Outlaws riding high

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis LeagueTHE Outlaws stamped their authority on the first division, dropping just the one point in their two matches.

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League

THE Outlaws stamped their authority on the first division, dropping just the one point in their two matches.

First the team of John Hancock (Jnr), Colin Humphries and Haken Bennell raced to a 10-0 whitewash in their home tie against Cobras - where the only set they dropped came in the doubles.

And with Ian Darricott replacing Bennell in the Outlaws line-up away to Backhanders four days later, all 10 matches were decided in straight sets - however this time the Outlaws had to settle for a 9-1 win as Teucer Wilson took a point for the hosts as he defeated Humphries.

Meanwhile at Trunch, Shark's Nigel Hayward-Surry, Keith Register and Phil Baker hosted Special's John Short, John Miller and Ray Howe. A number of foul serves by Hayward-Surry in the opener made it easier for Short to win what was otherwise a close four-set encounter, before Register was slightly the more aggressive in his win in four against Miller.

Once Baker's loop started to engage, there was no going back for Howe as he fell in four before Short took the first two sets from Register. The Shark battled back from 10-4 down in the third, but the Special took his seventh match-point chance to level the tie. Howe then ran out of steam as Hayward-Surry won in five, before Baker's all-round game proved too strong for Miller in four.

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Register defeated Howe in three, then an edge from Baker won a critical third set as he completed his maximum with a 5-11, 11-7, 15-13, 4-11, 11-5 win over Short. Hayward-Surry was always in control against Miller and then the Specials made an unlikely comeback to take the doubles 5-11, 0-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 but the night belonged to the Sharks who won 7-3.

Baker returned to action when he played up for Dolphins as he joined Scott Wallace and Peter Betts (the latter also playing up) as they hosted Alpha's Dennis Elliott, Dave Johns and Ivan Hewitt.

Johns led Wallace 9-5 in the fifth set of their opener, dropped the next four points but then won 13-11. Again Baker took a maximum who mixed defence and attack well to down Elliott in five (rematch next week in Alpha v Sharks) and won another war of attrition that also went the distance with Johns - the crucial part being his recovery from 9-4 to take the fourth 12-10. Elliott and Johns both took braces and combined to take the doubles to end the night as a draw.

The Beta team of Matt Robinson, Simon Halliday and Philip Stone came into the week leading the second division, but faced the Pirates.

The match marked the league return of Steve Dams who was playing up from Poachers and joined John Hancock (Snr) and Stan Munn.

Robinson came from 6-1 down in the third to defeat Hancock 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 in the opener, before Dams picked up just three points in the first set before defeating Stone in four. Munn very nearly defeated Halliday - his shots missing the table by a whisker on both of his match-points at 10-8 in the fourth, but the Beta won 12-14, 5-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-4.

Dams was too strong for Robinson, Hancock defeated Halliday in four and then Stone was comfortable against Munn - unusually for the Beta he hit several more winners on the forehand side. That made it 4-3 to the Pirates before Robinson changed to a chopping game to recover from two down against Munn and level proceedings.

A crucial game at 4-4 saw Hancock take the first two sets from Stone, but the Beta made a comeback and later led 7-3 in the fourth. However the Pirate played cleverly to take the game away from Stone and took the set 13-11 - Hancock hitting a winner on the 66th stroke of his third match-point.

Robinson and Stone had a solitary chance to take the doubles the distance after being two sets down, but Dams and Hancock won in four sets to end a terrific night's table tennis with a 6-4 win for the Pirates.

And that left the door open for the Seals to move into pole position in the league table - and they duly obliged as the experience of Ray Amo, Mike Toye and Derek Philpott (playing up) saw them to a 10-0 win over Delta. For the hosts Jamie Carter played well to take a set from Amo.

Elsewhere this week in the second division Crosscourts won six of the first seven games away at Poachers.

But the hosts took the last three games. Peter Triston opened with a good win in straight against ex-teammate Alan Rutledge and Anne Armitage won a tight five-setter against Jon Chequette during Crosscourts 6-4 win.

The Aces defeated Goblins 9-1, with Simeon Care taking his first league win for Goblins with a five-setter against Geoff Long and the doubles went the distance as Goblins took their first league win, 6-4 against Crosscourts - although John Walker had to retire from his final match in the first set against Peter Ward, having hurt his hand in his previous battle.

Players of the Week

The players of the week are John Hanock Jnr, John Hanock Snr, Phil Baker, Derek Philpott, Peter Triston, Peter Ward, Simeon Care and Colin Humphries.