Thaxter maintains superb run in North Norfolk Table Tennis Championships
- Credit: Archant
After last year's 11 hour epic, changes to the North Norfolk Table Tennis Championships were made, including a restriction on the number of events a player could enter.
So the 53rd edition of the event saw 39 players contest 122 matches in 10 events on six tables at North Walsham Sports Centre, with play lasting just under eight hours.
In the Open Singles quarter-finals David Foster beat Laura Marsh in three while Paul Price saved two match-points at 8-10 in the fifth, but Andy Beane won their decider 12-10. In the opposite half of the draw Robin Thaxter defeated Andy Marsh and Chris Fuller edged Aaron Howell 13-11 in the third.
Fuller's challenge was then ended in three by Thaxter while the other semi-final saw Beane take a set from Foster before going out.
The first four points of the final all went against serve and later Foster saved two set-points, also against serve, before Thaxter took his third to edge a tight opening set 12-10. Thaxter took the last three points from 7-8 in the next set to take a two sets lead but good all-round play from Foster then saw him take the last five points from 6-4.
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The first final to go the distance in over a decade appeared to be on the cards as Foster led the fourth 8-3 but Thaxter saved three set-points and then edged the set 12-10 to take his sixth straight title.
There was consolation for Foster in two other events – partnering Fuller in the Open Doubles the pair knocked out Thaxter and Colin Humphries in the quarter-finalx and Peter Ward and Harley Dyson in the semixwith both wins in straight. In the final they met Price and Peter Betts and won in four.
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Foster also won the veterans' title by beating Betts in four in the final.
In the Handicap Doubles Fuller and Dennis Elliott started the final 17-12 ahead but Thaxter and Humphries levelled at 24-24 before taking the last four points from 47-45 to take the title.
In the Handicap Singles Harley Dyson came lose to setting up a final with his brother Fletcher but was denied in the semi-final by Stuart Hook who won the golden point. Dyson started 35-27 ahead before winning the final 51-36.
John Welsh won the First Division Singles by beating Ben Briggs in straight while Laura Marsh retained her women's title by beating Gudrun Scham.