Final: Echoes 1, Goblins 5. Sidaway/Pooley bt Myhill/Bennett (+1) 21-18, 20-21, 21-16, Ward/Pooley bt Beane/Bennett (+2) 18-21, 21-15, 21-17, Sidaway/Ward (+0) bt Myhill/Beane 21-20, 21-11, Sidaway/Pooley (+8) bt Beane/Bennett 18-21, 21-8, 21-15, Myhill/Bennett (+9) bt Sidaway/Ward 17-21, 21-19, 21-9, Ward/Pooley bt Myhill/Beane (+2) 21-13, 21-12.

Knockout Doubles Cup Semi-Final: Cobras 0, Outlaws 5.