NORTON A v NORTON B
If you didn't go, you missed out on some fantastic table tennis and some unbelievable shots. A couple of weeks ago, Norton B defeated the A team to top the Premier Division and they were hoping to gain a 4th win of the Sentinel Cup with the best of 9 games to be played.
First up was Norton A's Brian Johns, Captain and stalwart of the team, against the B team’s Captain, Paul Malkin. Brian had had to concede his game in the recent league match, having lost in the first half of the season, so he was looking to prove if he was the better player. It was 3-3 all, then 4-8 to Paul, but Brian came back to 8-8 all and after another 3 points, took the first game to 11-8, making it 7 points in a row. The second game went to Brian 11-4, so Paul had a lot of work to do. Love 4 to Paul, 2-6 to Paul, 6-8 to Paul, but Brian pulled it back again to 9-9 all and took the third and decisive game at 11-9. Norton A one up.
Next on was the A Team’s Mark Evans against Neil Hough. Neil had lost both his matches to Mark in the League, so the A team were hoping another win was on the cards. 3-5 to Neil in the first game, then 4-8, 6-10 and a win 6-11 for Neil. The second game was neck and neck, but at 8-8 all, Mark faltered and Neil took the second 8-11. 2 games in a row, so this time it was Mark who had a lot to do. He did just that, going 6-4 up, then 9-5 and took the game 11-5. The fourth game began with Neil going 2-6 up, then 2-8, but Mark came back to 4-8, but Neil went ahead again to 4-10 and it looked all over. Mark wasn’t beaten and ploughed it back by winning the next 5 points to 9-10, but Neil just managed to take the next point, giving him a win 9-11. One all.
Then we had Dave Savage for the A team against Chris Bailey. 4-4 all, then 4-8 to Chris, then 8-8all again, but Chris managed a 9-11 win. In the second, Chris went 2-4, then 4-6 up again, but back came Dave to make it 8-8 all, then it was 9-9 all and Dave had a lucky net, giving him a 10-9 advantage and he took the game 11-9. In the third Dave went 4-2 up, but before we knew it, he had lost the next 8 points and was 4-10 down. He rallied to 6-10, but lost the game 7-11. The fourth game saw Dave 1-3 down, then 4-4all, but then down again at 4-8, but back he came getting to 7-9, before losing 9-11. Norton A 1 – Norton B 2.
Up next was Mark against Paul, who had beaten Mark in both matches in the league. After a tough first game, with Mark 9-7 up, it went to 10-10 all, before Paul took the game 12-14. Mark wasn’t having any of this and in the second was 4-2 up, then 6-4 and then 9-5, going on to take it 11-5. The third was touch and go until 8-8 all, when Paul managed to take it 8-11. So a fourth game with Mark going 5-1 up, then it was 10-4 and Mark took it 11-5. The fifth and final game saw Paul reverse the scores, going 1-5 up, then 5-9 and he took the game 5-11. Norton B leading 3-1.
Next came Brian and Chris. It wasn’t easy, but Chris plays some wicked and unbelievable shots from way back off the table after Brian had pulled it back to 10-10 all, Chris then took the game 11-13. The second was a little easier with Chris going 6-10 up, before taking the game 7-11. In the third Brian started well at 4-2 up, but back came Chris going 4-8 up, then 5-9 and winning 5-11. Norton A 1, Norton B 4 and the B team only needed one more to take the title for the fourth time.
On came Dave Savage and Neil Hough. In the first Dave went 8-6 up, then 10-6, winning at 11-6. The second was closer, but at 8-8 all, Dave changed gear and took the game 11-8. Back came Neil going ahead 5-9 in the third and eventually taking the game 7-11. In the fourth game, Dave went 4-0 up, but Neil came back to 5-5 all, but Dave again found another gear and went on to take the game 11-6. Norton A 2, Norton B 4.
Mark Evans came on to the table against Chris Bailey and both knew it was win or lose the title. Chris got going and was 5-7 up, then 5-9 and took the first game 7-11. In the second Chris went 0-4 up, then 2-8 and 4-10 before winning 6-11. The third game was to be the last, with Chris again going 0-4 up, the 2-6, but Mark rallied to make it 5-7, but Chris came back to 6-10 and although Mark came back to 8-10, Chris finally took the last game 8-11.
Norton A 1 – Norton B 5.