2013 Team Handicap Competitions
The Bury St Edmunds and district table tennis league team handicap competitions for 2013 were played over three competitive evenings in April, culminating in a finals night at king Edward VI high school.
In the first semi-final of the Bury Free Press shield, first division Lawshall took on second division opponents Stowmarket Pumas. In the first game the consistent play of Lawshall's Dennis Morgan overcome Pumas Mark Beaumont 3-0, despite Morgan giving Beaumont a 15-10 start up to 21. In the second game Pumas levelled the match with the thoughtful play of David Gough beating the dogged Clive Grimwood 3-0, with Gough starting at 17-8. The next 2 matches were shared 2-1 leaving the match score finally poised at 6-6 going into the doubles, a good 3-0 win to the Pumas over their experienced Lawshall opponents saw Beaumont and Gough progress to the final.
The second semi-final saw the youthful Rougham Rangers pair of Adam Reeve and Adam Coombes take on their more experienced club team mates Paul McGerty and Calum McIntyre of Rougham Stags. In the first game the much improved Reeve started 16-10 against McGerty who was unable to overcome the deficit allowing Rangers to open up a 3-0. In the second game Coombes and McIntyre started level at 10-10, with the attacking Coombes coming through with a 3-0 win to extend Rangers lead to an impressive 6-0. This lead was too great for McGerty and McIntyre, who had both performed very well in the recent Bury league championships, to pull back with Rougham Rangers progressing through to the final 12-3.
As in their semi-final Rangers got off to a flying start with Coombes maintaining his attacking form which proved too much for Beaumont giving the youngsters a 3-0 lead in the final. Reeve followed this up with a 2-1 win over Gough to leave the match score 5-1. In the next game Reeve kept his cool to win 3-0 over Beaumont to give Rougham Rangers an unassailable 8-1 lead ensuring they picked up the 2013 Bury Free Press Handicap trophy. All credit to the Stowmarket team who played out the remaining games to give an 11-4 final result. Congratulations to both teams who played the final in a very good spirit.
Teams defeated in the first round of the Bury Free Press trophy playoff in the Saffrons shield consolation event, the final came down to Thurston Arrows playing against their fellow club team Thurston Spitfires. With the Spitfires duo of Colin Baxter and Paul Evans giving away starts of 17-5 and 17-7 to the Arrows team of Peter Branfield and Alan Baxter, it looked like a difficult task for the first division team. However the experience and consistent play of Colin Baxter and gritty determination of Evans saw Spitfires through to a hard thought 8-7 win and thereby claim the 2013 Saffrons shield title.