Semi-finalists decided in Bath & District Table Tennis League Handicap Cup
The popular Bath & District Table Tennis League Handicap Cup competition reached the quarter-final stage this week, with the all-Premiership encounter between Newbridge A and Oldfield A proving to be the tie of the round.
With the average handicap being approximately scratch, most of the games went to the decisive third end where Newbridge decisively took the three closest ones 21-19.
The most notable victory by that margin came from the ebullient Dave Walton, who looked down and out when trailing 19-14 in the third to the awkward combination bat play of Alan Champneys.
But Walton then pulled out a mixture of resolute backhand defence and scintillating forehand loops to take the final seven points, which proved key as Newbridge won the tie 5-4 overall.
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Division 1 outfit The Lamb beat Premiership title contenders Bathford A by the same margin after the handicap committee gave just enough protection for Dave Montano and Steve Moss to take two singles each, backed up by one from Paul Crocker.
The semi-finals will see The Lamb visit Oldfield C, who saw off Frys B thanks largely to three wins from the spinny racket of Paul Redman.
Newbridge A will be hosted by Yatton Keynell B, who easily overcame fellow Division 1 contenders Key Centre A.
Meanwhile, with one week of the regular season to go, the Division 2 title looks all but sewn up for Yatton Keynell C, who are led by the impressive Richard Terrell
Batheaston, who have a very slim mathematical chance of catching the Keys, seem almost assured of the second promotion spot.
Fourth-placed Bathford C could pip them but only by taking maximum points from their two games in hand – one of which is against the champions elect.
Handicap Cup: Frys B 3 (Martin Moore 0, Fred Martin 1, Chris Toft 2) Oldfield C 6 (Jim Stevens 2, Nigel Dagger 1, Paul Redman 3), Newbridge A 5 (Dave Marshall 1, David Walton 3, Martyn Lebutt 1) Oldfield A 4 (Mark Woodcock 1, Chris Dunn 1, Alan Champneys 2), The Lamb 5 (Dave Montano 2, Paul Crocker 1, Steve Moss 2) Bathford A 4 (Matt Lloyd 1, Robin Francis 2, Ray Bennett 1), Key Centre A 0 (Grahame Harbour 0, Dave Carter 0, Keith Burgess 0) Yatton Keynell B 5 (Mark Terrell 2, Bob Portlock 1, Andy Purkiss 2).