Cup tussles on table tennis tables

In the Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League, this week saw the first-round matches in the Handicap Doubles Cup.

It saw Barracudas' Jonathan Dempsey, Mike Toye and Rex Parfitt hosting Goblins' Peter Ward, Rosie Ward and John Miller.

The opener saw the handicaps give Dempsey and Parfitt a 12-point start against Peter Ward and Miller. The Goblins levelled at 15-15 before the Barracudas came through 21-18, 21-13.

The handicaps in the next battle were even as Toye and Parfitt battled Rosie Ward and Miller and the Barracudas played really well in this scratch game to win 21-14, 21-12 with Toye particularly on fire.

Dempsey and Toye (+6) then made it 3-0 to the hosts with a 21-17, 19-21, 21-17 defeat of the Wards. Toye and Parfitt also had a six point start in the next encounter as they took on Peter Ward and Miller.

Ward was slightly off his normal consistent game but his partner won many excellently placed smashes, however the Barracudas' tactic of going for winners paid off as they won 21-18, 15-21, 21-17.

Dempsey and Parfitt (+10) took the first set from the Wards 21-16 before the Goblins came back from 16-19 to take the second 21-20, however the Barracuda's sealed their place in the quarter-finals with a 21-10 victory in the third.

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One dead rubber was played out but Barracudas' 6-0 win means that Goblins – defending champions in both Handicap cups – have crashed out of both cups in the first round. Barracudas reward is a trip to Hunworth to play Poachers, who benefited from a walkover to Gresham's School.

There was another match at Trunch as Sharks' Keith Register, Peter Betts and Steve Hudson hosted Delta's Jack Morton, Tom Baldock-Yaxley and Andy Beane. Delta had lost out to Sharks in the singles last week, but gained revenge with a 5-0 win here.

Quite simply, all the matches were very close — four of the five going to the deciding set, but it was Sharks who squandered their opportunities and Delta who took their chances to win a competitive match.

Backhanders' Teucer Wilson, Rod Goffin and Whil De Neve hosted Seals' Ray Amo, Matt Hudson and Chris Marshall. With the handicaps ranging from E–I, there was never going to be much of a start given to either team and the match proved very close, with three wins coming 21-20 in the third. Two of those went to Backhanders and the partnership of Goffin and De Neve as Backhanders scraped through 5-3.

There was also not a lot of difference in the handicaps (ranging from C–G to be exact) in the match between Special's Ray Howe, Jonathan Care and Hugh Rout and Alpha's Dennis Elliott, Mary Sawyer and Dave Johns.

Alpha won that one 5-2 with perhaps the key to their victory coming in the fifth battle with the tie locked at 2-2 as Elliott and Sawyer won 21-20 in the third against Howe and Rout.

Elsewhere, Cobras' Adam Brown (F), Bev Baldock-Yaxley (P) and Stan Baldock (P) knocked out Crosscourts' Clive Smith (O), Alf Green (J) and John Welsh (J) with a 5-1 win that was rounded off by Brown and Baldock-Yaxley (+2) defeating Green and Welsh 21-19, 19-21, 21-19.

Also at North Walsham, Echoes Phil Mole, Charlie Usher and Naomi Myhill took on Beta's Chris Johnson, Simon Halliday and David Beane. The Beta trio found the starts of Echoes (which ranged between 8-13) too difficult to make a decent fist of things and went 4-0 down, but then the promise of biscuits by the Beta captain if the match lasted long enough gave his team extra motivation and they won the next two battles, before Usher and Myhill (+12) closed out Echoes' 5-2 win with a 21-12, 21-17 defeat of Johnson and Halliday.

The final first round fixture in the Handicap Singles Cup took place as Crosscourt's John Welsh, Clive Smith and Anne Armitage hosted Pirate's David Thompson, Stan Munn and Jon Cheyette. With starts ranging from 4-12 Crosscourts won 9-0, however six of the battles — including all three of Welsh's appearances — went to the third set. Crosscourts will visit Poachers in the next round.

Handicap Singles Cup First Round: Crosscourts 9, Pirates 0

Handicap Doubles Cup First Round: Specials 2, Alpha 5; Echoes 5, Beta 2; Cobras 5, Crosscourts 1; Sharks 0, Delta 5; Backhanders 5, Seals 3; Barracudas 6, Goblins 0.

Handicap Doubles Cup Quarter-final Draw: Alpha v Delta; Outlaws/Pirates v Echoes; Backhanders v Cobras; Poachers v Barracudas.