Specials claim crunch table tennis win

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A crunch fixture in the first division saw Specials John Paul, Martin Lawes and Ray Howe host Deltas Andy Beane, Jack Morton and Tom Baldock-Yaxley. Specials won 7-3

Beane only picked up four points in the first two sets of the opener before making a remarkable recovery, but Paul came through 11-1, 11-3, 9-11, 10-12, 11-5 and went on to take a straight-sets maximum.

Beane later defeated Lawes from two sets down 5-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 15-13 but could not find an answer to the game of Howe, the Special taking a single in straight. Morton defeated Howe 3-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-13, 11-7 and Baldock-Yaxley also took a straight-sets single against the Special.

But Lawes beat both Deltas in four sets and teamed up with Paul with a three-sets doubles win.

Outlaws Jamie Craig, Colin Humphries and David Lake's 8-2 win against Dolphins was much closer than it sounded.

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Humphries beat the Steves, Nicholls and Hudson, while Craig — who defeated Nicholls 12-10 in the fourth — beat Hudson in five but lost in five to Chris Marshall. The only other point that went the hosts way was Nicholls' 11-9, 13-11, 12-10 win against Lake — Lake beating Marshall in three and Hudson in four.

In the second division the Poachers of Barry Evans, Andy Woods and Jon Cheyette faced two tough matches in five days, starting with a home tie against Seals Ray Amo, Chris Marshall and Matt Hudson.

Marshall took a maximum with a five-set win against Woods, an impressive 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 win against Cheyette and a 13-11 in the fourth defeat of Evans.

Hudson defeated Woods in five, but with Evans taking a brace and Cheyette doing likewise, including a recovery from two sets down against Amo, plus Woods defeating Amo 11-5, 11-8, 11-3 – the match hinged on the doubles where Marshall and Hudson won 11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 against Woods and Cheyette to draw 5-5.

Poachers were away to Betas Ivan Hewitt, David Beane, Philip Stone and Chris Johnson.

Stone won against Evans 11-8, 15-13, 11-6 then Woods levelled against Hewitt in three. Cheyette saved five set points to beat Beane in straight but Hewitt again levelled with a win in straight over Evans.

Cheyette saved match-point during the third set of his 8-11, 7-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-8 comeback against Stone to put Poachers into a 3-2 lead.

Then the Betas started to turn things around as Beane defeated Woods in three and Evans in four while a 5-0 start kick-started Hewitt's 11-9, 14-12, 11-9 win over Cheyette.

Stone initially led Woods by two sets before finding himself trailing 1-5 in the fifth, however the Beta won the last seven points to close out the win from 4-8.

The doubles pitted Johnson and Beane against Evans and Cheyette.

Poachers had five set points, including four at 10-6 in the first set, but the Betas took the set 15-13 at the third time of asking and the second 11-4.

The Poachers led the third 10-4 and took their sixth set point to close out the set 11-9 and forced a decider with an 11-8 fourth, but Beta closed out the fifth 11-9 to close out a 7-3 match win.

The same Seals trio that had faced Poachers hosted Goblins Derek Sidaway, John Miller and Jonathan Care with Hudson losing out 12-10 in the fourth to Care but taking a good brace including a 7-11, 15-13, 11-7, 11-7 defeat of Miller.

Marshall lost out to both Sidaway and Miller, but Care's maximum was key to the match ending as a draw.

Gresham's School's Roy Lau, Ray Sin and Henry Yung played host to Echoe's Bev Baldock-Yaxley, Edna Stone and Stan Baldock with Lau taking a maximum in straight sets.

The Echoes team each took their first singles wins of the season as Baldock beat Yung in three and Baldock-Yaxley won against Gresham's newest recruit in five.

Stone took a brace with a win in three over Sin and four against Yung. Sin took a brace, winning his other two singles in four.

He teamed up with Lau to recover from two sets down in a crucial doubles against Baldock and Baldock-Yaxley — the 12-10 win in the fifth completing a 6-4 win for the School.

Backhander's Teucer Wilson, Rod Goffin and Whil De Neve won 9-1 away to Barracudas.

Players of the week are John Paul, Colin Humphries, Chris Marshall, Ivan Hewitt, Matt Hudson, Roy Lau, and Whil De Neve.

First Division: Specials 7, Delta 3; Dolphins 2, Outlaws 8.

Second Division: Beta 7, Poachers 3; Seals 5, Goblins 5; Gresham School 6, Echoes 4; Barracudas 1, Backhanders 9; Poachers 5, Seals 5.