Fight for promotion on the table tennis scene

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis LeagueTHE second division has similar feel this season to that of last with three teams fighting it out for the two guaranteed promotion places.

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League

THE second division has similar feel this season to that of last with three teams fighting it out for the two guaranteed promotion places.

Top met third as Deltas Jack Morton, John Vaughan and Tom Baldock-Yaxley visited Pirates Andy Marsh, David Thompson and Steve Dams. Morton won an opener featuring some outstanding rallies against Marsh 13-11 in the fourth, Vaughan then saw off Thompson in straight. Dams dropped the first two sets against Baldock-Yaxley, won a tight third 11-9 and then got into gear to complete his comeback for the loss of only six more points during his win in five.

The next two battles also went the distance and both went Deltas' way - Morton getting into his stride to come from two down against Thompson and Baldock-Yaxley's movement and style winning against Marsh. Vaughan only just edged past Dams 14-12 in the fourth, before Baldock-Yaxley secured Delta the win in straight against Thompson.

Dams won each of his three sets 11-6 against Morton and teamed up with Marsh for a doubles win, but with Vaughan completing his maximum in four over Marsh the night belonged to Delta 7-3.

Meanwhile Backhanders Teucer Wilson, Rod Goffin and Chris Marshall visited the Poachers of Barry Evans, Jon Cheyette and Andy Woods. Marshall played through some dental pain and went the distance in all three of his singles, taking a single against Woods.

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Maximums and the doubles from Wilson and Goffin saw Backhanders to an 8-2 win which puts them on equal points with Delta - but Delta have the advantage of a game in hand. However both teams still need to be wary of the fact the league table could be deceptive as Pirates have several games to play catch-up on - a similar story to the case of Outlaws in the first division. (Both teams take note - all fixtures have to be completed within the next month).

Outlaws Colin Humphries, Jamie Craig and John Hancock (Jnr) visited Sharks Keith Register, Peter Betts and Phil Baker. Betts celebrated his 60th birthday in style taking a brace with an 11-1, 11-3, 10-12, 11-5 victory over Humphries and a win in straight against Craig.

Register took Humphries the distance, but otherwise Outlaws were too strong as a night of contrasting styles led to an 8-2 win for the Hunworth team.

Specials are still sitting pretty at the top of the division after John Paul, Ray Howe and Martin Lawes destroyed Beta 10-0. The closest the hosts got were Simon Halliday taking Lawes the distance after being two sets down.

In the second division, Crosscourts Whil De Neve, Anne Armitage and Mike Cheek hosted Echoes Edna Stone and Andy and David Beane. Stone took a terrific 13-11, 11-5, 11-4 win against De Neve and also fought back from 1-8 in the third to defeat Armitage 11-6, 1-11, 15-13, 11-6. Cheek edged past Stone 12-10 in the fourth, but with maximums from both Beanes - in five against both Armitage and Cheek for David - plus the doubles, Echoes took a good 9-1 win.

Goblins Simeon Care and Peter and Rosie Ward hosted Barracudas Matthew Hudson, Derek Philpott and Rod Hill. Both players had purple patches but Care won the battle of hitters against Hill 4-11, 13-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5, while Rosie Ward also beat Hill in five but lost to Hudson in three. Philpott took a brace and the doubles with Hudson, but a comprehensive maximum from Peter Ward saw Goblins to a 6-4 win.

The fixture secretary has awarded the Goblins against Aces match to Goblins 10-0, which is reflected in this week's second division league table. Team secretaries are reminded of the rule that states that all matches must have the agreement of the fixture secretary prior to postponement. All league fixtures must be completed by Thursday, April 8, with all scores delivered to the press officer by Saturday, April 10.

Players of the week: Chris Marshall, David Beane, Simeon Care and the John's Hancock (Jnr), Vaughan and Paul.