Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis LeagueTHE first of the four season-concluding cup finals to take place was the Knockout Doubles between Sharks' Keith Register, Terry Copland and Nigel Hayward-Surry and Side-winders' Martin Lawes, Peter Ward and John Paul.
Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League
THE first of the four season-concluding cup finals to take place was the Knockout Doubles between Sharks' Keith Register, Terry Copland and Nigel Hayward-Surry and Side-winders' Martin Lawes, Peter Ward and John Paul.
The final was contested at Trunch Village Hall with umpiring duties shared by Chris Pooley and Derek Philpott.
Register and Hayward-Surry made a nervous start, as a 5-0 lead helped the Sidewinders to the first set - and North Norfolk champions Paul and Lawes were also too strong in the second.
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There was a glimmer of hope for the Sharks in the third as they led 6-3, but the Sidewinders won the last eight points to complete a comfortable opening win.
The first set of the second battle pitted Copland and Hayward-Surry against Ward and Paul and the Sharks had four set-point chances (two at 10-8), but the star quality of Paul shone through as three of them were saved by his backhand winners as Sidewinders went on to take the set 14-12 and the match in three straight sets.
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Next it was the turn of Register and Copland against Lawes and Ward, and after the Sidewinders one set-point chance had been saved by a net-cord, the Sharks took their third chance to take a two set lead - this was a set which they really needed in the context of the final.
However the Sidewinders moved into a 10-6 lead in the third. The Sharks saved these four set-point chances but were unable to convert the solitary match-point opportunity that came their way as Sidewinders took the set at the sixth time of asking.
Sidewinders attitude of ending the points as soon as possible so as not to give the Sharks enough time paid off in the fourth set, but - as it had done so earlier in the contest - Copland's chop caused them problems in the decisive fifth.
The match could have gone either way but Sidewinders took the last two points from 9-9 and with it a 3-0 lead in the final. Paul and Lawes then took the first set from Copland and Hayward-Surry, but lost rhythm in the second as the Sharks levelled.
The good teamwork from the Sharks duo continued in the third as they took a 6-0 lead, however they still needed three set-points to move ahead in the contest. However, Paul and Lawes upped the pace to win the last two sets 11-5 and put their team one win from the cup.
The perhaps inevitable conclusion was delayed for a while as some terrific smashes from Register and Hayward-Surry saw them to a win in straight over Lawes and Ward.
And Register and Copland took the first from Ward and Paul, but a 5-0 lead in the second helped the Sidewinders level.
Ward and Paul took the third set at their third chance and they wrapped up the win and with it the cup in the fourth.
Knockout Doubles Cup final: Sharks 1, Sidewinders 5. Paul/Lawes beat Register/Hayward-Surry 11-4, 11-6, 11-6; Ward/Paul beat Copland/Hayward-Surry 14-12, 11-6, 11-7; Lawes/Ward beat Register/Copland 8-11, 12-14, 14-12, 11-6, 11-9; Paul/Lawes beat Copland/Hayward-Surry 11-4, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5; Register/Hayward-Surry beat Lawes/Ward 11-5, 11-9, 11-8; Ward/Paul beat Register/Copland7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6.