Close encounters in Roy Gibson Memorial Rose Bowl

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The Spalding and District Table Tennis League, sponsored by Vital Recruitment, held the annual Roy Gibson Memorial Rose Bowl competition.

An individual event played over the best of three ends and to 31, each player started on a handicap ranging from -2 to 25.

On what was a good night for the handicapper, 45 per cent of the games went to a third end and 30 per cent of the ends went to the last two points.

Twenty-eight members entered and they were divided into four groups, with the top two from each group going through to the knockout stage.

Despite a slightly earlier start than usual, play went on well past 10 o’clock.

Group One was dominated by three players, Stuart Duffill (starting on 21), Dylan Taylor (25) and Tomascz Dobrzyn (-1).

Duffill won through with 5/6 while Taylor and Dobrzyn tied on four, but Taylor qualified as he had won the game between the pair, while Reece Kerry (17) missed out on three points.

Group Two was the tightest of the four, with four players – John Gilbert (3), Hannah Gilbert (25), Guntars Briedes (17) and Garry Wilkinson (17) – all scoring three, while James Gibson (7) and Jeremy Hitcham (21) took the top spots on four.

Gibson won the group because of his win over Hitcham.

Group Three ended with four matches not played, but Jon Brady (25) had the win in the bag as he went through the group undefeated in straight ends.

Alan Fear (16) had one game to play but already had four points with one to play.

As Fear had already beaten the only player who could tie with him, he was awarded second place.

Like Group Two, the last group had three players who just missed out on three points – Mick Nurse (23), Richard Hammond (4) and Casey Nurse (starting on 25).

Second spot was taken by another high handicapper James Coote (25), while Sasha Martin (0) won six games in confident manner, despite being pushed to three ends in five of them.

The quarter-finals, to be played as soon as possible, have Duffill v Coote, Gibson v Fear, Brady v Hitcham and Martin v Taylor, with the winner of the top two pairs meeting in one semi and the other winners in the other.

Tomorrow sees round three of the Marylands Cup where some teams will either have to double up on matches or postpone.

Team secretaries are reminded that with just nine weeks to go, two of which are set aside for individual trophy competitions, they need to consider how to fit matches in.