The second round of the Habershon Cup took place in the Rotherham Table Tennis League.
Last year’s winners L.S.M. A were away at Bramley to Scorpions D. The visitors had a 132 points deficit to make up in this handicapped event. Unfortunately for Scorpions, on this occasion, the handicaps did not prove enough help as Mick Foster, James Houghton and Mick Brooks brushed aside Jess Truman, Andy Saxton and Edmund Lau to turn the points balance around to a healthy 67 point victory.
Scorpions A were also at Bramley playing their clubmates, youngsters from the L team. Josh Wilkes won a game against Jamie Hudd to give his side a chance and it went to the last match between Amie Marriott and Alan Battye. Marriott also pinched a game to leave the match finely balanced with her needing just 5 points to get a draw. Battye just managed to squeeze it 11-3 so the A team winning by just 2 points.
Scorpions H overturned Clifton A in style with a 38 point victory, emphasising the idea of the event as being one where all teams should have a chance of victory. Division Three players Aaran Radford, Josh Drake and Jack Robinson overcame Division Three players Russ Drayton, Matt Bacon and Tony Linggard to claim a place in the next round.
Meanwhile another Division One side Swallownest MW also playing a Scorpions team managed to win by a point on the evening. But it turned out that one player was ineligible having only played one match this season and the requirement being three times. So Scorpions went through. Scorpions J went through too defeating Scorpions D by 15 points on the night.
Scorpions D played Clifton C at home. Alex Bland showed how much he is improving by taking a number of games throughout the evening. Aided by Stuart Foers and Pete Smith they beat off the challenge of Geoff Sanderson, Trevor Bland and Richard Horsfield to win by 22 points. In fact, before the last set of the night, the scores were exactly level and Bland won the last match by 22 points against namesake, but no relative, Trevor. Since the match was played a complaint has gone in that Bland (Alex) was not entitled to play for this Scorpions team and so this result is in the balance until the dispute has been resolved.
One of the last few League matches of the first half of the season saw Mick Jarvis, Mick Bell and Phil Walton turn out for Phoenix A at home to Scorpions B. Jarvis was first on against Liam Carson and won easily as did Bell against Vince Loh and Walton against Malcolm Manuel to giver Phoenix a 3-0 lead. Carson stopped the flow with a comfortable defeat of Jarvis but then Phoenix took the next 4 to seal the win. Carson won his second to keep the scorecard respectable but Phoenix won 8-2 on the night, This maintains Phoenix’s challenge for the title leaving them only three points behind the League leaders at the Christmas break.