Table Tennis League’s cup final line-up is decided
The second semi-final of the Star Paving Services North Norfolk League Knockout Singles Cup was an all North Walsham affair as NWSCA's Andy Beane, Tom Baldock-Yaxley and John Batchford hosted NWSCB's Dennis Elliott, Dave Johns and John Vaughan at the club's second home at Antingham Village Hall.
The opener saw some great table tennis from Beane against Elliott, who was frustrated in the early phase and could not completely regain his equilibrium as Beane won in four. Baldock-Yaxley then moved NWSCA 2-0 ahead as he hit some incredible forehand winners to get past Johns in straight, but Vaughan pulled one back for NWSCB as he let Batchford make the mistakes to win in four.
Elliott came out with all guns blazing to take the first set from Baldock-Yaxley but the NWSCA player then stepped up a gear to win a hard hitting battle in four and then Beane moved his team one win from the final with some intelligent play to get past Vaughan in straight.
Johns kept NWSCB in contention with a 13-11, 11-5, 12-10 win over Batchford but Baldock-Yaxley was at his best as his 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 win over Vaughan completed the 5-2 win for NWSCA. That means this year's Cup finals line-up is now completed – NWSCA face Gresham's School in next week's final of the Knockout Singles and take on NWSCD in the final of the Handicap Singles, while the School are also involved in both doubles finals as they will meet Outlaws in the Knockout Cup and Crosscourts in the Handicap event.
Crosscourts were in second division action as the team of John Welsh, Clive Smith and Derek Sidaway hosted Goblins' John Miller, Hugh Rout and Peter Ward. Welsh won the opener for the hosts with a straight sets win over Miller, however this year's champions of the second division went on to win the next nine – eight of them in straight sets and a four set win for Rout over Welsh.
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Meanwhile the start of the Pirates versus NWSCE match was delayed as Pirates wrongly made the trip to North Walsham when it was their home match. On discovering their error, the team of David Thompson, Andy Marsh and Stan Munn returned to Hunworth and made up for lost time, recording a 10-0 win with no sets dropped. That puts them in pole position to take the second promotion spot as they are seven points adrift with three matches left to play.
n This year's junior tournament will take place on May 6 at 1.30pm at North Walsham Sports Centre
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n An exciting challenge match is due to take place on the evening of Wednesday, April 25 at Swanton Morley Village Hall. The Hansells Inter-League Challenge Trophy will pit members of the Star Paving Services North Norfolk TLeague against the Horstead Garage Dereham and District League. This jointly organised event will see each league represented by nine players with three being selected from each of their respective first and second divisions and a further three from their junior ranks. For more information see www.nnttl.org.uk or phone Barry on 01263 741558.