Table tennis round-up

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis LeagueA BUSY week of handicap action saw nine cup ties take place with a mixture of preliminary and first round matches in both singles and doubles.

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League

A BUSY week of handicap action saw nine cup ties take place with a mixture of preliminary and first round matches in both singles and doubles.

The Specials team of Jonathan Care, Hugh Rout and Ray Howe had won their preliminary doubles tie with Sharks so in the first round proper the first division leaders hosted second division leading Delta.

A family affair saw the Delta team comprised of Tom Baldock-Yaxley, Tom's father Bev and Granddad Stan, with the handicaps giving the visitors starts ranging from 10-14. Delta led the match 4-0 before Specials prevented an early night by taking the next two nail-biters 21-20 in the decider. However a classy display by Tom and family saw Delta win 5-2 to book a visit to Trunch for a quarter-final against Barracudas.

Half-term saw the teachers take centre stage at Gresham's School as the team of Alan Ponder (A), Ian Darricott (A) and Sam Curtis (I) hosted a young Echoes line-up of David Beane (G), Naomi Myhill (R) and Fransessca Bennett (R).

Echoes had starts between 12-16 but found the serves of Darricott and Ponder unplayable at times, and some sparkling table tennis from both men saw them pip Beane and Myhill (+15), 21-20, 21-20. However and despite a nervous start, it was a good team effort for Echoes who won the tie 5-1.

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And there was further success for North Walsham as Alpha defeated Dolphins 5-1 in the doubles and Cobras - Phil Mole joining James Baldock-Yaxley and Adam Brown - won by the same score against Sharks in the singles. Cobras were playing their singles tie while waiting to see who they would face in the doubles as a preliminary game was played out. And the answer is Seals as the team of Ray Amo, John Barron and Mike Toye started on average six points down to defeat Outlaw's Jamie Craig, Colin Humphries and David Lake 5-1.

Crosscourter's Mike Cheek (I), Whil De Neve (I) and Alf Green (R) found themselves hosting Goblins in both Cups - the team of Rosie Ward (N), Peter Ward (F) and Simeon Care (Q) lining up for the singles prelim and Derek Sidway (R) taking Rosie's place in the doubles first round.

Crosscourters reached the doubles final last year while Goblins made the final of the singles so on paper this looked close - but in reality the good hitting of the Goblins team proved too hot for Crosscourts to handle as Goblins raced to a 5-0 win in both matches. A dead rubber was played in the singles, with a win for Green against Peter Ward.

Two derby matches rounded off the week with two 5-2 victories with the victorious team dropping just two sets in both cases as Poacher's Andy Woods, Barry Evans and Maureen Chapman defeated Pirates in the first round and Ace's Eric Dolden, Ron Povey and Geoff Long won against Backhanders in the singles prelim.

The two Cromer teams were due meet again in the doubles, but this time Backhanders advanced after Aces conceded and so they will host Delta in the quarters.

The league's fundraising continues with darts/quiz night at North Walsham Sports Centre on the actual Sports Relief weekend on March 20. The theme this time is 'Star Night' with the quiz featuring questions set by over a dozen very famous faces!

Players of the week: The players of this Cup week are James Baldock-Yaxley, Rosie Ward, Derek Sidway, Eric Dolden, Tom Baldock-Yaxley and the whole Echoes team!

Handicap Singles Cup Preliminary Round: Aces 5, Backhanders 2; Crosscourts 1, Goblins 5.

Handicap Singles Cup First Round: Cobras 5, Sharks 1

Handicap Doubles Cup Preliminary Round: Outlaws 1, Seals 5.

Handicap Doubles Cup First Round: Gresham School 1, Echoes 5; Specials 2, Delta 5; Poachers 5, Pirates 2; Crosscourts 0, Goblins 5; Dolphins 1, Alpha 5.

Handicap Doubles Cup Quarter-Final Draw: Backhanders v Echoes, Seals/Cobras v Alpha, Barracudas v Delta, Poachers v Goblins.