Mixed fortunes for Backhanders

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis LeagueThere were mixed fortunes for Backhanders in the first division this week as they defeated Alpha before being sunk by Sidewinders.

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League

There were mixed fortunes for Backhanders in the first division this week as they defeated Alpha before being sunk by Sidewinders.

The team of Teucer Wilson, Rod Goffin and Murray Shanahan started by hosting the Alpha trio of Dave Johns, Ivan Hewitt and Dennis Elliott with Wilson winning the opener against Johns 8-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6 and Goffin following with a win in four against Hewitt.

The match then started to turn in Alpha's favour as Elliott took a maximum, dropping just the one set to Shanahan and Hewitt beat Shanahan in three - however with Goffin having defeated Johns in straight, Alpha only held a slender 4-3 lead in the match.

Shanahan then led Johns by two sets, before picking up his first win of the season in five. With the match level at 4-4, Wilson defeated Hewitt in four sets and the hosts took the doubles also in four to seal a 6-4 win for Backhanders.

Chris Marshall then took the place of Shanahan as the Backhanders visited Sidewinders. Some courageous hitting from Wilson when well behind saw him to a win in four over Lawes and he then saved two match points in the fourth and fifth sets to beat John Batchford 6-11, 14-12, 6-11, 12-10, 12-10.

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Wilson's brace would be the only points that went to the visitors as the Sidewinders ran out comfortable 8-2 winners in a match that marked the first appearance this season of North Norfolk Champion John Paul - who took his current string of consecutive singles victories to 132.

In the second division the Beta line-up of Simon Halliday, Jay Gardner and Matt Robinson hosted the Poachers team of Alan Rutledge, Maureen Chapman and Andy Wood and good serving from Halliday took the opener from Rutledge in four.

Gardner had three set-point chances in the second to level against Rutledge, but the Poacher took his third chance to move two sets up - however a battling display from Gardner saw him to a confidence boosting five-set win.

Rutledge took the visitor's only point with a straight sets win over Robinson. The Beta struggled in the second set of his battle with Wood - saving three set-points and needing seven chances to close out the middle set of his 11-5, 17-15, 11-7 win while Halliday won 14 consecutive points against Wood from 0-5 down in the second set during his win in straight, but otherwise the Beta's were comfortable winners - Halliday and Gardner's doubles win concluding a 9-1 match victory.

At Cromer the Aces team of Clive Smith, Eric Dolden and Geoff Long hosted Deltas Phil Mole, John Vaughan, Tom Baldock-Yaxley and Stan Baldock. Baldock-Yaxley recovered from two sets down to defeat Long in five before repeating the feat in a terrific contest against Dolden 7-11, 6-11, 14-12, 11-7, 12-10.

Further entertainment was provided by Vaughan's five-set win over Dolden as the League President remained unbeaten. Smith picked up a single 12-10 in the fourth against Baldock-Yaxley and took the doubles with Dolden, but a Mole maximum helped Delta to an 8-2 win.

Finally a Seaflames derby saw the Barracudas team of Peter Betts, Nigel Pegg and Derek Philpott take on Seal's Mike Toye, Ray Amo and Steve Nichols. Toye and Amo both took braces, although the latter went the distance with Pegg. Betts also took a brace for the Barracudas and teamed up with Philpott for a doubles win, but fell in five to Nichols. It was ironic that Nichols was playing up from Barracudas and hence playing against his own team as his maximum helped Seals to a 7-3 win.

For battling displays, the players of the week are Teucer Wilson, Dennis Elliott, Murray Shanahan, Jay Gardner, Tom Baldock-Yaxley, Steve Nichols and Alan Rutledge.