2012 Team Handicap Competitions

The Bury Free Press Table Tennis Handicap Shield competition once again proved the ideal format for enabling improving young players to test their ability against higher ranked players. Although the Division 1 teams competed hard, the handicap difference worked against them with only the British Sugar pair of Phil Sinclair and Dominic Melero reaching the last eight. In this round the British Sugar pair was comfortably defeated by the ever improving young Rougham Panthers duo of Adam Reeve and Andy Marshall 11-4 who progressed to the semi-finals. The other teams to join them in the semi-finals were British Sugar Defenders 14-1 winners over Rougham Ratts, Bury Normans 9-6 winners over Rougham Stags and British Sugar Blades 9-6 winners over Thurston Arrows.

The first semi-final provided an all division two encounter between Blades and Normans, meaning the handicaps were very even. Harvey Dinkele put Normans into a strong position with an attacking 3-0 win over Martin Haines, but Martin O’Learyfought back for the Blades with a tenacious 3-0 win over Goran Gelevski to level the match at 3-3 after two singles games. Bury Normans then took the next two singles matches 2-1 to take a lead of 7-5 into the deciding doubles needing just one more leg to reach the winning post of 8. All three doubles legs were very close finishing 21-19, with Normans winning two of the three legs so Dinkele and Gelevski progressed to the final 9-6 winners.

The second semi-final between Adam Reeve and Andy Marshall of Rougham Panthers and Tom Reeve and Peter Kemp of British Sugar Defenders, also had even handicaps. The first game was a family encounter with Tom starting on level points against his younger brother Adam, with Tom’s experience just pulling him through to win 3-0 in close competitive legs. Kemp increased Defenders lead to 6-0 with a 3-0 win over Marshall, with all legs once again being close. Panthers needed to record a good win in the third singles match. However this was not to be the case with Tom Reeve overcoming Marshall to record a third 3-0 score line, giving Defenders an unassailable lead to progress to the final.

The final started with the Bury Normans pairing giving a point’s head start to both British Sugar Defender players. The first game saw Normans Harvey Dinkele defeat Tom Reeve 2-1 (17-21, 21-18, 21-18), with team mate Goran Gelevski recording the same score line over Peter Kemp (21-18, 21-19, 19-21). At the half way stage Defenders Reeve fought back with a 2-1 win over Gelevski (21-13, 18-21 21-14) to give a match score of 5-4. The next game provided the decisive moment with Dinkele’s attacking play being too much for Kemp thereby winning 3-0 to ensure Bury Normans reached the winning mark of 8 legs. The Normans duo went on to win the doubles 2-1 to record a 10-5 victory and lift the Bury Free Press Table Tennis Handicap Shield for 2012.

Teams losing in the first round of the Bury Free Press Table Tennis Handicap Shield progressed to the Saffrons Shield consolation competition. This event was won by the Bury Vikings pairing of David Unwin and John Waters who overcome Ray Perry and Ian Bridgeman of Stowmarket Leopards 8-7 in a very close match.

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