Sidewinders win derby

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis LeagueTHERE was a very close derby at Southrepps Village Hall as Sidewinders' Martin Lawes, Peter Ward and Paul Warner beat the Specials team of Jonathan Care, John Short and Ray Howe 6-4.

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League

THERE was a very close derby at Southrepps Village Hall as Sidewinders' Martin Lawes, Peter Ward and Paul Warner beat the Specials team of Jonathan Care, John Short and Ray Howe 6-4.

Short's experience and ability to play the right shots at the right time saw him defeat Lawes 14-12 in the third and Ward in a tough five-setter. Care also took a brace, including a recovery from two sets down to Lawes, but Warner raced through to an immaculate maximum for Sidewinders.

With Ward and Lawes both defeating Howe in four sets, the match came down to the doubles. Specials' Short and Care spurned several chances to force a decider as Warner and Lawes won through 9-11 11-6 11-9 19-17.

Sidewinders have now amassed over a century of points this season.

At the other end of the division the Cobra trio of James Baldock-Yaxley, Alex Spragg and Adam Brown picked up their first win of the season with a 6-4 defeat of Dolphins. Eight of the 10 battles against the team of Scott Wallace, Steve and Matthew Hudson went to four sets with James Baldock-Yaxley concluding his maximum with a win in three over Matthew Hudson.

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The latter picked up a win over Brown while father Steve took a brace. Wallace took a single over Brown but a brace for Spragg and the doubles in three sealed the win for the Cobras.

The last time Seals hosted Beta, the Seaflames team won from 1-4 down.

The North Walsham team of Chris Johnson, Philip Stone and Matt Robinson were hoping there wouldn't be a repeat performance as they visited the team of John Barron, Ray Amo and Chris Marshall.

Barron changed his style to force a decider from two down in the opener, but was not able to resist a barrage of vintage attacking play from Johnson. There had been a gap of some four years since Amo had last played Stone at singles, the Seals winning 12-10 12-10 11-9.

Good serving from Robinson saw him lead Marshall 5-1 in the fifth, but the Seals levelled at 8-8 before taking the win 12-10. Three and four set wins for Amo and Barron over Johnson and Robinson respectively put Seals 4-1 up at half-time, before Stone's serves frustrated Marshall as he pulled one back for the Betas in straight.

Robinson got lucky on his sixth set-point as he took the first from Amo. The Beta had one opportunity to lead by two sets to love, but Amo took his sixth chance to take the set and closed out a tight win 10-12 16-14 12-10 11-6 to put the Seals 5-2 up.

Johnson and Stone then kept the Betas alive with three and four set wins over Marshall and Barron respectively.

The Betas made a last-minute tactical switch to their doubles line-up. Stone dropped out as he felt Robinson was better at reading the play off Amo's pimpled bat. The gamble worked, but only just. Sets were won alternatively, the Betas took the second and fourth when Amo was serving to Robinson and narrowly won the fifth 12-10. This time it was the Betas' turn to recover from 4-1 down as Johnson and Robinson's win secured the draw.

There were some emphatic wins for the two teams at the top of the division, starting with a 10-0 win away at Aces by the Sharks trio of Phil Baker, Nigel Hayward-Surry and Keith Register.

The Hunnybell quartet of John Hancock snr, Colin Humphreys, Stan Munn and David Thompson were involved in a 10-0 defeat of Crosscourts and a 9-1 win over Delta.

The first match marked the first league appearance in 20 years for Crosscourter John Walker, while Delta Tom Baldock-Yaxley took his team's only point by picking his shots well to defeat Thompson in four. Jay Gardner and Stan Baldock also did well to take a set in the doubles from the pairing of Humphreys and Munn.

Players of the week: John Short, Ray Amo, Keith Register, John Walker and Tom Baldock-Yaxley.