Walsham teams exit table tennis cup

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis LeagueThe quarter-finals of the Knockout Doubles Cup took centre stage and saw the three remaining teams from North Walsham make their exit, with two of them losing out in a deciding ninth match.

Star Paving Services North Norfolk Table Tennis League

The quarter-finals of the Knockout Doubles Cup took centre stage and saw the three remaining teams from North Walsham make their exit, with two of them losing out in a deciding ninth match.

The Specials team of Jonathan Care, John Miller and John Short hosted the Deltas in an epic battle.

New cup rules introduced this season permit players who are not cup-tied to play up or down within the teams in their club. So James Baldock-Yaxley joined brother Tom and Phil Mole to line up for Delta.

Specials won the opener in four before Tom Baldock-Yaxley and Mole played some outstanding table tennis to defeat Miller and Short 12-10 in the fifth.

The matches continued to be long, drawn-out, but incredibly entertaining affairs and Delta led 3-1 before the hosts drew level.

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The younger Baldock-Yaxley played very maturely with good placement and choice of shots and teamed up with his brother for a five-set win over Miller and Short that put Delta one win away from the semi-final at 4-3 up.

Care and Miller responded by winning each set against James Baldock-Yaxley and Mole 11-8 to send the quarter-final to the wire, where Care and Short's 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 11-6 win over Tom Baldock-Yaxley and Mole secured a very tight 5-4 win for Specials.

Meanwhile a similar sort of story unfolded at Trunch, as the visiting Alpha trio of Dennis Elliott, Dave Johns and Ivan Hewitt took a 3-1 lead over the Dolphins of Scott Wallace, Steve Hudson and Peter Betts.

Just as the Specials did against Delta, Dolphins drew level at 3-3 before a five-set win moved the visitors ahead at 4-3.

Then a moment of inspiration from Wallace produced a terrific reaction shot off a flat smash from Elliott to secure the next win for Dolphins in four and send the tie the distance.

Wallace and Betts defeated Hewitt and Johns 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 11-4 to secure a 5-4 win for Dolphins and their spot in the semi-finals.

Sidewinders continued their defence of the cup as the team of John Paul, Martin Lawes and John Batchford hosted Beta.

It was good to see the Beta's captain Chris Johnson back in action after a couple of month's absence. He joined forces with Matt Robinson and Philip Stone for an uphill struggle.

Sidewinders won 5-0, but they didn't have it all their own way - Robinson and Stone combined well to take North Norfolk Champions Paul and Lawes the distance. That battle was played at a blistering pace, with all five sets completed well within 15 minutes. But the experience of the Sidewinders showed as Paul and Lawes raced through the fifth set 11-1.

Johnson and Stone did well to respond to losing their second set with Batchford and Paul 11-1 by taking the third 11-9, but otherwise Sidewinders were fully in control of the tie.

Crosscourt's problems continued this week as they conceded their fixture to Outlaws, a shame after their epic win over Goblins earlier in the season.

However, the line-up for the semi-finals is now known and Outlaws and Sidewinders seem to be on a collision course for the final.

The remaining first-round match from the Singles Cup was completed, when Seals' Ray Amo, John Barron and Mike Toye defeated Delta 8-1 and will now face Outlaws.

Jack Morton took Barron the distance before battling from two sets down to win a dead rubber against Toye 9-11,

10-12, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7, while Naomi Myhill and debutant Jamie Collier both picked up valuable experience.

Players of the week: Tom Baldock-Yaxley, Matt Robinson and Jack Morton.

Results: Knockout Doubles Cup quarter-finals: Sidewinders 5, Beta 0; Specials 5, Delta 4; Dolphins 5, Alpha 4; Outlaws walkover v Crosscourts.

Knockout Singles Cup round one: Seals 8, Delta 1.

Knockout Doubles Cup semi-finals draw: Sidewinders v Specials; Dolphins v Outlaws.