Specials secure Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League title
The Specials team of John Paul, Martin Lawes and Ray Howe hosted NWSCA's Andy Beane, Dennis Elliott (playing up) and John Batchford knowing that they only required four points from the contest to confirm their successful defence of the first division in the Star Paving Services North Norfolk League.
Strong defence from Paul got past some great forehand hitting from Beane as he won the opener in four, before Elliott levelled with a 17-15, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9 win over Lawes. Batchford then beat Howe in four but Lawes made it 2-2 with a straight sets win against Beane.
Paul lost the first two sets to Batchford 9-11, 7-11, but battled back to win in five as he took each of the next three sets 11-8 and then Howe won the league for Specials with a 12-10, 11-7, 11-6 win over Elliott. Batchford won each of his three sets against Lawes 11-8, before some excellent backhand sitting from Howe swept past Beane for the loss of just nine points. Paul beat Elliott in straight before NWSCA won the doubles in five. But the 6-4 win for Specials was more than good enough to win the league crown with a match to spare and with all of the positions sorted out, it was decided not to play the final outstanding match in the division between Outlaws and Specials.
The final match in the second division has been played as Pirates David Thompson, Andy Marsh (joined by Laura Marsh in the doubles) and Stan Munn hosted Crosscourt's John Welsh, Derek Sidaway and Eric Dolden. The visitors took the doubles but Pirates won all the singles to win 9-1 – highlights were Munn's five-set win over Welsh while Thompson edged out Dolden 11-9, 7-11, 15-13, 8-11, 12-10.
The final action of the season was the annual junior tournament which at North Walsham Sports Centre. The format of the competition saw the 11 players split into two groups and play each other in a round-robin basis with each contest the first to 21 points exactly. The winners and runners-up of each group met in the semi-finals which were the best of three sets to 11 and then the final was the best of five. Both groups produced many thrilling contests. James Morter came through Group A undefeated, but was pushed the closest by Harry Usher – Morter winning 21-19. The runners-up spot hinged on the final match in the group between Kyle Lock and Kieran Wright. Lock needed a win to reach the semis, but a win for Wright meant the pair would have finished tied on points – however Lock reached the semi-finals with the closest of 21-20 wins. Jacob Slates was undefeated in Group B while Joel Lodge took the runners-up spot with three wins.
The first semi-final saw Morter beat Lodge in straight sets while in the second Lock saved a match-point to take the second set 16-14 against Slates, but Slates won the final seven points from 4-6 down in the decider.
Slates took the first set of the final, but Morter took the next three sets – taking his fifth championship point to win his first tournament.
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